by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
At Thursday’s IFL event in Portland, Oregon one of the feature bouts of the evening will be a match-up between two Brazilian jiu-jitsu masters as Allan Goes meets Daniel Gracie in a superfight.
This match-up isn’t one spawned from nowhere, shortly after signing with the IFL earlier this year Goes had mentioned wanting to fight Gracie after the two had met many years prior in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition. So when Allan’s team, the Seattle Tiger Sharks, were eliminated from this year’s World Team Tournament – despite Goes defeating Portland Wolfpack heavyweight Devin Cole – that set the stage for this fight.
Shortly before heading to Oregon from California, Allan spoke to MMAWeekly about his experience in the IFL so far, his match against Gracie, and the possibility of fighting another Brazilian fighting legend next year.
MMAWeekly: Allan let’s start things off with talking about the IFL. You’d fought in many other large promotions prior to joining the IFL, what’s your experience been like compared to the others?
Allan Goes: First of all it was an honor for me to fight in the IFL. I’ve said this before that I’ve fought in pretty much every single organization all over the world and the IFL is the only organization that I’ve seen that really take care of the fighters. I’m not saying anything bad about the other organizations, they were really good, but the IFL they really care about the fighters and take care of the fighters.
They give the fighters a chance to really be a professional athlete. They take care of you; they give you monthly payments, pay you to fight and they give you no excuse to not be in shape to fight. For me it was something that was awesome, I don’t even know how to express myself about the promotion, the president Kurt [Otto], the whole event…in the IFL you don’t work with big-shot promoters, you work with human beings.
I see everyone there try to help the fighters, take care of the fighters, and I see the more humanized side of taking care of the fighters. I’m very happy with the IFL and I want to finish my career here.
MMAWeekly: And you repaid their treatment with an impressive win over Devin Cole. Tell us about that.
Allan Goes: I’d been training with Maurice Smith a lot because my weakness used to be striking. Maurice came for a month to work with me on my striking and I had a lot of fun working on my punching and kicking. Before I choke out Devin Cole I knew I have to strike him because he would not leave me any other choice.
I knew he’d want to punch me because I thought he expected me to have a weak chin. Actually he punched me one time and knocked me down the first time, I stood up and kept fighting and wanted to prove to myself that I could take a punch, wake up in the middle of the knock down and keep fighting…and that’s what I did.
Before I choked him out if you look very close on the tape on the slow motion you can see I first struck him with the uppercut on his chin and dropped him, I made his legs buckle because I threw the uppercut. Even Devin Cole said in his interview that he didn’t expect my punch to be so hard and all that stuff…and that’s just the beginning of the work I’ve been doing with Maurice.
MMAWeekly: You definitely seem to have more confidence striking now.
Allan Goes: Yes, I’ve been getting a lot more confident on my feet. My fear is gone to be on my feet, because I used to be afraid in the beginning of a fight knowing I had to stand-up before I could take someone down. 100% of the fights start on the feet, everything begins there, so that’s why I tried to develop my striking, punching and kicking.
I know the ground, I fight there my whole life, I was born on the ground…I started training there since I was seven years old and that’s my house, that’s my home, I feel at home on the ground, I don’t have any threat from anyone on the ground, but I lacked stand-up skills.
Now I’ve started learning it, so I’m like a little kid learning new techniques, punches and kicks, so I’m having fun like a little kid now. I just want to throw some punches and kicks, I want to put on a good show and make everyone happy…fans and promoters…I want to throw some leather and have a good time.
MMAWeekly: Thursday night you’ve got a superfight with Daniel Gracie. This was brought on in partial by comments you made to us in an earlier interview and by the fact the two of you have a history together. Tell us your thoughts on this fight.
Allan Goes: I’ve already fought Daniel and beat him one time in jiu-jitsu game but now we’re going to fight MMA and that’s a totally different thing. I believe with my ground skills that I’m more technical than him and have better striking right now than him. Fights are unpredictable and anything can happen, but I totally believe that when I fight with him I’m going to conquer him every second of the fight. I have more experience than him and I’m going to use my whole experience and background against.
MMAWeekly: I know there was some misinterpretation by people of your comments in that earlier interview. Would you like to clear that up right now?
Allan Goes: Daniel is a great fighter, a new upcoming fighter that’s going to be very successful in the MMA world. He’s a very humble guy, nice guy and we met and spoke about our misunderstanding. When I first said when I wanted to fight him, I didn’t mean I wanted to fight him because I hate him, but because for me to fight any Gracie would be an honor.
I learned my ground fighting with Carlson Gracie, he was like a father to me and he trained us to fight against his own family. He taught us that was the beauty of jiu-jitsu that we could learn and fight against each other and show the world how important jiu-jitsu is.
We fought to defend jiu-jitsu, but we don’t have to do that anymore, it’s already proved [itself] and showed everybody that they have to learn jiu-jitsu, so now we just want to have fun. I like Daniel, he’s a super-nice guy, I like Renzo [Gracie] – who is going to be in Daniel’s corner – he’s a super nice guy, I like his whole team, but I’m there to do my job and do my business. When we step in there it’s just me and him, it’s either going to be a knockout or a submission, that’s my goal and that’s my job, that’s my duty for me and my family.
MMAWeekly: It’s got to feel good also knowing that the IFL were impressed enough by your performance against Cole in September that they brought you back for this superfight.
Allan Goes: Definitely, it’s an honor. I told Kurt [Otto] that he made me one of the happiest guys in the world to have me in the team fight on the first show and now a superfight on this show. My debut was awesome with Devin Cole so it was an honor when he invited me to fight Daniel. I have nothing personal against Daniel; I just want to fight him or anyone else. Honestly I hit a certain time in my life right now at 35 years old that I don’t really care who I’m going to fight…I just want to have fun and pay the bills.
I want to take care of my kids; my family and help this sport grow…that’s my goal, to help this sport grow as big as it can. Of course I step in there to win, but my goal is to do my best, I’m going to give my heart and soul and give everything I can in the fight.
MMAWeekly: You’re the Capitan of the Tiger Sharks team, coached by Maurice Smith. They were eliminated from this year’s World Team Tournament, but will be back for next year’s competition. What are your thoughts on next season for the Tiger Sharks?
Allan Goes: Honestly I see the Tiger Sharks being one of the strongest teams in the competition for next season. Right now we have me and Reese [Andy] at 205, Bristol [Marunde at 185], [Brad] Blackburn at 170, and some new people – that I can’t say about right now – that are coming. It’s a secret; we have a new heavyweight that is coming and one other 185 that’s coming. I know that Maurice is going to bring in some good big-name guys that will do really good for the team.
I believe next season that we’re going to be one of those teams competing for the title. In fact I believe 100% that we will be in the finals if we have the team that Maurice is wanting to put together. I see one strong team with a lot of talented people, humble athletes that are respectful but are great warriors and that give their hearts.
MMAWeekly: This year the IFL announced the addition of Marco Ruas to the coaches’ roster. I know there was a huge rivalry in Brazil between the Vale Tudo teams and the BJJ teams, would you like the opportunity to get in the ring with Ruas, if he chooses to return to fighting, and settle that old score?
Allan Goes: Like I said, I’ll fight anybody, I don’t care who I fight. I wouldn’t like to fight Marco Ruas because I like him as a friend, he’s a good guy, but if the promoter wants me to fight Marco or Mark Kerr or anybody, I will, I’ll fight anybody. I respect everybody, but I just want to have fun, have a good time and enjoy everything. I have to pay the bills, take care of the kids, take care of the family, that’s what matters to me.
I have a great contract with the IFL so I don’t care who I fight, they can pick the fighter, it doesn’t matter who they put in there, it could be anybody. As far as a rivalry, for sure it’s not in our heart. If we fight it will not be for any rivalry back in the day, it’s just so we can take care of the family, not unfinished business. If the promoter tells me I have to fight Marco, I’ll go to Marco and tell him, “let’s go have some fun and make money,” and after the fight we’ll go out together to the party and have some, drink some Coca-Cola and enjoy [laughs].
MMAWeekly: Great conversation as always Allan, is there anything you’d like to say as we head out?
Allan Goes: First of all I’d like to thank my sponsor, Hurley International; they’ve been supporting me a long time. I’d like to thank LA Boxing in Aliso Veijo, California…that’s another sponsor that’s been supporting me and that’s where I have my jiu-jitsu system going on.
I’d like to thank Garra Gear, that’s a new gear company that’s given me a lot of support; Garra means many things like “determination,” “focus,” or “desire.” That’s what I’m going to do, give all my Garra in this fight. I’d like to say personally thanks to Matt Beucher, PT Rock, and all those guys, I cannot forget them.
I want to say to the fans, show up to the fights, it’s going to be a battle and we’re going to have a lot of fun. You’re going to enjoy it and have a good time because Allan Goes is back for good…I’m here to stay for a while because that’s what my contract says [laughs], so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m here to take care of business, take care of my family and have a good time.