The favorite? Paulo Filho talks 11/05 Bushido GP in an exclusive pre fight interview.The undefeated Brazilian Paulo Filho (13-0) will be one of the protagonists of 11/05 Bushido 13 under 83kgs GP in Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa. Paulao (how he is known in Brazil) is picked as one of the favorites to win the whole tournament. However the BTT representative analyzes with calm the ways he has to reach the title in next weekend.
Denis Martins: Man, in your last fight at Bushido 12(08/26) you humiliated Ryo Chonan. What could you say about that fight?
Paulo Filho: To tell you the truth I prepared myself better for Chonan than I did for Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua. My stamina was more than 100% (if it’s possible) and every time I show up on the ring like this way. My fight school is very strong, I consider myself very strong; these aspects plus my focus on the victory are what made me successful on that fight.
DM: What do you think about your opponent Kazuo Misaki in the semifinals of 11/05 Bushido?
PF: A tough opponent, but he accepts all kind of fights, he doesn’t refuse to be in the specialty of his opponent. So I think this is a good fight for me.
DM: So what’s the main characteristic of Misaki?
PF: I think when he faces a determined fighter with a high focus on the victory, he doesn’t develop a good game-plan. He has heart and good conditioning, but he doesn’t protect himself very-well.
DM: Did you like to face Misaki more than Akihiro Gono?
PF: I think Gono is most technical fighter, and if we evaluate him by his fight against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, even though he was KO’d, he escaped a lot of Shogun’s combos.
DM: What’s your opinion about Denis Kang (ATT) versus Gono?
PF: I think Kang took tough fights if we compare to the fights I had. People picked him like as the favorite after his victories over Murilo Rua and Amar Suloev, both fighters who I beat too. But I think Gono has too much experience and he’s fighting in his country. So I guess he can impose a tough fight to Kang in the beginning of that. We need to wait and see.
DM: There’s a huge comment popping around and it says Kang and you are already in the finals. What do you think about that?
PF: When Misaki lost to Dan Henderson in their first fight, I thought the decision could go to either of them. And I believed Misaki could beat Henderson, like he did against Phil Baroni. I’ve to talk the truth to you- I expected people mentioned Denis and my name such as the favorites. But I respect Gono and Misaki…
DM: Misaki and Gono are from the same team and of course they’re the Japanese hope of a Japanese Bushido final. So do you’ve to impose a KO or a submission to not leave room for an unfair decision?
PF: I trained to beat my opponent by convincing way, my intention is the submission- however if this goes to the distance I don’t think we’ll have gaps for unfair decisions. DM: We’ll have a belt dispute involving the Brazilian Marcus Aurelio (contender) vs. the Japanese Takanori Gomi (champion) in 11/05 too. How do you analyze this fight?
PF: I don’t see Gomi such as a dangerous fighter for a smart grappler opponent. Aurelio has all the characteristics of a good grappler, I think he needs to train Wrestling and Boxing to keep a good distance and then shoot for a takedown. I guess when Aurelio put Gomi down the fight is over!
DM: After this Bushido are you going to fight in 12/31 Pride?
PF: If I win this tournament I guess I’ll fight again in 2007, this is in my contract. I think if I grab this tournament I’ll face Henderson who won last year. If something wrong happen, I’ll take a free-time, but this is not my intention.