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Old 10-15-2009, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Wanderlei Silva Interview With Sherdog

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In late September, Sherdog.comís Marcelo Alonso sat down with Wanderlei Silva to review ďThe Axe MurdererísĒ MMA career.

Topics included the bare-knuckle days of the IVC, training at Chute Boxe, the baddest man heís ever known, whether Lyoto Machida is unbeatable and who he thinks will knock off Brock Lesnar.

At the time of the interview, Silva was training but not allowed to get hit due to a recent surgery on his nose. By now he is preparing for his next bout, which is expected to come against Yoshihiro Akiyama early next year.

Sherdog: How was your adaptation to Vegas?
Silva: Itís been two years that Iíve lived here. In the beginning it was really hard, but now Iím fine. Unlike most parts of the USA, we donít have too many Brazilians here, like in Boston or Florida, so I had to develop my English and try to build a new life for myself. When I arrived here, I first tried to live in West Palm Beach (Florida), but it was a new academy and I didnít have training there and I had my fight against Liddell already scheduled, then I decided to come to Vegas, where Couture welcomed me and helped me a lot in the beginning. Later I decided to open my own gym and I had a really hard time doing so because here you need to get permission for everything and I didnít speak English at that time. It was really hard. But building that academy was like making my dream come true, so I did everything I could to reach this goal. Thank God I was able to do what I want in the way I want. The American market is really fabulous, and Iím really happy with the result.

Sherdog: Who are your coaches here?
Silva: Rafael Alejarra, one of the best coaches in the world, helped me a lot in my last fight. Iíve been with him for a long time and heís my friend, but heís a great professional and showed me a lot of heart. Rafael Cordeiro and I have started a partnership with his new gym, Kings Muay Thai. Heís a very respectful guy and is becoming even more like a master, not only inside the ring but outside too. He always taught many lessons to me. He was by my side for the most important moments in my life, some hard times, when I was kicked out of the gym and had to look for another team, but he managed my return to the team too. It happened many years ago. I left the team and they helped me, asked to let me go back to the team, so I decided to go back and train there.

Sherdog: What do you have to say about your last loss to Rich Franklin?
Silva: I think I won this fight against Franklin. I did my best, and even the American fans told me I won. I got a little bit upset about that because I did a very nice show and I thought I won.

Sherdog: So when will you return to the ring?
Silva: When God wants. For the first time in 13 years, I stopped a little bit. Ö Iíll stop a little bit and get focused on my academy, on helping my guys. Develop myself as a manager and trainer. I opened two new classes where Iím teaching. Because anyone who wants to work in martial arts has to learn about all areas, and teaching is one of those. Thank God Iím seeing that outside of the ring can be as profitable as the inside of the ring. Actually, in my case, it doesnít even come close, but letís say I can make good money to pay the bills.

Sherdog: People in Brazil were really impressed after you invited Paulo Filho and Arona to train.
Silva: For sure. The times of rivalries are over, and when you come to live outside (Brazil), your patriotism grows. Which leaders wouldnít like to have Arona and Filho representing his team? My academy is open to anyone who wants to train. Iíve already received here names like Forrest Griffin, ďMinotauro,Ē Gilbert Yvel, Heath Herring, Werdum, Demian. So everybody is welcome here. Every Tuesday and Thursday I have an open sparring training where guys can come from (their academies) with their coaches from other academies. If I open space to people that I donít really know, for sure the doors of my academy are open to the new talents from Brazil or Japan. Actually Iím using all the promotion around my name here in the USA to promote the new talents who are coming from Brazil or Japan.

Sherdog: On Aug. 22 we had the opportunity to see you for the first time as a coach when your fighter Jorge Lopez defeated a student of Josh Barnett by unanimous decision. After such a successful career as an athlete, how do you feel about winning as a trainer?
Silva: Iím very happy Jorge is our revelation. This is his seventh fight. I told him, ĎWhen you have 15, Iíll put you in the UFC.í Today, besides him, we have a lot of new talents on Wand Fight Team, like Mike Whitehead, Vitor Vianna and other newcomers. Iím very happy that Iím able to pass to my students the winning philosophy that I received from my master, Rudimar, during my whole life.

Sherdog: After you left Chute Boxe, did Rudimar ever visit you?
Silva: No. Actually I would like to thank master Rudimar for everything I am. Iíve already told him that Iím waiting for his visit. I always teach my students to respect the master and I really respect my master.

Sherdog: How do you reflect on your IVC fights?
Silva: That event was unbelievable, one of the biggest in the world at that time. At that time, we didnít have Pride, and UFC wasnít as big as it is today. That was crazy, one 30-minute round. Ö I didnít kick my opponentís balls because I didnít want to, but they allowed that. (Sergio) Batarelli was a great manager and did some great fights, like Fabio Gurgel against Mark Kerr. A fantastic fight. Gurgel showed a lot of heart. ďPelťĒ fought against Chuck Liddell. That fight was awesome. Pelť almost knocked Liddell out. (Peleís) fights against ďMacaco.Ē IVC was historical.

Sherdog: Do you think it was an important stage to get the sport where it is today, or do you think, ďHow did I do this?Ē
Silva: I donít really care about being injured and all that stuff. I didnít have any fear or self-protection instinct, and thatís why I think my career is like this. I actually started my career when I was 13, and I became professional at 15. From 15 to 33, where I am today, I never stopped. I was always fighting four, five times a year, and now two or three. I never had free time, so now I gave myself that free time for the first time to take care of myself and return with everything next year. To tell you the truth, I stopped now because I have to, because Iíd to like to be back to training. Something I always say is that I love to train, and you have to be inspired to do it. Itís like making love: The man canít fake it. Sometimes itís good and sometimes itís not, and we canít fake it. And Iím like this: If I do something, I do it for real.
Link-
http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles...ei-silva-20349
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wanderlei must be trying to set a record for conducting the most interviews in the history of MMA...
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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IVC was so brutal. You had to be ruthless to win. That Kerr fight from the Smashing Machine is pretty raw. All those guys had monstrous oversized balls!
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Where did he talk about Machida and Lesnar?
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by js9234 View Post
Where did he talk about Machida and Lesnar?
Go to the link and there is a second page. Its a pretty good interview, and either the editing was kind or I daresay his English is improving.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Didn't realize there was a second page. Thanks

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Originally Posted by _redruM_ View Post
Go to the link and there is a second page. Its a pretty good interview, and either the editing was kind or I daresay his English is improving.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wandy, you're the man, but sorry, Franklin definitely won that fight.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Could someone post the second part of the interview? For some reason the second page won't completely downloand on my computer... Ugh.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sherdog: Looking back, how important was Chute Boxe to your career?
Silva: Chute Boxe is a champion maker, an exceptional team. Master Rudimar (Fedrigo) is a born leader. He has the power of finding the best of each fighter. Unfortunately for the team, he has a political career now, and Iím sure that heís doing a great job in Curitiba, helping all the martial arts, not only MMA. Rudimar was always a very busy man and did not always have time to lead the training, so Master Rafael (Cordeiro) used to do it for him. Rafael taught us a lot, formed ďShogun.Ē If you ask anyone there, everybody will say that Rafael is their master. Rafael is an exceptional guy, and he was formed by Rudimar, and thatís why we had some problems.

Sherdog: How does it happen?
Silva: At that time, we had a rivalry between athletes, but today the sport is more professional and we realized that we have to do partnerships. Ö This rivalry between martial arts and athletes doesnít exist anymore. Iím welcomed in any gym I go to, from muay Thai to jiu-jitsu. Some years ago I went to Roylerís gym, and he treated me very well. I trained with the guys there, and they were very good. It was an honor to go there. He was a visionary guy.

Sherdog: When you started fighting, who did you see as an idol?
Silva: Master Rafael. Heís two or three years older than me, and when I started, he was already a black belt. Heís very ugly, but he was famous and had a beautiful girlfriend, so it gave me hope that I could do well one day too. He was very good in fights and muay Thai, then he started in jiu-jitsu and did great too, then in Karate too. Heís very talented. I never saw a guy more talented in training or leading the training. Rafael was unbelievable. On the other hand, Pelť also inspired me. He was the baddest man I every met. I never met a guy as bad as he is. We had no way of training with him. He beat you up in training and didnít care.

Sherdog: You two got black belts together?
Silva: Yes, we got them with Nilson de Castro. Nilson is a great guy too, and I asked to train with him too because heís a great teacher. At the time we got the black belts, we didnít have gloves in the gyms. We slapped each other. He almost knocked me out at the black belt graduation. He kicked very fast, just like Rafael. I reacted and kicked him some times, made him scream, but he was great, just like Pelť.

Sherdog: Talk about this new Wanderlei, in the new stage of your career. Whatís the difference?
Silva: I think itís the new training mode, more focused, having to readapt with everything again. A fighter has to be recycling, being in a constant evolution. There are a lot of new guys, so you have to develop a lot to continue at the top. I will be back, for sure. Iíll show everybody that I can overcome this, that I donít do it for the money, that I do it because I love it. I have a lot of other business, but what I do is fighting. I love to fight. That adrenaline that you feel when youíre going to fight is unique. Fighting is in my blood. Of course I also do it for the money -- itís my job -- but thank God (thatís) not the most important thing today. I do it to make MMA bigger around the world. Itís a slow job. I go from gym to gym doing seminars.

Sherdog: Talk about your Web site for those who want to come and train with you.
Silva: My American Web site is wandfc.com, and now Iím going to create an Orkut, which is the biggest network in Brazil. I also have a MySpace here. Some guys created a profile for me, but I want to create my own and talk directly with my fans. If youíre here in the U.S. and need some help, come here and talk with me. Iíll help in anything I can do. I can find you a cheaper house because I know how hard it is to go to a place without knowing anyone. I know guys who own nightclubs and bars, where you can find a job. Iím here to help.

Sherdog: Something you said to me one day is that the place where you sign the least autographs is Curitiba.
Silva: Yeah, almost everybody there has it already (laughs). The people from Curitiba are very shy. Do you know what the guys from Curitiba do when they catch their wives in bed with another man? Nothing. Because they donít talk to strangers (laughs). But Iím well recognized there because I have a lot of friends and people that I know there because I lived in Curitiba my whole life. There are a lot of places in the world that I canít even walk on the street.

Sherdog: Where do you think youíre most recognized?
Silva: In the first place, Japan. Now here in Las Vegas too. Canada is impressive. In Toronto and Montreal itís something crazy. Thatís a huge market for MMA, and Iím going to open branches there, but I want to do exactly what I have here. I also think about Brazil because I want to help the guys here.

Sherdog: Talking about the globalization of MMA, Belfort was training with Minotauro and Anderson, and now he wants Andersonís belt. How do you see that?
Silva: I think that it depends on the way the teacher does. Ö About fighting each other, thatís something that is happening now, and itís complicated.

Sherdog: Who do you think can beat Brock Lesnar?
Silva: I think Minotauro. Minotauro is the man to beat Lesnar because he wonít fear him. He doesnít fear anyone, and heíll punish him standing.

Sherdog: Lyoto trained with you in the past. At that time, did you realize he had something different?
Silva: Heís lucky to be born is a house of fighters. He has his brothers, and he is, undoubtedly, a great fighter. Heís a cool guy, and I think heís a great fighter.

Sherdog: What do you think about his next fight, against Shogun?
Silva: I still think Shogun is one of the best fighters in this division. I think this fight is tough. Lyoto has great timing and works well, so I think whoever hits first will win. Weíre gonna see if itís the lottery or not. I think itís gonna be one of the best fights in the UFC.

Sherdog: A lot of people are saying that he is unbeatable.
Silva: No, no. Nobody is unbeatable. There are a lot of great fighters fighting around the world, and I donít believe the best fighter in the world exists.

Sherdog: What do you expect for your career now? For how long will the fans watch Wanderlei fight?
Silva: I want to fight the best, and I know Iíll be fighting the best. Even because with how much they pay me, they wonít put me against (just) anyone. I want to fight the best, teach my training method, help the Brazilian fighters who need to come to the U.S. I want to welcome them here. I want to create champions. I want to make my team bigger. Thank God in MMA we still have a lot of areas to explore, but I donít want this job to mess with my career inside the Octagon. No, Iím gonna get my camp together to start training for my next fight. Ö Iíll see what UFC wants from me, but I want to keep giving a show to my fans. Thatís what motivates me. Iíve seen around the world what the UFC has become. Itís like the World Cup final, and it motivates me even more.
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