There are combat athletes motivated by money, but a large majority are motivated by a deep passion for their trade.

Romanian heavyweight Daniel Ghita is a shining example of the latter group.

The 31-year-old former bodyguard known as “The Savage Samurai” has torn through the kickboxing world over the last decade to amass 47 wins against just eight losses. One of those losses came in late 2010 against Turkey’s Gokhan Saki, the man he’ll face in the GLORY 6 main event on April 6 in Istanbul.

“Everybody talks about revenge, but I do not see it like that!” exclaimed Ghita in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “It is a match like any other, two great fighters proving what they can in the ring.

“I’m not hungry for revenge. I do not know this feeling! We will show the world a great fight at the top level in the heavyweight class.”

Ghita (GLORY)

In the pair’s first meeting under the K-1 banner, the fighters needed an extension round to decide the hotly contested battle. So should fight fans expect to see another lengthy battle that hits the scorecards?

“I have no idea, I’m not Nostradamus,” Ghita said with a laugh. “Every fight is unique, and every situation is different. [It’s] impossible to say in advance.

“It will be a great fight. I want to win, Saki wants to win. It going to be difficult, because there can only be one winner. Saki is a very dangerous opponent, but I’m dangerous too.”

Ghita took the loss to Saki hard, as many expected him to challenge for the Grand Prix title. After contemplating retirement, he was persuaded to continue fighting and has gone on to win 10 of his last 12 fights.

However, Ghita fell short against kickboxing legend Semmy Schilt in his last outing—the finals of the GLORY 4 Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament.

“I was disappointed, because I showed my hands and I was ready to continue the match,” Ghita said of his first-round TKO loss. “It was my mistake for standing up slowly. That may have given the wrong impression [to the referee]. I would have liked to fight until the end.

“I accept the decision of the referee, and I will not cry all my life. I learned an important lesson. Next time, I will not give him this chance! I hope to have the chance to fight Semmy again. He is a great fighter which I respect very much., but he is a bit too tall!”

Prior to the bout with the four-time K-1 champion Schilt, Ghita dispatched of three straight opponents on his way to the tournament final. His semifinal match lasted just 25 seconds as he knocked out Jamal Ben Saddik by body kick.

“The key of my success is very simple: I’m not concentrated on what my opponent can do,” revealed Ghita. “I concentrate on myself, what I can do and what I can do better.

“People always say that my mark are the kicks. It gives me drive to show the contrary. Show that I can do more.”

Ghita (L) throws a kick (GLORY)

Thankfully for Ghita—and kickboxing fans around the globe—the fall of K-1 and It’s Showtime was followed by the creation of GLORY to give elite fighters a platform to practice their art.

“GLORY gives the kickboxing world a new dimension,” declared the Romanian. “They are professional and have very good structure and rules for the fighters. It’s totally different than K-1.

“Honestly, it was the best decision ever in my career to sign with GLORY. They have the best fighters in the world together. The only thing you have to think about is to prove what you can in the ring. If you want to be on top in the world you have the chance with GLORY.”

With the stability that GLORY brings, Ghita has the chance to focus on his match-up with Saki. But if revenge isn’t on his mind, what would a win on April 6 mean to the heavyweight?

“Honestly? Nothing,” he proclaimed. “People who know me know I started kickboxing because it is my passion and I adore this sport, not just for the status.

“It is a match like any other match from my career. I do not see it as something that would change my career. I see it in a different way. It is an honor to fight in Istanbul against a dangerous warrior.”

Even the prospect of fighting in his opponent’s own backyard does not rattle Ghita. If anything, the fighter is relishing the opportunity.

“People ask me if I’m afraid to have whole arena against me,” he explained. “I do not know the feeling of fear!

“I expect a great fight and myself to give all that I have.”

Daniel would thank his fans all over the world for supporting him, his parents and his staff. Visit Daniel’s website to learn more about the fighter’s charity work with UNHRC Romania and Unite Against Racism.

Top Photo: Daniel Ghita (GLORY)