by Ivan Canello – MMAWeekly.com
PODE PEGAR! It means “fight” or “let’s get it on” in Brazil. So what could be a more appropriate title for the latest mixed martial arts fight news from MMAWeekly’s Brazilian correspondent Ivan Canello?
Without further ado, we bring you the premier edition of Pode Pegar!
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, has always been an athletic person and has been successful in every competitive sport that was introduced to him. The 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion practiced Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai extensively until his MMA debut in 2002. With an impressive record of 16-2, Rua is ready to showcase his skills in front of a UFC audience. Mauricio’s current contract allows to him fight in both Pride and the UFC. “I’m prepared to fight in the U.S. anytime. When the UFC calls, I’ll be ready.”
Having taken some time off from fighting, former Pride Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva recently traveled to the U.S. The Chute Boxe fighter is currently visiting Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture gym, conducting seminars and showcasing some of his skills and techniques to students. “There’s a big chance that Chute Boxe will send somebody to teach the Brazilian Chute Boxe way of fighting in Couture’s camp,” stated Silva.
Wanderlei is currently waiting for a contract offer before he begins training full time again. A family oriented person, the former champion has been spending time with his wife and kids while remaining focused on potential fights in the near future. According to Silva, “My next fight will probably be against Chuck Liddell in September. It might be the fight of the year, let’s wait and see what happens.”
Murilo “Ninja” Rua has been preparing for his StrikeForce/EliteXC debut. Rua is scheduled to face Joey Villasenor, who is coming off of a win over UFC veteran David Loiseau. Murilo indicated that he is completely adapted to the 185-pound weight class. “My natural weight is around 194 pounds so it’s easy for me to make 185 pounds. I was in the U.S. last week to do my medical tests and everything was fine. Now it’s time to make my final preparations. My stamina and my technique are excellent.”
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie, Cristiano Marcello will make his U.S. debut at the next Art of War event. The Chute Boxe Jiu-Jitsu coach will face off against Hector Munoz, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Royce Gracie. “If my fight was tomorrow, I’d be ready to go. Now that I have more time I can prepare myself a little bit more. My ground game is sharp and the free spirit of Muay Thai lives in me,” said Marcello.
This fight will bring more fire to the newest rivalry between Chute Boxe and the Gracie family. It’s important to note that this rivalry is a good and healthy one; both teams have a good relationship with each other. After Royce Gracie’s win over Kazushi Sakuraba at K-1 Dynamite USA, Chute Boxe leader Rudimar Fedrigo embraced Royce and congratulated him on his victory.
Fabio Silva made a successful Pancrase debut with a victory over previously undefeated Japanese star Ryo Kawamura. Ryo, the 2006 Pancrase Neo-Blood tournament winner, previously faced two Chute Boxe fighters, knocking out Daniel Acacio and fighting Nilson Castro to a draw.
Silva had a difficult time against Kawamura in the first round as he was unable to effectively strike from the clinch. In the second, Silva proved why he’s considered one of the best prospects out of Chute Boxe today when he knocked out Kawamura with a right-left combination.
One of Chute Boxe’s newest members, Thiago Silva (Chute Boxe/Macaco Gold Team) made his successful octagon debut at UFC 71 and is already back in training. Silva, who comes from a Jiu-Jitsu background, was very happy with his last two victories in Pancrase and the UFC. Originally from the city of Sao Paulo, Thiago trains at the Chute Boxe for long periods of time prior to his fights in order to work and improve on his stand up game.
BRAZILIAN TOP TEAM
Brazilian Top Team’s coach Mario Sperry will make his Cage Rage debut on July 14th. An infection in one of his Sperry’s hands kept him out of training and competition for seven months. “Ze Mario” last fought at Pride 31 in February of last year. According to Sperry, “I am completely recovered and ready to go.”
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Paulo Filho is close to signing with the WEC. “The contract with WEC is almost finished and will be for 4 fights. The WEC will be great exposure for me and hopefully it will lead to an opportunity in the UFC,” stated Paulo in a recent interview. As one of the most dangerous submission fighters today, Filho plans to stay at the 185-pound weight class. “I think it’s very odd that Dan Henderson was given the opportunity to fight Quinton Jackson for the UFC belt,” added the Pride veteran. “Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona would be better matches against “Rampage” Jackson.”
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira´s pupil, Rafael Feijao, has been preparing for his fight against Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz in the IFL on June 16th. “I’m currently living and training hard with the Nogueira brothers. I’m very determined to be victorious,” said Feijao. “My Jiu-Jitsu is very strong and I plan on competing as a heavyweight. My original plan was to fight at light heavyweight but I grew stronger as time passed and now I’m very adapted to this weight class.” Feijao is coming off of a TKO win over Devin Cole at the IFL show in Atlanta.
THE ROCK IS READY FOR THE SNOWMAN
“I’m completely ready, physically and mentally for my fight against Jeff Monson,” said Pedro Rizzo in a recent interview with Portal do Vale Tudo. “I’ve spent a lot of time training and I’ve improved my game to be faster and stronger. It’s time for me to regain some of the American fans I may have lost.”
Rizzo’s mentor Marco Ruas recently had what seemed to be his final MMA fight. Ruas faced former UFC Champion Maurice Smith in a rematch of their first encounter back at UFC 21. Seven years later, “The King of the Streets” was unsuccessful at avenging his prior loss and suffered a TKO stoppage in the fourth round. “Marco is a great athlete and he will never stop practicing his technique,” commented Rizzo about his master.
THE NEW HEAVYWEIGHT KING OF PANCRASE
After losing his third consecutive fight in the UFC, former Chute Boxe fighter Assuério Silva rebounded with a TKO victory over Tatsuya Mizuno and became the third King of Pancrase in the organization’s history. In his post fight interview, Assuério stated that he now has a lot more confidence and will try to keep the Pancrase heavyweight belt for a long time. After ending his contract with Chute Boxe, Silva spent some time with other teams before creating his own team, Total Punch MMA. Silva’s new team has a location in the city of Curitiba, also home to Chute Boxe.