Vincent Latoel is certainly feeling “Magni-Vincent” about his upcoming match with Caros “The Future” Fodor at One FC 20 in Cambodia on 12 September. This will be his fourth fight at One FC since his debut against fellow Dutchman Willy Ni in his ancestral home of Indonesia.
With a storied 15-14-2 track record , the 35-year old Dutchman could possibly be better set up with more experience against Fodor, whose 9-4 record on paper seems to pose less of a threat. However, Latoel was quick to dismiss any prejudice,
“Caros is an excellent fighter and like every one of my opponents, I would not want to make the mistake of underestimating him. Caros is known to be a well-rounded fighter, proficient in both a standup and a ground game. All I can say to the audience is to expect a lot of fireworks within the cage when I take on Caros on fight night.”
On top of his charming and suave demeanor, Latoel is also humble, yet his confidence as a fighter shines through. He knows what he is up against as he prepares to meet a battle-ready and victory-hungry war veteran who has an axe to grind after losing to South African Vuyisile “The Cheetah” Colossa. Latoel accepted the last minute call to step into the cage with Fodor when Colossa pulled out due to an injury in training. One FC 20 in Cambodia was supposed to be Fodor’s comeback fight. With Colossa out of the frame, Fodor will be looking to take out all that pent-up energy on Latoel. So Latoel’s description of the impending fireworks could be right on target.
“Magnivincent” doesn’t flinch from a difficult match. In spite of the relatively last minute plan to feed him to Fodor’s fury, Latoel says he was not stagnant – he was training MMA whilst working on his strength conditioning when the call came and continued to do so. He and his coach, Martijn de Jong, then studied Fodor and designed a regime specific to him. With such focused training, he feels more than ready to take Fodor on in Cambodia.
In fact, it was such challenges that spurred Latoel’s passion in the sport. Enough was never enough for him. When he was much younger, Latoel played soccer, tennis, rugby and futsal, however, he wasn’t satisfied until he discovered martial arts. At the age of 20, he started training in BJJ and shoot fighting and got hooked immediately.
Latoel then fought an impressive 28 times in Europe, as part of the well-known Golden Glory fight team that includes such names as Sergei Kharitonov, Stefan Leko, Valentijn Overeem, and Marloes Coenen. He trained hard everyday since, even when he took a three and a half year career break in 2009 to find some balance in his life. His break gave him more than a chance to rest and recuperate, he reminisced,
“During my break, I had a dream to fight in Asia. I was thinking then, if an opportunity came my way to fight in Asia, I would definitely jump at it.”
Latoel could not leave the sport for long, because of his passion for MMA and his thirst for more fights, and the opportunity to jump back in did come in the form of One FC. He had been following the progress of the organization and shared,
“One FC is very professional and the events are awesome. I was at that time hoping to fight at One FC and felt that the organization would be where I could compete and grow as an athlete.”
Latoel feels his best fight was his debut at One FC 10, submitting Ni with a guillotine; he made his comeback with a fighting spirit and the will to win. Then his opportunity to grow as an athlete did manifest. His loss to Eduard Folayang taught Latoel that beyond skills and experience, he had to always be physically and mentally well-balanced when he approached an opponent. The defeat drove him back to Holland to set that balance right which contributed, upon his return, to his impressive finish of Eddie Ng by KO in the first round.
Latoel is philosophical about his fights and reckons that his key challenge has to do with how he conditions his mind,
“A fight is like a chess game. It does matter who is the fittest, smartest or most courageous to win that fight. However, what is most important is one’s own confidence and belief that victory is attainable.”
To MMA fighters aspiring to turn professional, Latoel has this to say,
“Follow your dreams. The road will be long and hard. However when you fall, just stand up and fight on.”
Outside of the cage and when he is not training, Latoel runs a fashion brand specializing in urban street wear called Cookie Deaux (Facebook page), with his brother.