Stefano Catacoli – “I can guarantee you I am ready”

We are now just under 4 weeks away from the long awaited return of Fightstar Championship 23, who are set to blow the roof off of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London.


Fight announcements are rolling out thick and fast, the Main-Event was the 1st of these blockbuster announcements and what a way to kick things off.


Nathan Rose will take on Stefano Catacoli for the FSC Lightweight Championship on March 11th in the Capital.


I caught up with one half of this absolute barn burner, Stefano Catacoli, as he prepares for the violence to come in his Main-Event inclusion.


Stefano ‘The Ghost’ Catacoli (5-1-0) is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Lightweight division, representing Great Britain Top Team. Stefano has competed for World Fighting League, Retribution Fighting Championship, and Contenders and returns to Fightstar Championship as a professional on March 11th.


I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to meet me today Stefano, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming title opportunity on the Fightstar Championship 23 card.


“Thanks for that mate, I’m glad to get the opportunity. Especially against someone like Nathan Rose, I remember him well from when I was coming up, it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air when I finish this guy hopefully you know.”


What a fight, when i saw the announcement I was excited for March, what a way to kick off the announcements.


I trust training has been going well in the build-up to this absolutely outstanding opportunity in the capital?


“Yeah man, I’m feeling good and looking forward to showcasing my skills in the Main-Event.”


Image by bro_where_photo


Great to hear brother.


You have stood out as one of the most exciting UK talents since venturing out on your professional journey back in 2020, securing 5 out of 6 victories thus far.


Back in 2017 while on your amateur journey, you took your 2nd walk to the lion’s den with Fightstar Championship. How does it feel to be making your return, as well the opportunity that has been presented to you?


“It’s nice, because the last time I fought on Fightstar I was a kid. A lot has changed since then, I have become a completely different animal now than I was then I like to believe. I’m looking forward to showcasing the skill-set I possess now.


It was some time ago, and witnessing you cageside a few times, I can second that.


Fans have been eagerly anticipating your return to the cage since your Main-Event victory at Road to Contenders 5 back in 2022. but as many will know, the fight game is full of bumps in the road.


Previously set to make your debut for French promotion ARES 10 back in December, unfortunately, the bout was cancelled.


For those unaware of the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, could you elaborate on the reasons leading to this at all?


“Yeah, so basically there was a lot of shit going on, in my personal life especially. But also, more importantly I ended up getting a staph infection halfway through my camp. After taking time out for about 2 and half weeks, I came back and my cardio wasn’t great because I was on antibiotics. I trained for another 2 weeks and my cardio was getting back up to scratch, then I got the staph infection back. I had tk take another course of antibiotics and it ended up going downhill from there, I ended up getting a chest infection which nearly turned into pneumonia.”


Oh wow, I’m sorry to hear that man.


‘It’s all good man, it is what it is, we move forward. It was a bit of an annoying time, because I was looking to showcase my skills on UFC Fight Pass. I was very confident that I was gonna beat that guy, but obviously it didn’t happen. I would like to have that fight one day, because I liked the notion of the fight with the Dagestani, everyone is scared to fight these guys and I wanted to prove that I wasn’t.l, but unfortunately what happened, happened.”


I can imagine, is ARES still on your radar?


“Funnily enough, after this fight got announced they contacted me. At the end of the day, it’s cool, I’ve been wanting that Fightstar belt for a while now as well as wanting to Main-Event a card with the promotion. It was nice that Raj made it the Main-Event.”


What do you make of Nathan as you prepare to collide in March?



“Nathan has been on the scene a while, I think he’s a great fighter. I remember back in the day, we were both training at the same gym at Lion’s Pride. I was about 15 at the time, I remember him being the big guy at the gym, I think he was already a pro back then actually. As I got older I witnessed him progress to Bellator, I think he’s gonna be a very tough fight. I’m not expecting it to be a walk in the park but, I believe I’m one of the best up-and-comers in Europe. Other people can disagree, but on March 11th, I’ll prove to everyone how good I am, I promise you that.”


It must be an incredible feeling to go from training as a youngster with Nathan, to being matched up together years later?


“Yeah man it’s gonna be nice, because I can prove to myself how far I’ve come. I know I’ve come so far mate, I remember when I 1st started training MMA, I was nothing compared to what I have become now. Even recently I’ve improved a shit ton, I’ve been working on everything I’ve needed to work on. And I’m sure Nathan also has, I also used to train at his current gym London Shootfighters. One things for certain, the fighter that I am now compared to what I was at London Shootfighters is completely different. I like to think I’m a completely different animal now, it’s gonna be great.”


I can’t wait to see the improvements since I last saw you at Road to Contenders.


Raj Singh and his team have once again assembled some of the fiercest Warriors the UK has to offer to piece together a prolific card, and prove once again why they are one of the finest regional shows in the country.


Many fighters have been announced to be matched up, as well as a few confirmed bouts ao far. Are there any confirmed fighter’s or bouts that you’re looking forward to witnessing out there in the build-up to your Main-Event inclusion?


“One of my teammates Vadimas will also be on the card, I’m looking forward to that fight. I’ve seen how hard he works as I train with him, he’s a very good fighter man. He should be making a move to pro soon I’m pretty sure, I have a feeling he’s gonna make this fight look easy.”


A great fighter I have to agree, and very determined. He’s always been vocal regarding defending his titles, a great thing to see in a fighter.


“Definitely, I feel he’s the best amateur Flyweight in the country for sure. He’s very good, I’m really looking forward to seeing him out there again.”


I’m definitely looking forward to catching you both out there again.


“It will be good to see you there too man, especially after I get that belt it will be really good as well mate.”


I’ll definitely try to catch up with you guys there, 100 percent.


It’s been great catching up with you again today Stefano, I wish you all the best for the remainder of your camp and I look forward to catching you out there.


“I look forward to seeing you there too mate. I also look forward to showcasing how far I’ve come since the last fight as well. Also to shutting down a lot of people that may think I’m not ready for this, because I can guarantee you I am ready.”


Great confidence leading up to March man.


Last but not least, do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?


“For the fans, you’ve got a great fight to look forward to, I can tell you that, regardless of the result you’re gonna see a tear-up. I’d like to give a shout-out to Brad Pickett, he has done a lot for me. Also my teammates at the gym that have been helping me, there’s too many names to list to be honest because it’s quite a big gym.”



Catch Stefano and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card on March 11th at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. Tickets will be made available from the fighters as well as via the Fightstar Championship website here.


Fightstar Championship are proudly affiliated with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) who’s prime goal is To develop and promote the education, training and safeguarding of young people, competitors and coaches in MMA.


Feature image by bro_where_photo

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