Hello Everyone! Carvalho here.
I usually never post in forums, but I felt the need to get some things off of my chest (This is actually the name that my brother posts under). Anyway, first and foremost I would like to thank everyone who has ever showed me any kind of support. Any words of encouragment always made me very happy and I appreciate it very much.
I have met some truly amazing people though this sport and the friends I have made will last for the rest of my life. This is one of the main reasons I love the sport of MMA so much.
Well enough of that:) I guess everyone by now knows that I am fighting Pequeno for the Shooto title and I see that a lot of people are pretty angry about this. I am well aware of the situation at hand. I very much understand that Gilbert Melendez is the number one contender and he should be fighting Pequeno for the title. I assumed as well that this was going to happen in the May card. In fact, I was training to fight in the next Iron Heart Crown card that is coming up in Hammond, Indiana on April 29. But to my surprise I got asked to fight Pequeno on May 12th.
Obviously I wondered what had happened to Gilbert and I noticed that he was now part of the Heroes tournament. This is why, I assume I got the shot as I am ranked number 2 on the Shooto ranks.
Gilbert, in my opinion, is right up there with Kid Yamamoto as the top dogs in the weight class. I don't dispute this. I watched him fight Rumina Sato at ringside. His perforamnce was very dominating. In fact, I held his friends camcorder and filmed the fight for him. I got to hang out with him and Jake Shields (who is super cool be the way. And congrats on the win at ROTR!) before and after the fights. Gilbert is awesome and does deserve to be a champion.
I don't know anything about Pequeno ducking him or whatever people are saying. I just know that the Shooto commission has a mandatory title defense for him and he needs to defend his title or I beleieve they will strip him of his belt. So I am very flattered that they asked me to fight him. I know a lot of people feel that I don't deserve this title shot and they feel that the whole idea is a joke and that my win against Sato was a fluke or whatever I have read on these forums. Fair enough, this is a public forum and you are all entitled to your opinions. The beauty of this sport is that the truth will always come out anyway.
If I truly fluked out then we will find out soon enough. Then everyone who said these things in the first place will just say : I told you so! and go and feel good about themselves because they were right all along. That is ok though. I know that no matter what happens to me I have my family and friends who will support me till the end.
If by some miracle I actually pull this one off, I am sure that Gilbert Melendez will be the first opponent for me to fight. He is the number one contender afterall and he was always ahead of me in the first place. I am not afraid to put myself on the line. I want to fight the best of the best. I don't hide from anyone. I wouldn't want to have a title like the Shooto belt (Which I value very much by the way) unless I actually fight the best (That includes Jeff Curran whom I lost to). I love fighting fo Shooto. Fighting in Japan in front of such a knowledgable crowd is the greatest feeling.
Anyway. Enough rambling. I hope everyone will at least enjoy the fight and may the better man win.
Antonio PATO Carvalho