With the semifinals of the Pride GP Open Weight tournament, Chuteboxer Wanderlei Silva wants a new belt in his hall. After taking the Pride Middleweight belt and Middleweight belt, one of which now belongs to his teammate Mauricio Shogun, Silva is close to getting the most desirable belt of the year:
With the semifinals of the Pride GP Open Weight tournament, Chuteboxer Wanderlei Silva wants a new belt in his hall. After taking the Pride Middleweight belt and Middleweight belt, one of which now belongs to his teammate Mauricio Shogun, Silva is close to getting the most desirable belt of the year: The Open Weight belt. To reach the belt, Silva has to defeat an old friend from Croatia, who in 2002 drew with him once before in a modified Pride rules bout, and then face the winner of the Rodrigo Minotauro vs. Josh Barnett fight to claim the belt. Wanderlei believes the Pride fans will have a Brazilian final and he explains why, next!
MMA Ring Report - How is your injury? Did you enjoy the announcement of the brackets for the Pride GP Open Weight?
Wanderlei Silva - I can tell you I am full recovered. The last time I suffered a cartilage fracture, but I am feeling fine now. About the brackets, I think it was a good choice. I wanted to fight Cro Cop a while ago. By that time he asked for special rules and in my opinion I won that match. It will be a great striking fight and I am sure I will run into the final match. I am very confident I will win.
MMA Ring Report - So, you met Cro Cop in 2002, at Pride 20
Four years later
what do you think about his game?
Wanderlei Silva - No doubt Mirko Cro Cop is a different fighter, and so do I. He knows how to put you down and then he has learned a few tricks with Brazilian grapplers. He is far more dangerous and thats why I think it will be a great fight.
MMA Ring Report - Fans around the globe were hoping to see you against Brazilian Rodrigo Minotauro in the semifinals of the tournament, because that way both of you would be rested and not potentially injured, which could be the case if you meet in the finals, what do you think about that?
Wanderlei Silva - I can tell you
fighting Rodrigo Minotauro in the semifinals would be better
he is a tough fighter and I am sure the first fight will be the difference of who will take the belt home. Who leaves the semifinals less injured will have an advantage. I think Minotauro will not be defeated by Josh Barnett
and in case we meet, fans may expect a beautiful fight, no matter what happens.
MMA Ring Report - You said you trust Rodrigo Minotauro will win this bout. What advice would you give to him?
Wanderlei Silva - To be honest with you, I havent watched a complete fight tape of Barnett, but if I had to advise Minotauro, I would say to him to use his fatal triangle choke. I think its a great shot. I think the fight-world has a lot to gain with the fight between me and Rodrigo Minotauro. It would a great promotion for Mixed Martial Arts in Brazil and also around the globe.
MMA Ring Report - Who is the favorite to win this title?
Wanderlei Silva - I am sure Pride has gathered together the four best fighters of the competition and whoever leaves the ring with the belt will have done a job well done. I hope God looks for me when I am at the ring.
MMA Ring Report - How is your training going at Chute Boxe? Is there is any special training for this GP?
Wanderlei Silva - Well, I do have to train everything
because I will fight a striker and then I have great chances to fight a ground specialist. So, my only advantage is I am lighter and I am faster then both of them. By the way I like to fight taller and heavier guys then me because when I hit them in the chin, their fall will be higher. This is the thing of the show!
MMA Ring Report - In your trip to the United States
you challenged Chuck Liddell at UFC with a misunderstanding "F" word
what was that?
Wanderlei Silva - I didnt mean that (laughs). It was a mistake. I am learning to speak English and in the backstage I was training with my crew to challenge him. I did repeat several times, but once I stepped the octagon and saw the audience booing me
its too much pressure. I like to challenge my opponents, I am a challenger, but I ended saying the "F" word
it was meanness. Well, in the end it was great too! (laughs)...
I like fighting at UFC and in my opinion, every fight is a different fight and does not matter if is held in the octagon or in the ring. The difference at this time, is I will be able to use my elbows against Liddell... and I will lock him up in one of those corners and only his fallen body will leave the building. I will smash his face! But he first has to defeat Renato Sobral, and I dont think he will be able to do it"