Renzo Gracie Interview

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Interview originally published on The New Full Contact

From O Tatame magazineTranslated by Julio Hwu. Edited by Terry MorleyHow are things after your win over Taktarov?

The academy is full and I have been giving a lot of interviews for magazines and tv. After the fight Oleg apologized to me saying that he didn’t realize he had gotten knocked out. When he saw it on video he came to me to apologize. He’s a nice guy.

Any fights in the near future?

I will fight on May 14th. We called Coleman but he can’t because of his contract with SEG. I’m trying to get a big name like Frye, or Shamrock…

Have the fights of Murilo Bustamante and Gurgel vs the wrestlers changed your concept of how you will fight?

No way. I admire Gurgel and Bustamante. They are two warriors fighting heavier guys. They just need to adjust their game plan which can be excellent aganist the wrestlers. I have a different way of training here and I don’t feel it would be difficult. BJJ is a more technical style that looks for submissions.

Mark Kerr is a beating machine. In a no time-limit match, would that pay off?

You have to start a match agressively. I think the difference in weight is so big because they are using steroids. It took me 6 or 7 years to get heavier. I was 67kg and now I’m 82 kg. They get heavier than that in a month.

How would Rickson deal with these ‘roids’ fighters?

Rickson is used to fighting and training with these kind of people.

What about the luta livre fighters?

I don’t know. I’m not sure what their game plan is right now. I’ve only seen them fight a few times.

In ufc12, what do you think happened with Wallid?

Wallid’s game is limited, always has been. He can only fight from the top. I predicted this was going to happen. He was lucky that he fought a guy of the same weight. Imagine against Coleman or Frye? He would be destroyed. I don’t know if you noticed, but Pancrase fighters like to run. They don’t go for it because they like to fight near the ropes and if things go badly they can get out of the ring or touch the hopes. Wallid was lucky to fight a guy with those characteristics. If it had been Bohlander it would have been worse because Bohlander is clever and in better shape than Takahashi was.

What about Takahashi grabbing the fence?

If you are fighting vale tudo you have to expect some thing like this. If you try to take the guy down, you can expect the guy to try grabbing the fence.

Do you think Wallid should have let go and started punching?

It is very difficult to say if you are not there. In my fights I usually avoid this situation because I don’t like puching the guy near the fence. I go for the clinch and take the guy down.

What do you think of Vitor Belfort?

He’s excellent. A beautiful boxing style. He is the guy BJJ was missing with his good punching. The kid deserves all the credit. Beautiful fights.

Do you know anything new about Rickson?

Looks like he is closing a deal to fight, but I don’t know if it is here or Japan. I’m a fan too and I’m going crazy waiting to see him fight soon.

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