|By Eduardo Ferreira
Photo Josh Hedges
Former Pride middleweight champion, Wanderlei Silva return to training after a knee surgery and is anxious to return to the octagon. In exclusive interview to TATAME TV, “The Axe Murderer” hasn’t confirmed the fight against Brian Stann, but joked about the challenges fighters like Leben, Sonnen, Belcher and Marquardt made while he was out. “I’d like to say that you have to stop asking to fight me because I think I’m busy for about two years, 2011 and 2012 are full. Whoever wants to face me will have to wait until 2013”, Silva said, talking about Shogun Rua’s next fight, revealing that his protégé Vitor Vianna will fight ormer UFC champion Kevin Randleman, and more:
How are things in Las Vegas?
It’s great. The guys are really great, I’d like to congratulate him, the event had a good organization, there are some of my students competing today, and I could only come to the sparring training of my team today, I’m doing all movements and I’m working hard to see if I return soon. I’m anxious and waiting for things to happen and I can’t wait to return to the fights.
Are you 100% good?
My surgery was done a long time and I’m recovered, I’m doing a good strengthen work, working my stretching too, I’m doing everything so I can develop all my moves on a safety way so I don’t get injured again. It really isn’t nice having to go through a surgery each fight I do (laughs). I’m always returning, it’s always like that. All this thing of recovering and doing things all over again strengthen my way of fighting, I have an unusual way of fighting and I’m realizing it now. These 20 years of fight I have on my back are reflecting now, I’m doing a full repairman and I’ll comeback better.
There’re many guys wanting to confront you: Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen, Chris Leben… Dana White has made an announcement that you didn’t want to fight Brian Stann. Is it true?
Thanks God the line is very good for me. I’d like to say that you have to stop asking to fight me because I think I’m busy for about two years, 2011 and 2012 are full. Whoever wants to face me will have to wait until 2013. As for my statement, you’ll check it soon on www.wandfc.com (laughs).
When you’ll know this answer?
You’ll can only know this accessing http://www.wand.com (laughs). These are my “views”, I can only give you a little something (laughs). Yesterday completed two years of the death of master Helio (Gracie), and I’d like, in the name of all Jiu-Jitsu community, all fight community, to remember he was the one who idealized all this, he believed in a thing that existed, but not the way it currently is. He made it as it is and he’s a great example for all of us, I could learn directly from him, but I would like to have had more time with him, but it’s like people say: you get to know the tree for its fruits. Now I know how hard it is for one to bring his son to the trainings, I keep telling mine to train, but he’s lazy and I tell him to go, but the guy made his entire family to become what it is. He was responsible for Royce, Royler, Rickson… He’s the man. He thought many things not exclusively on the mats, and creating all this art, but he thought much about family, relationships. He really was a complete guy and I believe he set a great example to all of us. If you stick to what he said, you’ll get good results, you can see the results on his own family. I’ve just seen Rickson’s son submitting his opponent really fast with a triangle choke, he’s a black belt, I’ve never seen him in person, he brought the guy for his guard, scaled and caught him. He presented a great level of Jiu-Jitsu. I’ll stay here a little longer and maybe I’ll see him again in action. I’d like to congratulate the entire family, that has represented him in great style.
You and Chael Sonnen teased each other a lot on Twitter. You want this fight pretty bad?
It’s hard to tell, I don’t know what is his legal situation now, we’ll wait for his comeback after he solves all his issues. When you do something wrong, eventually it’ll come up. If you are betraying someone or being betrayed, you’ll eventually find it out or get caught. Sometimes we play with the wrong people, we are treated on a way, having people that support you and are always there for you, promotes you and tomorrow you want to mess up with this person. Why is that? It’s a thing that has to be studied because it’s not misconduct, it’s not a isolated happening. But if the guys misconducts, he’ll be like that with everybody, because it’s a personality skill. I’m going through a situation like that, I’m going through everything that an athlete can go through. I’m learning much about it and I’ll show it to you. I’ll tell you all about it when it’s solved, I’ll show you what this person is saying about me, I’ll show you what he said he was doing for me. Then you’ll say: no, I don’t believe that the guy said he did that to you (laughs). It hurt me a lot, I got really upset. I can’t be false, I’m too original, I say what I have to say. If I see an enemy right there, I’ll recognize it, I won’t go there and shake the guy’s hand. People don’t get it sometimes, but I can’t be false. I won’t play their game, I have my own way of being. Honesty, nowadays, is considered to be a good thing for a person to be. Be careful with the people around you and keep your eyes wide opened because these people may take something important away from you.
Shogun will defend his belt in March. You’ve always praised Shogun and recently said that, if someday Shogun wanted to become you, know you want to be just like him…
Shogun is a complete fighter. His Muay Thai skills are extraordinary, he is a wonderful fighter on the ground. Sometimes it ain’t that difficult to take Shogun down, but it’s really hard to keep him there. Lyoto won with a small advantage because he knew what Shogun would do, and Lyoto is great on the ground. So I think that Shogun will do great and will bring another win home.
Lyoto will face Randy Couture, and when you arrived here in American you trained with Couture, who’s uses much strategy on his fights, and Lyoto has a game that few can get. How do you this mashup?
I think it’ll be a good fight. I met Couture here and I told him that, it’s for things like this I’m his fan. A guy at his age fighting Lyoto… He’s crazy, man! Lyoto is fucking hard to face, he’s much technical. I think that if Lyoto had attacked twice more, he wouldn’t be on the dangerous position which he currently is after this fight with Rampage. He was more efficient, but on the two first round he should’ve attacked at least once more so that he’d win the fight. In the end I think he actually won. He just has to done a little bit more, he has to show his game more, he has to go for it because he has all the technique on his hands, he’s quick, he has the heart and everything else he has to own, I think he just have to try more. I’m sure he handles the job and he’ll knockout the guys like he used to.
Strikeforce will have a heavyweight GP now. When you hear the word GP, do you miss Pride?
GP is a different thing, man. I think they have the four good heavyweights, who brought the media’s attention to Strikeforce. The four athletes are complete and I think that if there was a favorite there, it’d be Werdum because he’s beaten all three others. He’ll face Overeem and I think he’ll beat the guy up. Honestly, I’m not sure that Fedor will leave Bigfoot behind, I really don’t know. Bigfoot is a tough guy and he’s huge and he’s not fat, he looks like a 170lbs fighter. He’s very professional and he’s fucking tough. I don’t know if Werdum will confront Bigfoot or not.
At your gym, the greatest bet is Vitor Vianna, and we also follow him for a long time. Do you believe that soon he might be on Ultimate? What he’s lacking and what are your plans for him?
2011 will be a great year for the athletes of my team, it’s beginning with our three best fighters: Vitor Vianna, Michael Costa and Jorge Lopes, and they’ll fight against former UFC fighters in an event here (in Las Vegas). Vitor will fight Kevin Randleman, Jorge Lopes will fight John Alessio, and Michael Costa will fight a guy that has 40 or 50 fights on his professional record, I can’t remember his name right now. They’ll fight on an event here in Las Vegas. Two will fight in April and Jorge’s fighting in May. Here the athletes can fight often, they’re able to show their work, because sometimes this part is difficult, to have enough events for everybody to fight. There’re many events here and they need athletes like you… There’s so much talent hidden. And that’s what I try to do: I try to give them opportunities for this talented guys, I try to make them fight, because sometimes with four or five fights you can change your whole life. That’s what happened with (Junior dos Santos) Cigano. He’s a talent that just came up out of nowhere. He has like twelve fights, but the last five or six fights that made him this big. If you beat five or six good fighters, you’ll change your life, right? And I want to give opportunities to these new athletes so that they show their work and someday reach my level, and also to teach the things I know, my technique, what I know about fighting and all of this.
What can the fans hope of you in 2011?
There’s so much they can expect from me (laughs)… I can talk for an hour just to answer this one (laughs). I’m training, I’m coming back, I’ve gone under a complicated knee surgery, it was even more than I was expecting it to be, and that’s why it’s taking me so long to return, but I’m 34 now, so it takes a little longer (laughs). I’m doing a good preparation, I’m back on the trainings, I’m doing strengthen work for a long time, and I’m much determined. With God’s help, I know I can have another title shot, to become champion again, then you’ll see the result of my determination. Every day I give another step forwards to my goal, and my goal is to be a champion again. Every day that I wake up, take my supplements, train and sleep early, I’m moving one step forwards my goal. Nowadays I’m much more determined than I used to be because I have to be like this now. I have all my background and I know I’m moving one step closer to be among the best of the world and that’s my goal. That’s what I’ll do this year, but the year’s only beginning, so I believe you should never give up on your dreams, go for it, because the only loser is the one who gives it all up. If you keep trying, someday you’ll give a show, but if you give it up or if you don’t even try, it’s hard.
I’d like to thank all the guys who send me messages via Twitter, on my website, in all networks. I like to thank all this good vibes you send me, you don’t realize how good is for me to get all this positive vibrations you send me. My Twitter is @wandfc, you can send me a message there if you want to, follow me on Twitter because sometimes I published some good things there. I’ve just remembered… My goal for this year is that: there’re so many guys who are mad about fighting, follow it, watch it, but they’ve never done one martial arts fight on their lives, so if you like fights and find it cool, look for a gym near your house, go there and say: I’ve watched Wanderlei’s video at TATAME TV, and he said I could come here and do a free class. Go there, take a class to see if the teacher is good or not, and if you like it, go and subscribe. But, at least, try it once. I’ve been having experience with many people that have never fought before, and they take one or two classes and they fall in love for it. You can be one of those. Through the martial arts you may reach your goal, that can be losing weight, learning how to fight, be a professional or just if you want to find a girlfriend (laughs). Now I’m married! So you can reach all your goals with the martial arts. I say that because it has changed my life completely, and on a good way. But the guys don’t get it. Martial arts are like college, you can use it as a profession, a job. And a pretty nice job, I’d say. Working with martial arts is pretty interesting. Go there, train… If the guy doesn’t let you train, send me a message on my Twitter, that I’ll talk to the guy because he has to let you do a free class, not ten, but one. A big hug for you all and God bless you.
Wand na TATAME TV: “Estou renascendo”
Reportagem Eduardo Ferreira, direto de Las Vegas
Foto Josh Hedges
Dias antes do UFC 126, a TATAME TV esbarrou com Wanderlei Silva em Las Vegas e aproveitou para fazer uma entrevista pra lá de especial com o ex-campeão do Pride. No bate-papo de 20 minutos, Wand falou sobre o tempo que ficou de molho para a recuperação da cirurgia no joelho.
“Tá f… Cada luta é uma cirurgia… Estou renascendo sempre (risos)”, brincou o Cachorro Louco, feliz com o retorno aos treinos forte em sua academia. “Estou bem feliz, consegui fazer os movimentos e estou ralando pra voltar logo… estou louco pra voltar para o circuito… Estou fazendo uma recauchutagem geral e vou voltar melhor do que nunca”.
Confira abaixo o papo com Wanderlei, que falou da importância da família Gracie, o número de desafios que ouviu no tempo que ficou parado, analisou a categoria dos pesos médios do UFC e elogiou o GP do Strikeforce, apontando o favoritismo de Werdum e comentando a luta entre Fedor Emelianenko e Antônio Pezão, que acontece no próximo sábado, apostando no brasileiro.
Na edição de fevereiro da Revista TATAME, que já está nas bancas de todo o Brasil, você confere uma matéria especial sobre os desafios feitos a Wanderlei Silva. Afinal, por que todos querem enfrentar o Cachorro Louco?