Global Training Report
9, Oct. 2000
by Yoko Kondo
Why did you leave Carlson Gracie and form your own
were some inconsistencies in opinion on some points between Carlson
and us, and he expelled us. There were many things
we couldnft understand in his way of management of the team,
training for us, and business. He tried to get us
to sign a contract with a lot of unreasonable requirements, so we
rejected it. Then he announced on the internet that he was
kicking me, Mario Sperry, and Ricardo Liborio off his team. When I
said, g I want to thank Carlsonh, immediately after my victory in
UFC-J, one reporter asked me, g you seemed to be kicked off of the
Carlson team. What are you going to do from now
on?" We canft accept his way of doing this.
He should have told us directly on the phone. Anyway,
we had a problem with him from a long time ago. He didnft care about
our training for a long time, except for the time when a fight money
is very high. He came to Rio just before only that
kind of fight. Since Carlson is not in Brazil, the
team was always training in my academy [in Leblon] or De LaRivafs
academy [in Copacabana]. It is not our decision to
leave from the Carlson team. In some contracts
Carlson made, there was nothing written about his duty, but only the
duty of fighters. For example, it says that in case of a breach of
contract, the fighter has to pay $l,500 a month for the next 10 years.
After all some fighters left him following us and joined our
Vale tudo team, Alan Goes, Vitor Belfort, Carlos Baretto, Ricardo
Arona, Bebeo Duarte, Marcus Conan Silviera, Alex Negao, etc.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who is not from the Carlson team,
joined us. He was a member of the Ricardo De LaRiva
team. There are jiu-jitsu fighters in our team, so
we are going to participate in jiu-jitsu fights too. We are expecting
some fighters to make their vale tudo debut in future.
Did Carlson give his students a special training for vale tudo?
We did training for vale tudo together. He
taught us good techniques, but it was a very short time though. For my
previous fight, I had to go to his place in America. It was only for
two weeks. If I hadnft visited him in Los Angeles, he would not
taken care of my training at all. All the members of the team were
dissatisfied with this condition.
Did Carlson engage in the negotiation of the contract or fight
money as a match maker of the team?
No, he had never done any of it for the fighters. He was just a
trainer. The fighters had to do everything by themselves including
making a contract and the next fight. Most of us were hiring a manager
for that. So we had to pay Carlson for his work as a trainer and pay a
manager for the management.
Did the fighters pay Carlson something like a fee every month?
they did. But they didnft have to, if they
didnft have money. It is the same in my dojo too.
But it doesnft mean he has a right to get money from them in
future. It is just like a scholarship. All they
have to do is to work for Carlson in future in return for his favor in
such a way that they will teach his class for free. I had been doing
it myself for many years too. As Carlson lives in
California, we had been taking care of his dojo in Rio out of
gratitude. It would have failed, if we hadnft
helped it. Ricardo Liborio, for example, had taught
the lessons for free for three years in Carlsonfs dojo. Carlsonfs
students had been training in my dojo for a long time, and they tried
to pay me a monthly fee. But I refused it and told
them to pay it to Carlson dojo. I always had a lot
of respect and gratitude for everything Carlson taught me, but he was
not sincere to me and my team mates.
Well then, what are you planning to do with this new team?
Murilo: As I
told you before, our plan is participation in vale tudo and jiu-jitsu
What is the name of the new team?
Brazilian Top Team.
Where is your dojo?
Murilo: It is
in Leblon close to Ipanema in Rio. It is a
high-class area in the city. The dojo is small, but
the environment is good.
Are all the members of the team going to participate in Pride?
Murilo: No, it
is not limited to Pride. If there is a chance, we
will fight anywhere. We donft make an exclusive
contract with anyone. Each fighter can find the
best group to fight for him. But we come to an
agreement in that no fights if your condition is not well-prepared.
It is not good to fight only for money. We
stick to how we fight, and want to keep a high evaluation.
Q: Is there a manager for the team, or is each
fighter hiring his own manager?
fighter has his own manager. We might have one
manager for the team in future.
What is your plan as a fighter? Are you
going to focus on only vale tudo, or participate in jiu-jitsu fights
Murilo: I want
to do both. But vale tudo will be the main thing at
this moment. I am a professional fighter, and want
to make money.
Tell me your past record in vale tudo.
wins and one draw in seven fights. A fight with Tom
Erickson ended in a draw. Out of six wins, one was
by KO, one by TKO, and four by submission.
You have a very good record, but the number of your fight in
vale tudo is fewer than I expected.
are many good fighters, but there are few big tournaments.
Many fighters submit themselves to fight with a small fight
money. Some American fighters are fighting for
peanuts instead of money. But I am a fighter
earning a high fight money. I am an elite fighter
in vale tudo placed on a little higher level than the average.
So I wonft do it if the fight money is not enough.
Japan is leading vale tudo of the world now, and fight money is
very attractive. Since I was offered a very good
condition, I made a contract of three fights with Super Entertainment
and UFC-J in Japan. I am very satisfied with this
contract and the support by Japanese promoters.
When is your next fight?
Murilo: It is
scheduled on September. I donft know who will be
my opponent yet.
How long are you going to fight in vale tudo?
Murilo: When I
was young, I was thinking of my retirement at the age of 30.
I am 33 years old now, but I think I can keep on fighting at a
high level for the next few years. So I wonft
quit yet. What is important is to maintain the body
in a good condition and to keep on having a strong motivation.
Did you watch the fight between Royce and Sakuraba?
Murilo: Yes, I
did. It was Roycefs mistake in strategy.
It is ridiculous to fight in gi in vale tudo. It
is to Sakurabafs advantage. Moreover, he
shouldnft have fought with Sakuraba in a standing position.
If I were he, I would fight in a different way. Royce should
focus on more weight training to build up his muscle so that he can
get power. He has a good technique, but he should
build up more muscle and enhance body function. The
stronger body he has, the better fight he could do.
Do you want to fight with Sakuraba?
Murilo: I said
many times before, but absolutely I want to fight with him.
He is a great fighter. I like challenging. I
am not worried about if I can win or not. I just
want to fight with the best fighters in the world to show my
Do you think Sakuraba is the best fighter in the middle class?
Murilo: No, I
donft think so. He is one of the best fighters
though. He is most well-known, and in the spotlight
most now. Thatfs all. There
are many other great fighters in the middle class besides Sakuraba.
Q: If Sakuraba
fights with Frank Shamrock, who do you think will win?
will be a close fight. I canft say who will win.
What type of fighter do you think can defeat Sakuraba?
should be an all-round fighter, who can fight in a standing position,
has a good technique of take-down, and is good at the ground fight.
Did you watch the fight between Rickson and Funaki in May?
Rickson did well. But Funaki was not qualified enough to fight
with Rickson, I think. Rickson should fight with
someone with higher technique on higher level. Funaki
is tough and brave, but his technique on the ground was very limited.
Rickson should fight with the best fighters in the middle
class. There are many good fighters in the middle
class who can fight with Rickson.
Can I have a message to the Japanese fan?
Murilo: I have a great respect for Japanese philosophy and
self-control. It was a long time dream to fight in
Japan. Fortunately my dream came true. It
was a great experience. Japan is a land of birth of
warrior, and a country of great fighters. From now
on I would like to fight many times in Japan. Japanese
people are very polite and the best spectators for kakutogi