Sports: Tell me about your training
at American Top Team?
It has been over one year I lived in
the United States, training at American
Top Team. My manager Alex Davis invited
me to join the team and I am glad. We
are a complete gym, with a great structure.
We have it all, all kinds of training.
We have a Wrestling specialist, Boxing,
Striker and also we learn Jiu-Jitsu
techniques with master Ricardo Libório,
who sometimes is like a father for us.
I consider American Top Team as the
best place for a real champion to be
MMA Sports: Tell me more about American
Top Team. Why do you think training
in there is so different?
I believe everything spins around friendship
and organization. We care about each
other and there is mutual respect. We
do not care about how much the other
made in the fight or if one of us gets
more attention from the media and fans.
About the organization, we do have a
tight schedule and we take it really
serious. So, in my opinion this is the
difference between American Top Team
and other academies.
MMA Sports: So, what is next for you?
Well, I do have a fight scheduled for
this July 26, at EliteXC, and it is
for the belt.
MMA Sports: If you could choose your
opponent, who would be?
Well, if I could choose, it would be
somebody good, like top ten fighters
rank. I have been waiting in line to
join this select group and my goal is
to see myself in the top three rank.
MMA Sports: There are some awesome
Brazilian fighters in this division
like Rodrigo Minotauro. In case you
fight him, how it would be?
Well, this fight has never crossed my
mind! Rodrigo Minotauro is a training
partner and more that that. He is a
personal friend. I’ve faced a bad situation
in England with my wife and daughter
and he was the one who offered me shelter
and took me out of there. I would rather
quit fighting than face Rodrigo Minotauro.
I wouldn’t be able to close my fist
to attack him.
MMA Sports: Could you tell us about
this bad situation in England?
I was hired to fight five times in England
by Brazilian Mario Sucata, who gave
me chance to debut abroad. Everything
was fine until I got a chance to fight
in Japan, at Hero’s. So my old managers
got really upset and decided to mess
with me, not paying for my last fight.
They didn’t pay for the flight tickets
and I had no budget to return to Brazil.
That happened because I met Aras and
signed to fight in Japan. So, was in
that time I counted on Aras and Rodrigo
Minotauro sheltered me and my family
and I am forever grateful.
MMA Sports: And about Fedor Emelianenko?
Would you like to fight him now?
Which heavyweight wouldn’t? I was very
anxious when he left M-1 and rumors
said he would fight at Pro Elite. I
finally saw us fighting in the ring.
But then he signed with other events
and this dream got a little farther.
However I have an opened contract and
in the meantime I don’t have the chance
to fight Fedor, I’ll train more and
more and fight to get more experience.
MMA Sports: Have you thought of how
you would defeat him? Have you thought
about a strategy?
He is the champion and he is a complete
fighter He already showed this before.
He proved he is a great fighter on the
top and also on the ground. So, I haven’t
though about a specific strategy to
beat him. It all depends on the fight.
As I said before, I am focused in the
heavyweight division and I believe someday
I’ll have a chance to face him.
MMA Sports: As soon you arrived in
United States doctors detected in you
some tumor… what was that?
Yes, in fact my body produces high levels
of some hormone called “GH”, which means
growth hormone. So I had no chances
but operate and remove the benign tumor,
which was responsible for this hormone.
Right now I feel good and only stayed
out of training for a few months.
MMA Sports: So, lots of people buy
hormone to develop muscles and grow
and you did the opposite?
Yes, kind of funny, right? I wish I
was like everybody and needed to increase
my physical with hormones, it would
be less expensive… but I am glad the
surgery was good and after that I have
already fought twice and I am living
the time of my life.
MMA Sports: How is life in US now?
Is it true your wife is pregnant again?
In the beginning everything was very
hard, pretty much because of the language.
But with time things get right, and
I am able to feel like home… you know
the city you live in. My daughter is
already speaking English and it is true.
My wife is pregnant again and she will
give me the second joy of my life.
MMA Sports: You said your daughter
is already speaking English... and you?
Oh God! I have to say it’s harder for
me. My little daughter says few words
in English and I have been here over
one year and I am still trying! I confess
I do need to practice more, but my time
is short out the gym and I rather stay
with my family. But I know it is important
and that’s why when I am at the gym
I try to develop my English skills.
MMA Sports: So, you weight 127kg...
is it hard to lose weight to fight at
Not really. It isn’t a sacrifice to
a heavyweight to lose 7kg. In my last
fight I did it really well. I just wore
regular clothes and did the habitual
sauna. So I had no trouble to lose weight.
Who knows someday I might be able to
fight at the 93kg division.
Really? Is that possible for somebody
André Benkei says it is possible,
but I was just joking around. I said
it would be my next goal and my friends
freaked out (laughs). I am focused in
the heavyweight division and I feel
like I‘ll do a lot in this division
during my career.
MMA Sports: Tell us about your past.
What you use to do when you lived in
In Paraíba I used to work as
a car salesperson. I started as an assistant,
but then people gave me a chance and
I became a salesman. Then I did some
bank security. I used to carry the money
bags inside the safe car. Thank God
I’ve never had to react to any robbery
when I was working.