After surgeries and under suspicious due to the time off, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira proved at UFC Rio against Brendan Schaub he still has a lot to show in the octagon. And, even after the loss to Frank Mir, he wants a great performance. Five month off the octagon, since he had his arm broken by the American, with a kimura, the Brazilian gets to his duel with Cheick Kongo, on July 21st, in Canada, willing to show the defeat when he was actually winning the fight was an accident.
At the age of 35, the heavyweight told TATAME, on an exclusive interview this Thursday, that he’s keeping his game style and that his goal is to finish the fight before it goes to the judges’ score card for decision.
“As per use, I’m going for the KO or the submission. Kongo will do his best to knock me out or submit me, but I believe I have more weapons”.
Check below the complete interview:
How are you physically? Do you have any move limitations?
No. I’m doing fine. I don’t have any move limitations, but I want to be 100 percent when the fight comes. I’m feeling well enough to train and do my physiotherapy sessions, which is something I always do. I’m just making sure I’ll get there to mess around. I had a disappointment in my last fight against Frank Mir, because it was won and I had a bad outcome afterwards. I’ll try to keep my mistakes to a minimum now.
How do you evaluate Check Kongo?
I’m coming from a loss and so does he. Both want to win, but I’m not losing my aggressive side and I’ll try to finish it. I respect Kongo. He’s strong, dangerous at striking, comes forward, but I believe I’m better than him and that I can win.
Are you going for the knockout?
As per use, I’m going for the KO or the submission. Kongo will do his best to knock me out or submit me, but I believe I have more weapons
You’re fighting in Canada, stage of your defeat to Frank Mir. Does it have a special meaning to you?
No. I had a bad situation over there, so I want to come up with a different outcome.
Are you frustrated for not fighting in Brazil?
I wouldn’t have enough time to train for it. I’m getting back from an injury, but I would like to be there. It’s always good fighting in Brazil. I hope to fight here next. There’s always going to be a Brazil evento, so I wanna be available.
You’re coming from an injury, like you did before knocking out Brendan Schaub, in Rio. What is different now?
I guess it never stopped anyone. I’m in recovery, doing well with my body, organizing things at my gym, helping some friends out and taking care of my personal business, which I usually don’t have time to do when I’m on a training camp. I’ll try to be at my best shape.
You’re going to Salvador to help Junior dos Santos. In what way he helps you out?
I’m just going there for few days, but then i’ll come back when it’s closer to the fight. He’s almost there, he’s ahead of me on the preparation. I always go there and learn something from his agility, his Boxing trainings. There’re some Karate guys there and I guess it helps me to become faster with my legs. I get his will, conditioning and flow, because Cigano is great at that. He always helps me. His experience, his coups are helping me a lot this time.
Are there any plans of expanding your social project at Complexo do Alemao?
We want to make a project, we’ve even got to talk to Chatuba and Chatubinha. They both come from communities that need help. They have projects over there like Relma’s, but I guess that bringing names like mine, Anderson Silva’s and other professional names, we’ll bring much more attention to the project. Our intention is to create many projects in the city. Here in Rio de Janeiro we have Receiro with the guys from Terreirao. Next we’re going to Alemao and then other places. We want to help 300 kids in Alemao and a thousand at Recreio. Our final project includes 3000 kids.
And what about you at “Dancing with the Stars” (Brazilian version of the show). Is dancing easier than fighting?
(Laughs) I’ll try to do it, but I’m focused on the fight. I don’t hold great expectations about dancing. I guess it’s nice to show other side of me, which isn’t the fighter side. So, let’s see what happens.