Our partners over at Tatame magazine caught up with Murilo Bustamante before he left for Japan. Here is part of that interview…
Tatame: How is your preparation for the PRIDE 185-pound GP coming along?
Bustamante: It’s going normal. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to do two fights. I’m not thinking about doing a fast first match. The ideal thing would be to win both fights, by any means.
Tatame: You are going to face Masanori Suda. If you beat him, you may face Phil Baroni…
Bustamante: Suda is a SHOOTO champion, and his tape on him should be arriving at my academy this week. However, I’ve watched many fights of Phil Baroni, and I know the guy is a good boxer with good wrestling. His only deficiency is his ground game. In a fight with me, that would be my great advantage over him.
Tatame: Talking about PRIDE 205-pound GP, how did you see Ricardo Arona’s victory over Vanderlei? Everyone is saying they respect each other a lot…
Bustamante: Well, Ricardo was great. He fought well and was perfect. To tell you the truth, they really respect each other. Vanderlei did not go straight at him, because if he did, he knew that it would make it easier for Arona to take him to the ground. Arona was perfect in his strategy… but Vanderlei also made it difficult.
Tatame: And the final against Shogun?
Bustamante: Watching by TV, I think Arona was not the same fighter after the takedown. So much so, that Shogun almost had an omoplata, and I thought it was strange. It seems like Arona hit his head on the ground, but this is not an excuse. These things happen during the fight. Mauricio Shogun’s star shined, and Arona didn’t have any luck.
Tatame: Why didn’t you go to Rodrigo Minotauro’s house to watch the PRIDE GP with the rest of the BTT guys?
Bustamante: The truth is that I watched PRIDE at my house because of my training routine. So much so, that I shut off the TV right after the GP and went to bed. I live a very structured life whenever I am close to competition time… everything due to the competition.
Tatame: Talking about Shogun… he was recieved his black belt in jiu-jitsu after the GP final. What did you think about that?
Bustamante: He’s a student of Nino (Schembri), and if Nino gave him the belt, then it’s earned! Nino has a lot of knowledge on jiu-jitsu, and as his professor, he knows what he’s doing. The black belt doesn’t just represent that Shogun is a good competitor. Jiu-jitsu encompasses much more then that. So much so, that I’ve even seen a lot of black belts that are horrible.
Tatame: After PRIDE 205-pound GP, the score between BTT and Chute Boxe in PRIDE is 4-2 for Chute Boxe. Does this increase your will to face Daniel Acacio?
Bustamante: Not in the least. When I’m in the ring, I don’t think about the score or anything else. The only thing I’m think about is my form and training. In the ring, my adversary is just an object and I don’t care where he come from.
Tatame: After Arona’s loss, does your responsibility to win increase? Does your team pressure you to have a good showing on any level?
Bustamante: The responsibility is normal, the same as in all of my fights. The truth is that the guys at BTT have always given me a lot of support, and no such thing as pressure exists there. Everyone is always helping me a lot.
Tatame: Why isn’t there a BTT representative in the 160-pound GP?
Bustamante: Honestly, I don’t know. It was a dispppointment. I don’t understand how Buscape was left out. For me, he’s one of the top four fighters in his weight category. Maybe it was because of his loss to Kawajiri… but it still isn’t enough to understand how the Japanese think. The guy got lucky in the fight against (Luis) Azeredo, and the guy got lucky to get the win against Buscape in a very controversial fight. I think the judges decision in that fight was unjust.