There are a variety of reasons why a fighter will enter the cage with the thought of victory on their mind.

The first, and most obvious, is so that they can be seen as the very best fighter in their division, and perhaps the sport. That’s a given. Everybody wants to be the best of the best. It’s a competitive nature that a fighter must take into the cage or the ring each and every time that they enter it.

Some will fight for fame, for their family, for money or for the glory of holding a world championship. All of these are valid reasons to don the gloves.

But for humble giant Chris “Igor” Lokteff, it’s not so much about his own success. Instead it’s about what a victory in a premier organization can mean for the team that he represents.

Lokteff (Facebook)

Lokteff (Facebook)

“I never thought that I would achieve what I have so far in this sport,” Lokteff admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Growing up, I always thought I’d just be a guy with a nine-to-five job. I never thought that when I started training that it would lead to where I am now. So this opportunity to fight for ONE FC is something I definitely don’t take for granted.

“A big part of my success is all because of the help of my coaches and my team at Integrated MMA. There are a few the guys now that are starting to get opportunities overseas now, and all the hard work is now paying off. I would have never got to where I am without the help of Steve Compton, Dan Higgins and Tony Green, as well as the rest of our team, and representing my team is a big motivation for me to do well on this stage.”

Recently, Lokteff had to pull out of a title fight on the Australian circuit due to an injury to his toe that he sustained during training. The last-minute notice of his upcoming ONE FC bout means that his training injury is not yet fully healed.

“I would say that it’s only at around 80 percent,” Lokteff revealed. “It was just something that we thought that we couldn’t pass up. It’s such a big opportunity for me, and I really look forward to representing my country and my team on the world stage. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too much, it’s only a toe [laughs]. My coaches think that I will be fine, and I have faith in them.”

In his ONE FC debut at the promotion’s 12th event, Lokteff has a tough task in front of him. He meets Tony Johnson, who has only lost once in his career, at the hands of Daniel Cormier, and most recently defeated Tim Sylvia inside the ONE FC cage. Lokteff has also only tasted defeat once and he is looking to continue his winning streak come Nov. 15.

Lokteff (upright) (Nitro MMA)

Lokteff (upright) (Nitro MMA)

“It’s a pretty good feeling [to be fighting for ONE FC],” Lokteff said. “This is a pretty big step up for me, and it’s an honor to fight for them and to fight Tony Johnson. He’s fought in Bellator before and he beat Tim Sylvia, so it wasn’t an opportunity I was going to say no to. I really want to follow in the footsteps of [Integrated MMA coach and teammate] Adrian Pang, who won a title overseas. That’s my big goal, and I will do anything to get it.”

No matter how the fight plays out on Nov. 15, there is one thing that Lokteff is guaranteed to be taking back to Brisbane when he boards his flight home, and that is a feeling of immense pride knowing that he has represented what he considers to be the best fight team in Australia.

Chris would like to thank his sponsors: Australian Sports Nutrition, Fairtex, Unrivaled MMA, All Type Cabinets and MMA Sports Magazine. He would also like to thank Integrated MMA, Dan Higgins, Steve Compton, Tony Green, Adrian Pang and God.

Top Photo: Chris Lokteff (center) (Facebook)