by MMAWeekly.com Staff
‘Tatame’ sits down with Minotauro Nogueira. The Interview was done by Eduardo Ferreira.

Tatame: What did you think about the heavyweight title fight between Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor Emelianenko?

Minotauro: It was a great fight. Fedor showed a lot of heart. He recovered after Cro Cop broke his nose and hit him with several strong knees. Cro Cop did very good in the first round and then he gassed, but he wasn’t going to win the fight. Fedor imposes a strong fighting rhythm for the entire fight.

Tatame: You’ve fought both of them. What do you see different in them now, in comparison to their past fights?

Minotauro: Cro Cop has a better guard now, and he defended himself well on the ground, but I haven’t seen a great improvement in him. Fedor has maintained his game of exchanging strikes in the standup and taking you down to keep beating you from the top position, always imposing a very strong rhythm.

Tatame: And what did you think about the fight between Ricardo Arona and Vanderlei Silva?

Minotauro: We all expected Arona to beat Vanderlei, because he trained specifically for it. But they both respect each other a lot… we celebrated his victory a lot because everyone thought Vanderlei was invincible.

Tatame: And what did you think about the GP final, between Arona and Shogun?

Minotauro: Shogun showed up with more gas because he did a 5-minute fight against Overeem, and Arona did a 15-minute fight against Vanderlei, who is the champion of the weight division and is very strong. Arona had to fight very hard in that fight. It’s the same as a guy working 22 hours, and another guy working 8 hours. It was like my final when Fedor fought Ogawa and won in one minute, and I did a 15-minute fight against Kharitonov. It’s the same when Quinton Jackson fought Chuck Liddell and Vanderlei fought Yoshida.

Tatame: You just had surgery on your elbow. How are you feeling?

Minotauro: I had surgery on my two elbows one month ago. I had arthroscopy done on them to remove some bone fragments, and I’m going to be cleared this week to return to training. In all honesty, it was a routine surgey, and I was even able to drive my car when I left the hospital. But during that period I didn’t stay without training. I maintained my form by running and doing a lot of physiotherapy.

Tatame: When will you return to the ring?

Minotauro: I’m waiting for a PRIDE invitation, but I believe I will return to the ring before the year is over.