Global Training Report
The Strength of Brazil
is the spirit of “Never Give Up!”
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Gong Kakutogi No.144
Interview by Inagaki Shu
Translated by Kondo Yoko
Presented by Global
Q: You looked very
happy that you got chocolate as a valentine present from your female
fans at an event called “ Valentine is Wanderlei”
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
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
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 “Rampage” Jackson in his Pride debut
on New Year’s 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.
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
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
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
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 “How 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
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
Q: Brazilian Top
Team and Chute Boxe were rivals at one time before, weren’t 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), aren’t 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....
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
Q: Don't you have any
intention to enter for the Grand Prix of the heavyweight class
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?
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
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.
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)
(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
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
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
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.
More GTR Interviews
with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Wanderlei Silva, see Interviews.
(c) 2004, Yoko Kondo. All rights reserved.
Training Report May 10, 2004