Global Training Report
Interviewed by Paulo
Vol.9, October, 2000
Translated by Yoko Kondo
With Brazilian Top Team
members Alan Goes and Vitor Belfort both vociferously demanding
rematches with Sakuraba, anti-Sakuraba feeling is rising in Brazil. Why
are they so preoccupied with Sakuraba? The Gracies are not the only ones
Q: What was your impression of the fight between
Sakuraba and Royce?
Alan: Royce is a very brave man. He is the one who
opened the door to this world by fighting in UFC. He has been criticized
severely such as he did fights with only unskillful fighters in the
early days, or he is already a past fighter like an exterminated
dinosaur. It is easy to criticize him outside the ring. It is harder to
fight in the ring than just saying that. And he fought. I will send him
my blessing. Sakuraba is also a good fighter. It is difficult to reach a
definite conclusion regarding that fight. Vale tudo is always
unpredictable. It was a great fight. Both Royce and Sakuraba are
warriors and they showed a great fight.
Q: Many fighters want to fight with Sakuraba,
but who do you think can defeat him?
Alan: Itfs me. When I fought with him, I squeezed
him strongly by choke and he gave a groan. But he didnft tap. Sakuraba,
who is relaxed in a fight, is more dangerous than a fighter who has a
strong urge to win. His way of fighting was improved after that fight,
but I made a lot of progress too. My striking and wrestling technique
have improved considerably. When I fought with him before, it could have
been my victory if it had been decided by judges, because I was the one
who controlled the fight. However, I never underestimate Sakuraba or
anybody. Once I step into the ring, I devote myself to the fight whoever
my opponent is, and I win at any cost. I always do my best, because I am
a professional fighter and get money from it. When I fought with Vernon
gTigerh White, he expected me to take him into the ground. So I gave
him a high kick as soon as the fight started. It was an unexpected
attack for him. I showed that I am not just a ground fighter, but I can
do punching, kicking, and take-down too. He watched out for only
take-down. He said after the fight, gHey, I thought you fight only on
the groundh. I said, gI knew what you were thinkingh (laughing).
Thatfs why I won. I could read his tactics, but he didnft know my
tactics. So I defeated his tactics by preparing for the fight with a
striker. I practiced high kicks 200 times and low kicks 400 times every
day before the fight. In fights it happens sometimes that a fighter who
comes up with better tactics will win, rather than a fighter who is
stronger than the other.
Q: If the rematch with Sakuraba happens, do you think
you can win?
Alan: I have a duty to support my family. When I get
into the ring, I think about my family. And I fight at the risk of my
life. I am prepared to endure pain. No matter wherever or whenever it
is, I will fight with Sakuraba. The promoter already postponed the fight
two times, but I think it is Sakuraba who wants the rematch, because I
am the one who took a lead in the first fight. It is Sakuraba who has to
prove that he can defeat me.
Q: How much famous is Sakuraba among kakutogi fans in
Alan: He is the most popular Japanese vale tudo
fighter in Brazil now.
Q: How do Brazilian fighters think about him?
Alan: He is thought to be a great and all-round
fighter. But I think there are some fighters who can defeat him.
Q: How do you think about him?
Alan: The more we fight, the better a way of fighting
is improved in terms of body, mind, and spirit. A great fighter can
improve these three with a good balance. His fight gets better every
time. And so does my fight. Ifm ready to fight with him any time. I
trained enough and I am stronger than before.
Q: Sakuraba said after the fight with Victor Belfort,
gI want to fight with a little stronger fighterh. I heard that you
were very upset about it.
Alan: Vitor made a mistake in his tactics. Sakuraba
was well-prepared for his punches and calculated that if Vitor canft
knock him out, he will be tired. Victor was not prepared for a long
fight. It was his mistake in tactics. Sakuraba studied Vitorfs past
fights and came up with the right tactics to win. On the other hand,
Vitor didnft use good tactics, because he thought he could knock
Sakuraba out. If, however, their rematch happens, Vitor will have a
higher possibility to win than before. Sakurabafs statement is a kind
of promotion, or he tried to make himself look stronger by saying Vitor
wasnft strong. He doesnft mean to insult Vitor, I think.
Q: Who do you think will win in the fight between
Sakuraba and Renzo?
Alan: I think it will be a close fight, because Renzo
has technique to make him struggle.
Q: What if Sakuraba fight with Frank Shamrock?
Alan: I donft think Frank will accept the fight
with Sakuraba. If it happens, Sakuraba will destroy him. Ifve fought
with both fighters, but Sakuraba was superior to Frank. I hurt a
ligament of my right leg during the fight with Frank, but I recovered on
the spot and kept on fighting. I can endure pain mentally and
Q: Sakuraba says that he wants to fight with someone
who he has never fought with before. So I think you have less chances
for the rematch with him.
Alan: I understand well what Sakuraba is thinking. I
also know he is afraid of me, because I know his weak point. I know how
to defeat him.
Q: Do you have any message to him?
Alan: There is an old proverb saying that even an
ignorant man can pretend to be a wise man among mutes. Sakuraba talks
too much. If he fight with us, he will change his way of talking. I am
ready for the fight. Come on any time you want.