by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Back in April, Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio was responsible for one of the biggest upsets of 2006 when he submitted Pride Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi with a side choke. Unfortunately for Aurelio, it was a non-title match.
On November 5th, the American Top Team fighter will get his opportunity to take the lightweight crown in a highly anticipated rematch.
“I’m training hard, I’m 100% well,” said the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. “I just finished my training and I’m going to beat Gomi again.” Like most fighters, Aurelio’s goal is to win a championship belt. “It’s my dream. I have been doing MMA for five years now so it is a dream for my career.”
Easily considered the most dominant lightweight fighter in Pride history, Takanori Gomi has beaten quality opposition in Jens Pulver, Luiz Azeredo, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. Gomi’s loss to Aurelio at Bushido 10 marked the Japanese star’s first loss in a PRIDE ring and the end of a ten fight winning streak. “I’m 100% confident…I know I can submit Gomi again,” said Aurelio.
After his upset over Gomi, Marcus faced up-and-coming Japanese fighter Mitsuhiro Ishida. The Shooto Pacific-Rim welterweight champ avoided Aurelio’s submission attempts and earned a hard fought decision over the Brazilian fighter.
“Ishida is a tough fighter,” said Marcus. “After this fight, I want a rematch with Ishida. I want to prove that I can beat Ishida.”
Aurelio, the #8 Lightweight in the MMAWeekly Rankings, trains with a great camp in American Top Team. The Florida-based team is home to fighters like Denis Kang, Jeff Monson, Gesias Calvancante, and Din Thomas. “American Top Team is my family. I have a lot of friends to train with me. Everybody is like brothers.”
As the winner of the ZST Grand Prix that concluded in 2004, Aurelio wants to add the Pride lightweight belt to his accomplishments. “He’s the champ, he’s a great fighter,” commented Aurelio. “All the pressure is on him. I’m going to do my job and I know I can beat Gomi. I’m training hard and I’m ready to show all of my skills.”
“It’s a dream for me; not just for me but for my team and my family,” added the Pride veteran.
On November 5th, Aurelio will finally get his chance to fight for the Pride lightweight belt. Having already defeated the current champion Takanori Gomi, the American Top Team fighter is confident that he can repeat his previous performance.
“It’s going to be a great fight. I’m ready to beat Gomi.”