Unbound Voices - Gabriel Varga


Just recently in early April Gabriel Varga became the second canadian to win a GLORY title when after a high paced, really technical 5 rounds he defeated Mosab Amrani by an unanimous decision at GLORY 20 in Dubai.

In our latest installment of our Unbound Voices series we are continuing on the path of bringing our readers closer to a different world and provide insight into the daily life and the stories, backgrounds of our interview’s subject, fighters from around the world who all share one thing in common. They are either Hungarians themselves or have some Hungarian blood runnining through their veins.

Gabriel Varga on life, routines, visualization, training camps and more!

Q: Would you please tell us a bit about your family’s history and the Hungarian roots?

A: My Dad's side of the family is Hungarian. My Grandfather and his brothers came over to Canada at a very young age with their parents. I've never had the opportunity to travel to Hungary but I hope to at some point.

Q: When you transitioned to kickboxing have you felt something immediately? Did you know that this is going to be the sport you'll stick to?

A: I knew how much I already enjoyed other martial arts but Kickboxing became my favourite by far very fast.  My next favourite is Boxing but if I wasn't doing one of those two I'd still be doing some other type of martial art. I hope to be involved with Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, etc for the rest of my life.

Q: How did you parents, relatives, friends reacted when you moved to a full contact sport?

A: It was a very slow transition for me. It started with point fighting,to no contact continuous Karate, to light contact, to full contact but no punches to the head, and then finally to Kickboxing. That helped everyone adjust to me being involved in this sport. The only people who really express major concern about me being involved in Kickboxing is strangers. My family and friends realize I train and fight smart so I avoid most of the serious contact.

Q: How does your morning routine look like? Do you have any specific routine, a ritual?

A: My routine is all over the place. I have to adjust everyday to make sure my schedule is flexible so I can change Kickboxing training times to meet my pad holders schedule needs. Sometimes I run in the morning and sometimes I run at night. I constantly change my running routine and very rarely run at the same place twice in one week. I also ensure I take 10-15 minutes before and after a workout to stretch.

Q: I've noticed in a few interviews that visualization keeps coming up. How important is to set goals and visualization for you in general? Was it always that way?

A: No. At the beginning of my career I was so confident that I'd out skill everyone so there was no need for it.  Now I like to visualize the difficulties I might face in the ring. It helps me prepare for the best of my opponent and keeps me calm because I imagine the fight every fews days. I think I'll continue using this technique for every fight in the future.

Q: Again from interviews it seemed that the belts are just kind of like an accessory to you. Can you expand a bit on this? What is it that makes you go forward, keeps you fighting?

A: I love my belts and once I win them I'm happy and excited to have them. But leading into a fight I don't focus on them. Worrying about winning them won't help me perform better. What does help me perform better is knowing I'm fighting the best guys in the world. I want to beat them and knowing that is the true accomplishment.

Q: Right now it's obviously not a problem but have you ever thought about traveling to train with high quality sparring partners?

A: I've considered it in the past and I may travel at some point but I do have Josh Jauncey and my brother Jacob who is a Boxer.  They are both elite level fighters and what I've been doing is working great for me.  I'm not sure what future training camps will hold but I do know I'm confident going into fights with my current sparring partners.

Q: Do you study lot of tape on your opponents or you just try to pick up a few key points and focus on yourself?

A: I study my opponents quite a bit. I like to know their strengths and weaknesses. But I also focus on my strengths as well. I also find watching vides of my opponents helps make me become more calm on fight night because I know exactly what I'll be up against.

Q: What did kickboxing/sports teach you about life, yourself?

A: It taught me strength and courage. There's no quick easy path to the top of anything.  It's hardwork and perseverance. And having completed that path and followed the slow long road to the top I know I can accomplish my other goals in life.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever got?

A: In regards to fight advice it was "whoever trains the hardest will win". That pushed me to really work hard and be in better shape then everyone else I'd be fighting. But after years of fighting I now believe "whoever trains the hardest and smartest will win”.