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 ContactInterview in O TatameTranslated by Julio Hwu, edited by Terry Morley
Q:Why did you go to the USA?
AG: I was invited to study English in one university. But the work had to be more important.
Q: How was the beginning?
AG: I had to sleep in a garage with my wife. Joe Moreira helped a lot. Started to teach in his academy because until them I just fought for no money. 2 months later I had the tickets to go back to Brazil, then I decided to give it one last shot. When I put a step in USA I said to myself, ‘I will win, show to everyone who I am.’ I begin then to teach for 40 students and Franco called me to open an academy together.
Q: How was BJJ seen in the USA when you got there?
AG: BJJ was famous because of Royce in the UFC, today the Americans admire, but don’t believe in the potential of this art. The sport is growing, but not the way it should be.
Q: What’s the difference between Brazilians and Americans?
AG: The Americans are too hard, then it is more difficult to learn. BJJ is for Brazilians.
Q: How did you end up in Japan?
AG: I was doing a seminar when Mr. Oitate invited me. I wasn’t speaking English then Franco took care of the conversations, but there was still some confusion.
Q: Like what?
AG: It was supposed to be a NHB fight, but when I went there I had to fight with boots. I finished Frank Shamrock many times but, by one of their rules, the fight begins again if you get out of the ring. They just made me use boots to be easier to get my ankle.
Q: Pancrase went to trial over your contract?
AG: It’s already solved. I didn’t speak English so the contract was illegal (he had to do 2 more fights in Pancrase). I went there to do NHB, but when I arrived there was many rules that I didn’t agree.
Q: How did you break your ankle?
AG: I kicked him, then I went out of the place, in the middle of the fight I putted back.
Q: The trial made your life more difficult?
AG: I have had many invitations from Japan, but they don’t want to sign because of the trial. After UFC 9 I will go to Japan to solve the problem. I will substitute for Rickson in Japan.
Q: Rickson is not going to fight?
AG: No, because he is asking for a lot of money. He already showed his potential, now he is gonna give more space to the other fighters.
Q: Who do you consider the best fighter in BJJ right now?
Q: Why did you fight Tank in UFC 7?
AG: He hates me because he went to my academy and I finished him many times. Then in UFC 7 he looked at me and said to go f**k off. Then he made a move to hit me and I putted him down and punched him.