Samuel Bark interview: Talks big win over Tobias Harila, vows to fight ‘every month’ in the UFCFrontkick.online
Samuel Bark. Photo by Stefan Romare / Frontkick.online
Swedish striking sensation Samuel Bark is one of the hottest MMA prospects in Scandinavia right now. Since making his professional debut last year, “Sammon Decker” has already put together a string of highlight finishes in both Sweden and abroad.
At Cage Warriors 141 in July, he faced fellow Swede Tobias Harila in the most hyped Swedish fight of the year. Here Bark had his first chance to fight at a major stage against his heavy-hitting rival. As a massive underdog he walked into the cage and put on a dominant performance with a second-round knockout. The outcome might have shocked many, but certainly not Bark himself.
In an exclusive interview with Frontkick, Samuel Bark opened up about his biggest MMA fight so far.
”It was a great fight on paper, Tobias is a good name and it was nice fighting on the main card. I expected that he would be exhausted in the second round, but I felt that he was tired in the first. My plan was to find the finish when he got tired.”
“I took the fight on short notice, like ten days, but I fought in the UAE in Abu Dhabi two weeks prior so I had a camp recently. I’m used to getting in shape fast, but I could have been better prepared. But yeah, I was in good shape,” Bark said.
”MMA fighters are not very active in general”
However, when he got an early-morning phone call from his manager Majdi Shammas about the Harila-fight, the former Muay Thai champion had been out partying and needed a few seconds to change his mindset from the couch to the cage.
”I was lying on the couch when Majdi called me up and asked if I wanted the fight with Harila. But I just had to hang up for like a half a minute before I called him up to say yes,” Bark said with a big laugh. “Of course I wanted the fight.”
Samuel Bark is the most active MMA fighter in Sweden
Samuel Bark is probably the most active MMA fighter in Sweden right now. Since his professional debut at Wolf Fight Promotion in October 2021, he fought no less than six times in a ten month-period. Even though it seems like a crazy schedule, Bark genuinely thinks it’s not that big of a deal.
”MMA fighters are not very active in general, not compared to Muay Thai fighters. I mean, the more bouts you go, the more you develop as a fighter. It gives you experience.”
After a long professional career in Muay Thai, with multiple international titles, he should know. As a fighter in Thailand, the Swede fought a staggering 22 bouts in ten months during his first year in the country. His ability to take fights on short notice and get in shape quickly comes from his years in Southeast Asia.
”You get your body used to training hard. If I had not been in such good shape I could never have fought that often.”
Do you miss Muay Thai sometimes?
”Yeah I do, I miss going in there to fight to the music, the atmosphere, I never want to lose that style. I want to bring that Thai-style to MMA.”
As a natural featherweight, Bark never believed in cutting too much weight. He claimed to walk around at 155 lbs and thinks a big cut has more negative than positive effects come fight day.
”If you face someone who doesn’t cut much weight and trains hard, and you cut a lot of weight, you will get tired way faster. You’re not supposed to do that, it affects your body too much. I cut like eleven pounds in a week and that’s never a problem” Bark said. ”It works for me, if anyone takes me down early and I’m better conditioned, it won’t end well for them. I always train to have an advantage in conditioning.”
One more fight in Cage Warriors
What’s next for the promising Swedish prospect is not set yet, but one thing is sure – he’s just getting started. Bark is contracted for one more bout in Cage Warriors, but no date nor opponent is confirmed.
”He started to talk a lot in interviews so I understood he was looking to fight me. But back then he didn’t know what I could do to his buddy Tobias Harila. Now he doesn’t want to face me after the fight at Cage Warriors. If he is number one in Sweden and I defeat him, no one can talk anymore. No one would deny that I’m the best.”
”I wanted to fight Lima at FCR 13, but that won’t happen. He won’t take that fight. I’m looking forward to fighting someone else instead. I might have a fight in Oktagon MMA in September.”
For now, the Swedish striker has his mind set on finishing every opponent that’s put in front of him until he gets to the UFC. The promotion is rumoured to have plans for a event in Sweden, and considering how good Bark looks and the crazy pace he keeps, it would be the perfect place for a UFC debut.
“If the UFC gave me the chance I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. And fighting on a UFC card in Sweden would be awesome, I mean, they are the biggest organization. Now I’ll just keep on fighting and see what they say. See how long it will take until I’m there. I will be active all the time, like in Muay Thai, a new fight every month.”
And if he gets the call, there’s no way “Sammon Decker” will slow down.
“I wonder if the UFC will let me fight once a month?”