This Article originally appeared on BJJ.org. The entire archive of information is now available on OntheMat.com
Interview originally published on The New Full Contact
By Marcelo Alonso from the Brazilian O Tatame magazine.
Translated by Julio Hwu. Edited by Terry Morley.O Tatame: What did you think about the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu tournament?
Rickson: Better public support,better technical level of the American fighters and of course Brazilians dominating. The first edition was better organized but this one was a big event.
OT: Why didn’t you compete in this one?
R: I have nothing else to prove, and this event doesn’t have the money to put me in. I have enough medals and it would be a crazy manager (sponsor) that wants me to fight with gi. I’m a professional fighter.
OT: Did anyone impress you?
R: Vitor Sholin, from Andre Pederneiras’ school, and Renato Barreto.
OT: What system would you prefer to see instead of the point system in BJJ tournaments?
R: Take points out and win with submission. If there are no submissions it’s because there is no technique.
OT: Do you think you can win in a Brazilian absolute division?
R: I never enter a fight to win by points. After I got my black belt, I always finished my fights with a submission. In a long fight when you are tired, the opponent will be too. I fight fast and don’t get tired. 99% of the fighters can’t do that.
OT: Is it true that you are going to fight against Dan Severn in Japan?
R: Just speculation. I wanted to fight, but they didn’t give me something concrete. I have 5 offers, but I haven’t signed any yet. Two are from Japan, one from Europe, and two from the US.
OT: What about the UFC?
R: Out of my plans. They just want new fighters whom they have sign for two years, paying almost nothing. After seeing Renzo win the WCC they only offered $10 000. This is ridiculous. They make fortune paying nothing for their fighters.
OT: What mistake did Bitetti make in UFC 9?
R: He didn’t fight BJJ. He fought with his heart instead. I didn’t see the guard, which should be used for protection and defense. What happened to Bitetti happened to Frye in UFC 10. Winning against Frye is easy. I don’t see anything in Frye and Coleman. They are very weak.
OT: Do you think Coleman would be easy?
R: He is strong in his specialty (Wrestling), but against a BJJ fighter he would offer no danger.
OT: Are you helping Fabio Gurgel for UFC 11? In your opinion what are Gurgel’s chances against Coleman?
R: Gurgel’s risk is the time limit. I’m sure that Coleman can’t beat Gurgel. He has the potential to become a star.
OT: What would be the most difficult fight for you: Coleman or Ruas?
R: I don’t see too much difficulty with either. Maybe Coleman may take longer because he is more difficult to open space up on. Ruas has some BJJ knowledge, but he will not keep the rhythm and will open fast.
OT: What about taking Ruas to the ground?
R: Easier, much lighter, and has less base. Ruas has nothing special. I respect him as a fighter and he has great potential, but I don’t see him as a great fighter in BJJ, and his background in kickboxing is nothing special. On the ground he is basic. He didn’t show a great technical level.
OT: Many are considering Victor Belfort-Gracie (Carlson’s student) as your successor. Is it true?
R: He came here saying he was not able to learn anything in Brazil. He considered me a role model. I heard what he said, and I didn’t like him saying bad stuff about my Brazilian friends who he had gotten belts from. They didn’t want to teach him anymore because he was too new. I told him to call Carlson and say that he is not training with him anymore.Then I will teach him. He fights for Carlson or me. He said he couldn’t do that and followed his own way. He is a good boy but talks to much. His future is happening fast. In 6 months he jumped from blue belt to black, and from Belfort he turns to Gracie. The worst thing is that the public believes it. Let’s see where he goes.