From Gong Kakutougi
Roberto Pedreira and Yoko Kondo
did you think about it?
Paulo: How is your impression of the fight between Sakuraba & Royce?
Vitor: It was a close fight, Royce
fought well, but Sakuraba exploited Royce's mistakes.
Royce wasn't fighting for a long time and he displayed courage and
technique, but Sak was able to fight taking advantage of the rules.
Paulo: Do you think the kimono is a
disadvantage in Royce's game?
Vitor: Nobody could say that. If Royce fight
without the gi, he could be have a worst
performance than fighting with the gi. Each fighter has a personal
characteristic, I guess regarding to Royce, the gi is
favorable to him.
Paulo: What was the biggest Royce
mistake with Sak?
Vitor: The no time limit
rule. It's not reasonable to have a fight with no time limit.
Sak waited the time go by and Royce get tired. Royce is a good fighter
and can win with the regular rules, he shouldn't
request special rules.
Paulo: Many fighters want to fight with Sak.
Who can defeat him, you think?
Vitor: When I fought Sak I had an accident
during the fight, I broke my hand. I want a rematch to display my game
properly. Sak is an outstanding fighter but he doesn't show so much
aggressiveness and disposition, his game is
grounded in the opponent's mistake. There are a few fighters that
can defeat him.
Paulo: . After you fought with him, did he
become better? If so, in which way?
He has become better but he plays his same old game. He hasn't fought
the best. He defeated Royce, Royler (a small guy),
Conan...I guess Sak lost the fight with Allan
Goes...He's an excellent athlete, nobody can take
him for granted, but from now on he's going to get tough fights.
Paulo: Who would win if Saku fight with Frank Shamrock?
Vitor: It can go either way, very close.
Paulo: Who would win if Saku fight
with Renzo Gracie?
Vitor: It can go either way, very
close. They are very good fighters, we will only know the winner after
Paulo:. After fighting with you,
Saku said "I want to fight someone stronger
than him." We have heard that you are very angry about this
comment. Is it true?
Vitor: If the fight would have
been easy to Sak, he would have defeat me by KO or
submission. I finished the fight with a baby face, despite of having
a exposed fracture in my hand since the 4 minutes
mark. You must be sure that if Sak had a
exposed fracture fighting me, he would fallen down slobbering.
He talks too much. When we have a rematch I will shut him up.
Paulo: How is your physical
conditioning today? Are you ready for a long fight?
Vitor: I have a personal trainer,
Paulo Caruso, for about a year. He's specialized
in training fighters. He adopts Russian Method. Everyday I'm training
hard in the morning in the dojo, and at the evening I go to gym with
Paulo Caruso. When I step in the ring I go for
the KO, but I'm ready to fight with the same
pace throughout the fight until the time limit. I'm in the best shape
of my life. I can fight wild for 30, 40 minutes or however it takes.
Paulo: What happened when you
fought Randy Couture?
Vitor: I was in a really bad
shape, I had a very big worm. It was a bad time. People
used to criticize when you fall down, but they must remember my victories,
how fast I am...It's easier to find people that wants to put you
down. Randy Couture was very well prepared, he deserve my respect,
he own the merits for the victory. My kudos for him.
Nevertheless I had brilliant victories, I was the
younger World Vale-Tudo champion, I was just
19 years old. Nobody can take it away from me.
People should remember it.
Paulo: There were rumors that your
romance with the playmate Marinara was the real reason of your defeat to
Couture. Is it true?
Vitor: It's a very personal issue,
it was disclosed by my former couch, Carlson Gracie,
but it's such a thing that he shouldn't have made these remarks. It's
my private life. When something goes wrong people used to search for
a reason, it's not fair.
Paulo: How was your recent
experience boxing in the Olympic trials?
Vitor: It was a great
experience. I fought a few tourneys in Brazil and overseas,
I went to Cuba and spent some time training and fighting. One week
before the trials I hurt my knee and I was not able to fight. It was
a pity. I fixed my knee and went straight to
Japan, defeating Gilbert Yvel. Not bad. It was
a gift of God. I'm happy to display my real game and to prove that I'm
ready to take new challenges. The best is yet
Paulo: You displayed a very solid game and good strategy against Yvel.
you study the best strategy to defeat him?
Vitor Belfort is a well rounded fighter, not
just a Jiu-Jitsu
black belt. I can exchange my
strategy depending how the fight goes. If Yvel
haven't stalled the fight, I would have knocked him out. He was smart
because he knew that he would be KO and he stalled to the fight last
the time limit.
Paulo: The recent boxing training
have improved your vale-tudo game?
Vitor: My boxing skills were
responsible for my success in the vale-tudo scenario.
I had a dream to represent my country in the Olympic Games. Vale-Tudo
fighters don't have public recognition so I tried to get this public
recognition in another sport. Only God knows what the future will
Paulo: What's going next?
Vitor: I had two more fights in
Pride by contract. I'm very happy with Pride, they
are making great tourneys. Pride should develop his market in Brazil
and specially in the USA. The sport will grow.
Paulo: A strong soccer club, Vasco
da Gama, is sponsoring you and many fighters.
Is it the beginning of a new era?
Vitor: I hope so. There are plenty
of fighters specially in the new generation that
must have some help to develop their skills. A big sponsor such as
Vasco da Gama will bring life to the fighting
Paulo: What is your expectation
about a rematch with Sakuraba?
Vitor: By the first time I had a
knee surgery 1 month before the fight and broke
my hand during the match. I will give my heart, my soul and my life
in the rematch. I will teach him a lesson. He talks too much. He will
learn to be just a little humble. My two cents.
Paulo: Do you think Sakuraba is
the best in his weight?
isn't the number one. There are plenty of great fighters that can
beat him in a good night. Nevertheless Sak is the
fighter in evidence today. In my opinion, the
best are: Frank Shamrock, Sakuraba, Belfort, Alan Goes, Bustamante,
Vanderlei Silva...We have great fighters in middle-weight
Paulo: Would you like to send a message to Sakuraba?
Vitor: Congratulations for the
good performance you used to display, you are doing
a good job representing your country. Don't
talk too much, be humble, you are not
invincible, give me a rematch and I will give you all you can handle!
Paulo: Would you like to send a
message for your fans in Japan?
for the support you give to the martial artists and the sport. Don't
use drugs, live your life healthy. Life is a
dream, don't let your dream die.