, better known as "Cyborg,"
has a tough fight on Friday against Gegard Mousasi (Pictures)
at the Hardcore Championship
Fighting event in Calgary, Canada.
After that bout, the Chute Boxe athlete will fight twice in March
and has eight fights total already scheduled.
Sherdog.com recently caught up with "Cyborg" to discuss his busy
You haven't fought
since last April. What are your expectations about being back in
Last year was a
very bad year to Chute Boxe and to a lot of people who fought in
PRIDE. All of us lost our contracts without PRIDE. Starting now,
I'll fight under 84 kg [185 pounds], but for this fight, the
promoters asked us to fight under 88 kg. I want to fight a lot
because I haven't fought since April, but I kept training. Now is
time to start the year well. I think it will be very important to
the team if I win. We passed through bad times last year, but we
You were a light heavyweight,
and now you're a middleweight. What motivated your change?
It was a very natural
transition. My last fight was in April, so I've been cutting weight
slowly. When I was weighing 93 kg, I felt heavy, and it was
affecting my conditioning during the fights. Plus, the light
heavyweight guys have a longer reach. And if they're weighing 93 kg
at the weigh-ins, they stepped into the ring weighing 98 kg, while
I was weighing 92 kg without any diet. I thought it was better for
me to fight one class below because MMA is very competitive and any
weight difference can affect the result of the fight. I think I'll
adapt myself very well. My conditioning is better. My techniques
are better. I want to fight for titles in this weight division.
At the HCF you'll face Gegard Mousasi (Pictures). What do you know about him?
I saw his record. He is a very
tough guy. He has good Muay Thai, a good reach and he knows ground
fighting. This is the kind of guy I want to face because I want to
be among the top, and that's why I need to face good ranked guys.
It is a good match. He has been showing great performances. He has
five wins in a row, and the audience will be pleased by this fight.
This will be my first fight in Canada, so I want to fight well and
leave a good impression on people there.
You have a fight scheduled in
Sengoku, the new Japanese organization. Do you know who will be
I'll face Makoto Takimoto (Pictures), who defeated Murilo Bustamante (Pictures) last year. I'm focused on this
fight in Canada, but on March 5, I will fight against him. And
March 29, I will fight in Canada again, facing David Loiseau (Pictures). I have a lot of will to fight. I
have eight fights signed; I'm starting this year with a full
schedule. I love to fight, to feel the adrenaline backstage, to be
in touch with the crowd. I miss it all when I'm not fighting.
Chute Boxe went through hard
times since its main stars left the team, like Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) and the Rua brothers. Does this
affect your training?
Absolutely. We didn't miss a
thing -- they missed. I think that for their stars to keep shining,
they needed everybody who stayed here. Beto LeitÃ£o [Ruas Vale
Tudo's coach] was here once teaching us wrestling, and he said a
very interesting thing: "When a star shines, it can be talent from
the guy -- his own merit. But when a constellation shines, this is
not because of one single star, but it's because the whole team,
At Chute Boxe we have more than 40 professional athletes, and every
one of them helps the one who's on the main stage, preparing for
the fight. The ones who left the team opened spaces for the ones
who stayed, and everybody is working hard to prove that the team
didn't depend only on the guys who left the team. I felt offended
when people said Chute Boxe is over because three fighters left the
team. Chute Boxe has been there for 30 years, and now the guys who
remained here will have their own light. Now the team is more
joined than ever.
What are your thoughts about
your teammate Fabricio
Werdum (Pictures)'s last fight against Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) at UFC 80?
This victory was very important
to Werdum and to the team. We all knew that would be a very tough
fight and that Werdum would win. Their first fight was very hard,
at the Jungle Fight. I was talking to Luis Brito (Pictures), and we knew that the fight would
be hard, but Werdum is truly a warrior, and it made the difference.
He worked hard at the gym, training everyday like a workaholic. He
knew how important this victory was because he was coming off a
Everybody training was focused on him, to help him. He trained in
the gym from Monday to Friday and then he traveled to Porto Alegre
to visit his family. He was very focused on this fight; he was
hungry to win. Werdum overcame his bad moments. He improved his
Muay Thai, and you will see him better in his next fights. He will
be more calm and conscious about his striking skills. In that fight
he clinched, unleashed knees, found his timing. The fight was hard,
but he had a great spirit to beat Gonzaga. Now he must get ready
for his next fight. Werdum is a great person, and soon he will be
fighting for the title.
And to finish, what can your
fans expect from your performances in 2008?
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I think the people who like to
watch fights and are always watching us can count on a lot of will
to fight and a lot of determination. I'll always look for the win.
Everybody who will face me knows that they will have hard moments
in the ring. I hope my opponent gets ready for a war because as
long as I can breathe, I'll look for the win. The ones who fight in
my weight division, get ready because I'll go for a war. I won't
get lazy. I'm not saying I'll beat everybody, but I'll exchange
blows with everybody. You can count on it.