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Global Training Report 

Special Interview

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The Strength of Brazil is the spirit of gNever Give Up!h

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 

and 

Wanderlei Silva

Gong Kakutogi No.144

April, 2004N

Interview by Inagaki Shu

Translated by Kondo Yoko

Presented by Global Training Report 

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Q: You looked very happy that you got chocolate as a valentine present from your female fans at an event called g Valentine is Wanderleih

Silva: I was really happy to get chocolate from beautiful ladies. (smile) I appreciate Japanese fans for their favor given to  me all the time. 

Q: Mr. Nogueira, did you also get chocolate from your female fans?

Nogueira: No, I didn't. I don't like chocolate so much. I'm often presented with clothes or other things though.

Silva: No, no. Chocolate, unlike clothes, is given to only a cool guy. (laugh)

Nogueira: Ha, ha, ha. (laugh)  Give me a break!

Q: By the way, how was the fight with Mr. Minowa yesterday?

Silva: What shall I say,,,,,,, It was  like that it finished in one moment. I was well-prepared enough to fight even for 20 minutes, but it was over so soon.

Q:  Mr. Minowa has been training in Brazilian Top Team, so I think Mr. Nogueira was supporting him as a training member. What kind of impression did you have about it?

Nogueira: I certainly was  supporting Minowa, but Wanderlei did a good fight. His move was good from the beginning, and his punches on the ground were very strong too. 

Q: I heard that the members of Top Team objected to his fight with Mr. Wanderlei because it is a little early for him.

Nogueira: That's right. Minowa had a fight with Quinton gRampageh Jackson in his Pride debut on New Yearfs eve, and his opponent this time is Wanderlei who is too tough for Minowa yet. So we were saying that he had better not do it.

Q : For Minowa, it is his second consecutive fight with the strongest fighters in the middle weight class of Pride, wasn't it?

Nogueira: Indeed. But Minowa insisted on doing  it.

Q: Mr. Minowa had been eager to fight with Mr. Wanderlei since he was in Pancrase. So when he had an offer this time, he might have thought that it is a chance now or never. His comment before the fight was introduced in the monitor of Yokohama Arena too.

Nogueira: Certainly. 

Q: How did both of you find Mirko's fight yesterday?

Silva: I think it was not as easy for Mirko as it seemed, and Yamamoto could have done more than what he actually did. Unfortunately Yamamoto got a thumb in the eye so the result turned out to be like that. 

Nogueira: I've known Yamamoto since he was in Rings. He is a good fighter, but his level is too different from Mirko's. So it was a tough fight for Yamamoto yesterday. 

Q: Mr. Mirko says that he wants to fight with Mr. Nogueira either in the opening tournament of the Grand Prix of the heavyweight class  in April or in the semi final match in June in order to take revenge on Mr. Nogueira as soon as possible. 

Nogueira: I  fought Mirko just a little before, so I don't have a special feeling that I want to fight him right now. But it is OK with me to do it in the final match of  the Grand Prix. 

Q: I heard that Mr. Nogueira met Mr. Wanderlei at the recording of TV before the fight with Mirko, and there you asked for advice to Mr. Wanderlei regarding the fight.

Nogueira: That's true. I had thoroughly studied Mirko's fights by watching the videos. Among those it was Wanderlei who did the best fight. No matter how many times he got middle punches, Wanderlei never dropped his hands down from his guard for the head and kept on moving all the time. These two became a clue to my fight to come. So when I met Wanderlei at the recording of TV, I asked him gHow was a Mirko's body punch? Is it endurable?"

Silva: Right.. So I said, "his punches are pretty strong, but you can endure them. But don't never get his high-kick to the head." But Minotauro performed great in the fight with Mirko. Especially his finishing  in the second round was fabulous. 

Nogueira: Thank you. (laugh) It was very helpful for me to take advice from Wanderlei before the fight. 

Q: Do you have time to talk to each other?

Silva: In Brazil, I live in Curitiba in Parana State and Minotauro lives in Rio. They are far from each other, so we have more chances to talk in Japan than in Brazil.

 Q: Brazilian Top Team and Chute Boxe were rivals at one time before, werenft they? But now is there no hostility between them any more? 

Nogueira: Personally I don't have such a feeling of hostility. Naturally there might be antagonism against each other in the ring as a team, but when we are out of the ring, such a feeling is gone. 

Silva: Exactly right. Of course, we have a sense of rivalry with each other because Brazilian Top Team and Chute Boxe are the best two teams in MMA of Brazil. But we are professionals, so once we are out of the ring, we have friendly relations with each other. 

Q: Mr. Nogueira, you are working as a referee in VT tournament sponsored by President Rudimar (head of the Chute Boxe team), arenft you?

Nogueira: Yes I am. I go to Curitiba without fail when a member of Top Team enters for a tournament. Even if nobody enters, I go there and act as judge for free.

Q: Free? Is it true?

Nogueira: Ha ha ha.... I'm kidding. 

Silva: Ha ha ha (laugh)

Q: There were three matches including Mr. Wanderlei performed in "Bushido Part II" yesterday in the form of Shoot Boxe vs. Japan. What do you think about the fight of Jadson Costa which was his Pride debut, and the fight of Shogun?

Silva: It was for the first time for Jadson to fight  in such a big stage, so he was pretty nervous. I don't think he could fully show his ability because of that. I feel sorry for that. As for Shogun, as he has already done many fights in Japan, he could defeat Gono in a good way without tension. 

Q: Don't you have any intention to enter for the Grand Prix of the heavyweight  class  this time?

Silva: Oh, I've just won the Grand Prix of the middleweight class...... Well, I'll think about it when I go back to Brail. 

Q: The first Pride Grand Prix was held in the form of no-weight-limit. You entered the reserved match then, didn't you Mr. Silva? You fought with Yvel or Mirko after that, so I think you could do well even in the heavy class. 

Silva: I was not well-known so much yet in Japan then. But now everything is different. I have the title of the middle class and I've had the title of the Grand Prix of the middleweight class too. Entering the Grand Prix of the heavyweight  class here will cost me a high risk. Considering all of it, I can't make up my mind so easily. 

Q: Certainly. Besides you have had no-loss for three and half years.  That is  amazing. By the way, you said after the fight yesterday that you wanted to fight Kondo next.

Silva: When Kondo won over Mario [Sperry] in the event on New Year's eve, he challenged me to a fight. I make it a rule to knock out people who challenge me. Sooner is better. So I said, "I want to fight Kondo next."

Q: You want to do it as soon as possible........

Silva:  Right. If possible, I want to fight right now. As I said before, I don't like to be challenged. It is against my nature to leave it when a challenge was put under my nose. 

Q: When I interviewed you in the last issue, you said that you hadn't watched the video of the fight between Kondo and Mario yet. Did you watch it after that?

Silva: No, not yet. 

Q:  Have you watched any of his fights at all?

Silva: No. 

Q: But you will watch it before your fight, won't you? Do you have any information  about what kind of fighter he is?@

Silva: No, I don't care about at all what kind of fighter he is, and I don't feel like watching his video either.  Generally I don't like to watch the video of my opponent before the fight. So I don't think I will watch Kondo's video.

Q: I see. Kondo's advantage is knee strike like you, and he knocked out Saulo Ribeiro, a jiu-jitsu world champion, with a knee strike in a few seconds in Colosseum 2000.

Silva: Mmmm, is that so? But nothing bothers me at all. If his advantage is knee strikes, I will attack him with knee strikes too so that he could see what a real knee strike is.

[Note: Readers who are interested in knee strikes might want to refer to Khao-Ti, concerning Muay Thai knee strikes and how to defend them.]

Q: Kondo is a striker just like you too, so I guess that it would probably become a striking fight with much excitement which heats spectators up.

Silva: That sounds good. I like to fight a man who comes to attack from the front with punches. I'm very looking forward to fighting with him. I think I will show who is a real man.

Nogueira: (smiling)

Q: Mr. Minowa, who you knocked out yesterday, was originally a team mate of Kondo in Pancrase.

Silva: Is that so? Oh, I'm sorry for him.

Q: Mr. Nogueira has a high possibility to  be the winner of the Grand Prix of the heavyweight class this time. If you win, do you feel like fighting  with a king of the Grand Prix of the middle class?

Silva: I can't think about it yet now.  But there is a possibility to fight in future. Of course it depends on money, though. (laugh)

Nogueira: Hahaha (laugh), "depends on money!" It's just like Wanderlei. However, money is important of course, isn't it?

Q: Mr. Nogueira, if it happens to fight Wanderlei, do you think he will be a strong  opponent for you to fight?

Nogueira: Yes, I do. I respect Wanderlei very much, and I think it will be a hard fight if it happens. But it would be a good experience for me as a kakuto fighter.

Q: Who do you want to fight with in the first match of the Ground Prix?

Nogueira: Well, I have nobody special in my mind yet, but I want a rematch with Fedor by the end. 

Silva: When you fought Fedor, Minotauro didn't seem to be in a good condition.

Nogueira: No, my condition was a little bad. It can't be an excuse for my loss though. If I fight Fedor again, I will show a  much better fight than before for sure. 

Q: Well then, do both of you, who are standing on the top of kakutogi in the world, have any advice to young Brazilian kakuto fighters who will aim at the world from now?

Nogueira: Technique is necessary in kakutogi, but I think there are many fighters with technique in Brazil. Thus, I want to tell them that not only technique but also the strength of heart is important. It is very important to fight with guts and to have a strong intention to win. I'm afraid that the number of  fighters with a strong heart seems to be decreasing. But if they fight with the heart, spectators can feel it. As a result, it will be a good fight for sure. That's why both champions of Pride are Brazilians now. Both Brazilian Top Team and Chute Boxe are the teams gathering fighters only with a strong heart.

Silva: That's right. And not only to win but also to attract people is also very important in fights. So I think each fighter has to perform an attractive fight as if he himself becomes a promoter. It will make spectators happy too. He himself will grow up too by doing it. And as Minotauro said, the strength of heart is very important too. It is difficult to make a living from only sport in Brazil. That's why we are fighting with a heart of "never give up" no matter how hard a fight would be. 

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More GTR Interviews with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva, see Interviews.

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(c) 2004, Yoko Kondo. All rights reserved.

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Global Training Report May 10, 2004

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