Rafael Cordeiro started fighting, bare knuckle, in 1993, and retired in 1999, with a 4-2 record. In 2008 he emigrated to the USA, and in 2010 opened up Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, California. The 2012 and 2016 winner of the World MMA Awards Coach of the Year has trained likes of Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and Fabrício Werdum, among countless others.
He achieved perhaps the greatest fame of his stellar career when clips went viral of him training boxing legend Mike Tyson for an exhibition vs. Roy Jones Jr. on November 28. During a recent appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, Cordeiro talked about the experience.
“I was there and then he came like ‘Let’s do it,’ and I wrapped his hands and it was great to see the pure techniques. Everything you’ve seen on TV, I have an opportunity to see in front of me and it was great to see one of the best of all time in front of me show his skills, and I learned a lot.
“We worked together for five months, and I can tell all the time that I went there, I learned more than I taught because this guy is the history of the fight. When he talks about fights, he talks with feelings. … He lives for fights.”
Tyson appeared recently on the Joe Rogan Experience, and discussed being on the opposite side of the pads. Tyson said after the first mitt work session that went viral, he couldn't get out of bed for a week.
"Getting in shape and getting conditioned are two different animals," said Tyson, as transcribed by Sports Bible.
"They don't even belong in the same division of working out. Getting in shape is getting able to fit in your clothes. Being in condition is being able to come outside of your soul. You can't do that automatically. The emotional state to prepare for that is mind-boggling.
"Let me tell you something about [the first training video]. I did that video and I was in bed for a week. That was 30 seconds and I was in bed for a week. That was not funny because it made me realize that this is big boy s***."