An Interview with
Mario explains why Nogueira lost and what Brazilian Top Team plans to do
From Kami no Puroresu
2003 NO. 60
Interviewed by Horie
Translated by Yoko Kondo
Q: I am very sorry about the result this time. How do
you feel about it now?
Mario: Well, it often happens in fights, so therefs
nothing I can do about it. Itfs not because Minotauro neglected the
training or made a fundamental mistake. He trained really hard to win,
but it turned out to be this way. So all he has to do is just to make
use of this loss as a motivation to train harder.
Q: Nogueira took some pretty hard punches in the
fight, so I am worried about his condition. How is he?
Mario: He had a minor injury on his nose, but not a
big deal. He is resting today, but yesterday he went out for sushi,
which is his favorite food.
Q: Thatfs good. I closely watched the video
yesterday, and Fedorfs great punches astonished me again. Was he
stronger than you expected?
Mario: No, not stronger than expected. I expected him
to be strong, and he was strong. I believed that Minotauro would win,
but I also thought it would be a close fight.
Q: What do you think was the cause of Minotaurofs
loss to Fedor?
Mario: Itfs difficult to say it in one word, but
Minotauro lacked mental concentration when the fight started, and then
he took a very strong punch on the ground. The damage of that punch
affected his whole fight until the end.
Q: Is there any reason why Nogueira lacked
concentration in the early stage of the fight?
Mario: I have no idea. He usually keeps
concentration, so it is impossible for him to get a punch like that.
Q: There was no problem with the preparation, was
Mario: No way. Rio was in the middle of
carnival and the whole country was in festivities. But we were focusing
on hard training in the gym, so everything was well-prepared.
Q: It always happens in a fight with Nogueira that
his opponent is finished with his joint technique in spite of knowing
itfs coming. Why do you think Fedor could get away from it?
Mario: Probably Fedor studied about Minotauro very
well. Besides he originally had an ability to escape from it. And that
first punch. Everything considered, I think everything went wrong
because of that first punch.
Q: It means Nogueira was not his usual self after
getting the first punch, doesnft it?
Mario: Anyhow, Minotauro was not his usual self,
because Fedor, who was not tired yet, landed a punch on the face of
Minotauro with 100% of his power and a dry glove in the early early
stage of the fight, and the damage continued throughout 20 minutes. That
is the main cause. [Note: Nogueira's left hand was down, and Fedor
dropped a hard right on him.]
Q: What kind of strategy did you have originally?
Mario: What we planned was to make Fedor tired by
exchanging blows and to finish him on the ground. Minotauro trained for
striking much harder than usual for that.
Q: Then was it unexpected that he couldnft perform
well in standing?
Mario: He was originally great at standing technique
too, and he did enough training. But, getting such a big damage in the
beginning prevented him from putting forth the strength he originally
Q: This time Nogueira lost due to the damage he got
in the guard position which is his favorite position. Do you think that
he has to change his way of fighting from now?
Mario: We always should seek for a better way of
fighting. But so far as this fight is concerned, Fedor did a very good
fight on the top position, and more than that I want to emphasize that a
condition of Minotauro was not 100%.
Q: Nogueira beat Bob Sapp, who launched
powerful punches from the top like Fedor, with an armlock, but he lost
to Fedor. What was the difference between Sapp and Fedor?
Mario: First was the degree of damage. The damage in
the fight with Bob Sapp was not so bad as this time. But this time he
took a strong punch in the beginning and was also attacked continuously
without let-up after that, so he had no chance to recover. And also,
Minotauro could make Sapp tired in standing, but couldnft do it
with fedor this time. As I told you many times, it was because he
couldnft fight the way he always does due to the heavy damage in the
Q: But watching Nogueira continue to fight until the
end even under such a condition in both fights with Sapp and Fedor, I
felt anew that Noguira has a strong sprit.
Mario: That is what we have faith in, and it is the
first priority for us to fight to win with all our best until the end.
So I also continued to give him advice until the end, like gMake
a sweeph or gTry anything constantly.h
Q: As Nogueira continued to fight until the end, the
spectators applauded him too regardless of the result. How do you think
about his fight?
Mario: I always think that a loss for weak fighters
is just a loss, but a loss for strong fighters is a motivation to get
stronger. So I believe that Minotauro will show you a
"scaled-up" version of himself the next time he fights
in the ring of Pride.
Q: Is Nogueira already fired up for his comeback?
Mario: He says, gI want to go back to Brazil for
training soon.h But as his coach, I think I should let him take a
rest. He has fought with only strong fighters for the last two
years, so I think invisible damages have been accumulating. So my
plan is to give him a rest for relaxing, and then to make him start
training, and make him stronger.
Q: Well then, will defeating Fedor become a target
for the Top Team from now on?
Mario: Thatfs right for sure. We want to pay our
respects to Fedor who is a great fighter. And also we think we are very
lucky to meet a fighter like him. Minotaurofs loss brought us a big
target which is Fedor and a chance to become stronger. In that sense, we
think it is lucky for us to have been defeated by a strong fighter like
him. And we will continue hard training to defeat many strong fighters
including Fedor in future. That is the general intention of the Top
Q: I see. I wish the Top Team further activities in
future, and wish Nogueira his comeback.
Mario 's DVDs are still available and still worth
to Kakutogi Fans around the World except Japan exclusively by Global
Training Report (c)2000-2003,
R.A. Pedreira. All rights reserved.