Søren “The True Viking” Bak 15-1-0 is a Danish Professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight Division. A professional competitor since 2012. He has competed for Royal Arena, European MMA, Cage MMA Finland, ICE FC, European Fighting Challenge, CageWarriors and Bellator MMA.
I’d like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Søren. How has training been going of late?
“My training has been good, it’s always nice to have some time to reflect upon previous matches and adjust my training accordingly. That being said, I’d have liked to have been back fighting right about now. Like many other European fighters, I’ve had to wait on some backlog in the local US embassy (because of the pandemic). This is because I need to get my work visa renewal before I can travel back to the US for about. Luckily that’s all on track for a fight in early 2022!”
“I got to show my wrestling and grappling prowess, which is always great! Though I was also proud of that fact in my Bellator debut against Terry Brazier in London. The real difference here was that Bobby came to fight and that made this fight a lot more entertaining, both to watch and compete in. That said, giving “my Vikings are here” speech to the American audience was a true delight.”
The Lightweight division holds many huge names, the likes of Benson Henderson, Aviv Gozarli and of course Patricky Pitbull just to name a few. You are well on your way to making your intentions known as a huge threat to this division. Who would you like to grace the cage with further on in your Bellator career?
“The lightweight division is indeed stacked! I’ve no specific call outs for my next fight. Once I’m ranked, a personal goal of mine would be to face Benson Henderson. He’s one of the fighters that made me fall in love with the sport when I’d be watching WEC during my high school classes. To face him would be a true honour!”
Across your illustrious career, you have gone to war with some fierce opponents. The one that stands out for me is your emphatic show of heart back in 2018, taking on and defeating one of the biggest names in the cage, Paddy Pimblett at CW96. What bout stands out most for you, across your decade career on the professional scene?
“My first title fight against Paddy Pimblett also has a special place in my heart. Maybe because of the massive early adversity I had to face in the match, coming back from that and smashing all through my first championship rounds was amazing. On a funny note, after that fight, my voice was normal until 10-15 minutes after the fight. During my post-fight interviews, my voice completely disappeared during one of the interviews, as my throat swelled from the choke attempt in the first round.”
“Honourable mentions would be My first fight out of Denmark, against Alexi Nurminen in Finland, my first fight to go the distance, also with a close choke attempt from my opponent. My fight against Morgan Charriere for the Featherweight title, my first time fighting back in Copenhagen since early in my career, also has a special place in my heart.”
Ten years, for fighters, is a lifetime of hard work and dedication. To still be striving and winning is a great sight to see. What advice would you give to someone starting their professional careers looking to mirror your timeline of going to war in the cage?
“Not sure I’m the best example for hopeful future professionals, but maybe? I’ll let you be the judge. A few factors come into how my career has already stretched ten years. The first one is the thing I probably wouldn’t recommend to new fighters, I only had two amateur fights before going pro, nowadays most people have a lot more experience before going pro. The second part is where young fighters might learn something, I chose to educate myself all through my early career. When I finished my degree in finance I got a great job, working at a pension scheme firm. This was great because when I was being upfront with them about my goals and ambitions in my MMA career they wanted to help. So basically I can work when I’m not training and vice-versa. That drastically improved my productivity in between my training sessions, because I can restitute my body, while still earning an income. This also means I’ll never have to fight with an injury, or without preparing properly for a fight because my mortgage/rent is already taken care of. During these hard years for athletes during the pandemic, it’s been especially useful. But I’d argue that even without lockdown and pandemics, it’s been a major asset to my career because I can always be at my best for a fight. At least until the fighter wages and benefits get to a point where insurance and pension are feasible for fighters climbing the ranks, I’d recommend this to anyone.”
Last but not least do you have a message for your many fans and across the globe?
“I’m looking forward to putting on a show for everyone at the beginning of 2022, so stay tuned – any updates will be up on my socials @SorenTrueViking”