Belfort Arona and Royler Interview

not sure if this has been posted here or not.

Vitor Belfort

By Alexandre Lobo

Getting back to home!

The deal is not closed, but he feels like getting back to his home. Vitor Belfort doesn't give details about the negotiation, but this week the former UFC's Light Heavyweight champ will be in Rio de Janeiro to set the last details with the Brazilian Top Team head members. In an exclusive to, Vitor explains why he decided to return to his old team, talks about the future of his own team (VB Team) and he comments about the critics he got due to his loss to Randy Couture at UFC 49.

You're scheduled to talk with the Brazilian Top Team guys two weeks ago and you didn't go. In the end, are you returning or not to Brazilian Top Team?

I didn't sign the contract yet, but this week I'll be in Rio de Janeiro to solve the last details and do my first practice on this return.

Tell me about the contract. You live in São Paulo. Are you moving back to Rio or you will go their just to train for specific fights?

That's what we've discuss yet. There are few things to set, but I can guarantee that VB Team continues as a team. I've a gym here in São Paulo, I'm opening another one in November and I'll not abandon them. This is not a problem. I opened the team not to compete against any team. I'm just putting the first seed for a better future, after I stop fighting. VB Team continues here and on the contract I'm negotiating to be a BTT partner here in São Paulo. Probably BTT will be also the agent of our fighters.

But why did you decide to get back to Brazilian Top Team?

I've many problems with my coaches on the last days before the fight against Randy Couture (UFC 49) and this bothered me a lot. I've many friends at BTT, I love this team and I'm sure they'll bring me to a good place to practice, without problems. All I need is to be ready for the next fights. I just want to be focused on my preparation.

Many people say you didn't have top fighters to train with on VB Team.

Sure, this was a problem. No one works alone. On BTT I'll train with some of the best fighters of the MMA world.

TATAME #103 brought "Unrecognizable" on the title of the UFC 49 report. How did you get this criticism?

Ricardo Arona

By Alexandre Lobo

Ricardo Arona couldn't forget his loss to Quinton Jackson on June 20th Pride edition. Not only because he is out of the title bout against Wanderlei Silva, but also due to the way that it happened. According to him, during the slam Jackson hit him by huge headbutt and that fight might be called no contest. Mad about facing both of them in the future, Arona will watch Silva vs Jackson bout without expectations about the winner. According to him: "the Middleweight belt doesn't belong to Wanderlei neither to Quinton Jackson. This belt was made for me and I'll prove it"

On October 31st, Wanderlei Silva will put his Middleweight belt in dispute against Quinton Jackson. You fought Jackson once and, for sure, you know Wanderlei's game. What are your expectations about this fight?

It depends on the moment. On their first fight, Jackson did a huge mistake, presenting a very limited game. The fighter might to be prepared for any situation inside the ring. After that punches sequence that got him dizzy, he continued fighting on the feet and then he got some knees. He had to take that fight to the ground, to pulled Wanderlei to the guard. Nobody is hit by 14 knees in a fight! This was an incredible mistake! Truly, he lost by his fault, not by Wanderlei's. He had many ways to escape from the knees.

So, if Jackson has prepared himself better for this fight.

Well, if Jackson goes to the ring having self-confidence. but not only on his speech, because he loves to talk. You know what? I don't care about it. In the past I had some business to "discuss" with Wanderlei. But Quinton Jackson crossed my way doing what he did on that fight. From that time, I want both. I don't care who will take this title. I want both and make this clear.

How are you after being pulled out of the belt dispute?

I've got very sad, but not due to my performance, because I was doing a great fight, surprising him on the feet, where he does better. Truly, the way that fight ended made me sad. What he did was wrong and that fight might be called no contest. When he slammed me, he hit me with a huge headbutt that made me dizzy.

After the fight you disappeared.

I was recovering myself from some injuries. When I faced Jackson, one of my knees was injured. During this recovering time I was also waiting for the Pride announcement of my next fight.

Do you fight next October 31st?

I guess so, I'm training badly and I'm already on the fight spirit. I just need to know who I'll be fighting to get focused on him and step on the ring to give a great show.

Behind the scenes people say Pride will launch another Middleweight GP next year. Will you be there?

I hope I can do great fights to be invited again. As it happened this year, when I was chosen after a big draft between the best fighters in the world. That made me very proud and I want to prove to everyone I can take this category. The Middleweight category is on wrong hands. The Middleweight belt doesn't belong to Wanderlei neither to Quinton Jackson. This belt was made for me and I'll prove it"

You're ADCC's superfight champ and the tournament returns on 2005. Are you still thinking on you superfight against Dean Lister?

I've to fight MMA twice before it. But, anyway, I think on Abu Dhabi every day, watching tapes, studying, reading magazines. I'm starting to breath Abu Dhabi to take Dean Lister and do a great superfight. I'm four time ADCC champ and I'm going to my fifth title, what would be a record in the tournament. It's very important to me and I want to keep the belt with me.

Royler Gracie

By André Araújo

Royler back into MMA in Hawaii

Back into the rings, after being defeated by Japanese Genki Sudo in last May, at K-1 Romanez, Royler Gracie gets ready for a new challenge. This time inside the Hawaiian ring of Rumble of the Rock, Royler will have in front of him an old friend: local Baret Yoshida. Royler and Yoshida already faced each other in the final of Abu-Dhabi and, by that time, the Gracie was the winner. Now Royler wants to confirm the job under MMA rules during the event, which happens on next November 20. Check out the Gracie plans bellow, during a interview conceded to team TATAME.

What do you expect for this bout?

I hope for the best. I have been training hard and I want leave Hawaii with a victory.

In your last bout, against Genki Sudo, you've complained about having not enough time to get ready. How it did happen this time?

This time something unseen has happened! They gave some time to get ready. We've closed this bout and there is a month and ten days to train. As I have been training hard for the last three months, I am felling confident.

Do you know his MMA game style?

I've already faced Baret Yoshida in the final of Abu-Dhabi and I know he is very skillful and dangerous on the ground. He likes to catch some arms and applies triangle chokes. But unfortunately I don't know his game on the feet so much.

So, do you think the fight probably goes to the ground?

Not necessarily. It might go to the ground or it may be solved on the feet. Once I don't know his MMA game, I want to watch some of his fight tapes and study his game before the bout.

You do keep your Boxing training with Cláudio Coelho. Can we expect a Royler exchanging punches on the feet?

My Boxing is great, but my goal is not that. I do feel very confient on the feeet game, but everybody knows I'm not a striker. I don't intend to KO him, but if he stands in front of me I might apply a KO...

You jointed last Abu-Dhabi... are you gonna join the trails for 2005?

I must be there... I don't think I will need to dispute a trial. I also got in touch with one of the organizers. For a while I am focused in beat Baret in Hawaii

Once you are going there, are you taking your surfboard?

No... They have one for me in there. I'm so focused on this training that I haven't been thinking about surfing. I hope I do a great bout. As I come from a bad result, I think its time to show some good results...

So are you looking for redemption?

Not at all! Winning or losing belongs to fighter's daily routine. It only happen to whom stapes inside the ring and fight.

Great interviews! Thanks for posting them.

thanks good read

lol@making Royler go through a trials to enter ADCC.

Good stuff for Belfort, those guys will definitely bring out the potential in Belfort if he sticks around BTT for long enough.