MMA News Written by F. Machado
Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Brazilian Top Team fighter Paulão Filho spoke to the MMA Ring Report staff a month ago about who he felt would be his staunchest opponents at the Pride Welterweight GP, held last June 4, at Saitama Super Arena, in Japan. He was right about giving his best and defeating Gregory Bouchelaghem and then, stepping forward into the second phase of the competition.
Brazilian Top Team fighter Paulão Filho spoke to the MMA Ring Report staff a month ago about who he felt would be his staunchest opponents at the Pride Welterweight GP, held last June 4, at Saitama Super Arena, in Japan. He was right about giving his best and defeating Gregory Bouchelaghem and then, stepping forward into the second phase of the competition. He was wrong about his predictions on who else would join him in the next round. The favorite fighters, in his opinion, to reach the finals were, his teammate Murilo Bustamante, and Chuteboxer Murilo Ninj, both of whom were eliminated in the first round by Amar Suloev and ATT sensation Denis Kang respectively. Now a confident Paulo Filho is ready to bring the belt to the Brazilian Top Team headquarters, in Rio de Janeiro. "I may become champion and win everyone easily. They know that!" threatened Filho.
MMA RING REPORT - Last time you talked about the favorites to the title and you pointed out Murilo Bustamante and Murilo Ninja
what do you think about their losses?
PAULO FILHO - Well, talking about favoritism is something really hard for me. I personally got shocked after my teammate Bustamantes fight. Seeing an athlete from your team losing just before your own fight is not very good. But about his fight, I didnt like how it had finished. The man won in an opportunity he had. Bustamante dominated 90% of the fight and what happened was a fatality. He was doing really well during the whole fight, but that was the blow that decided the bout. About Ninja, I wasnt expecting that coming, and either was he! But about the winners, who knows, Denis Kang knows he is a strong guy and he was ready to rock. He was just waiting for an opportunity to show his game. Phil Baronis result also surprised me.
MMA RING REPORT - Your fans are really confident about your victory
PAULO FILHO - Yes, but I need to be careful. There is Denis Kang, Kazuo Misaki, Dan Henderson, and Amar Suloev in my way, but I will train harder and do my best in the ring. I have to be honest with you and tell you the game of those athletes that remain in the competition is good for me. Even more because I wasnt feeling great during the last bout... A few days before fighting Gregory Bouchelaghem, I got sick and cold. So, in the second round I will be great and I believe I may become champion and win against everyone easily. They know that!
MMA RING REPORT - What is your impression about your fight against Gregory Bouchelaghem?
PAULO FILHO - I can tell you he is a tough fighter. He is good at exchanging punches and he has an aggressive ground game. He probably taped some of my fights and studied my game
he played it right. It was a hard fight. I didnt know his game very well and I wasnt so good. He wasnt silly and I am sure that we will hear his name a lot. He also didnt commit mistakes and didnt let me to catch his arm or neck, so I couldnt finish him.
MMA RING REPORT - Taking about last UFC, when Matt Hughes used Jiu-Jitsu to beat Royce? Is it correct you might avenge Royce? If Rickson Gracie would have fought Matt Hughes, would the result would be the different?
PAULO FILHO - Yes. Royce is a living legend of Vale-Tudo and anyone who fights nowadays own him a lot. As a Jiu-Jitsu representative, I am ready to fight Hughes. That would be a pleasure for me to avenge Royce. I respect Royce a lot. I trained with him and his Jiu-Jitsu is fantastic... Its surreal when you see him submitting wrestlers. He has a great guard and turns hard fighters into babies. I know he would be able to submit him!