by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Reporting by Ivan Canello)
After more than 20 years of work at Chute Boxe, one of the most recognized MMA coaches from Brazil, Rafael Cordeiro, announced that he is no longer part of Chute Boxe gym.
Cordeiro moved to the United States in 2008 seeking better opportunities for himself and Chute Boxe. With a long history in MMA with athletes such as Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Cris “Cyborg” Santos, he decided that the time to move on and create his own gym has come.
“Due to the MMA growth, I felt that I needed to come to America at that moment. When Pride went down and the UFC finally bought it, the American market started to dominate everything regarding MMA,” said Cordeiro about his decision. “In America, we can find fights every weekend, and I came here to seek opportunities for our fighters from Brazil and also to discover new talents around here.”
His new gym is already open, The Rafael Cordeiro Fight Center in Huntington Beach, Calif. But despite his exodus from Chute Boxe, he has hopes that the fighters he once supervised will continue on their current paths.
“I hope everybody under my supervision in Brazil keeps doing exactly the same thing they are doing right now,” he said. “I don’t want them leaving Chute Boxe. They have their jobs inside the gym and they are making their money that way.”
Asked specifically about Chute Boxe fighters like Fabricio Werdum, and Evangelista and Cris Cyborg Santos, Cordeiro had no specific answer. “The Rafael Cordeiro Fight Center is completely opened to all athletes from all gyms, no exception. My work as a coach will be done in the same way; I will not work as a manager. What I like to do is to train athletes to compete and to grow as human beings. Therefore, if someone wants to train with me, the doors are opened and it does not matter the manager or gym. All athletes will receive the Chute Boxe style that I helped to create more then 20 years ago.”
The Chute Boxe style remains, but the separation from Chute Boxe is clearly in place. Cordeiro wasn’t overly specific as to the why. The end result, however, was a new opportunity for the vaunted MMA pioneer.
“What I will leave behind is the misunderstood between friends. Sometimes we had problems because a simple lack of communication. Little details that to some people were too small, but to other people were very important,” he conveyed. Adding, “I had two big reasons (for leaving). First, it was something personal. I had an interest conflict inside the team. The second, and most important reason, was that this was the time to seek better opportunities for me and my family through my work as a Muay Thai and MMA coach.”
Many would see a dim light cast upon his leaving Chute Boxe, but Cordeiro is not within the shadows of that light. He is walking into the bright light of opportunity.
“The future will bring lots of training,” said the optimistic coach, “lots of fights, and if God allows was, lots of positive results.”