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Global Training Report


Vitor Belfort


 From Gong Kakutougi

 July 2000

 by Paulo Ruy Barbosa

Translated by Roberto Pedreira and Yoko Kondo

Paulo: How is your impression of the fight between Sakuraba & Royce? What
did you think about it?

Vitor: It was a close fight, Royce fought well, but Sakuraba exploited Royce's mistakes. Royce wasn't fighting for a long time and he displayed courage and technique, but Sak was able to fight taking advantage of the rules.

Paulo: Do you think the kimono is a disadvantage in Royce's game?

Vitor: Nobody could say that. If Royce fight without the gi, he could be have a worst performance than fighting with the gi. Each fighter has a personal characteristic, I guess regarding to Royce, the gi is favorable to him.

Paulo: What was the biggest Royce mistake with Sak?

Vitor: The no time limit rule. It's not reasonable to have a fight with no time limit. Sak waited the time go by and Royce get tired. Royce is a good fighter and can win with the regular rules, he shouldn't request special rules.

Paulo: Many fighters want to fight with Sak. Who can defeat him, you think?

Vitor: When I fought Sak I had an accident during the fight, I broke my hand. I want a rematch to display my game properly. Sak is an outstanding fighter but he doesn't show so much aggressiveness and disposition, his game is grounded in the opponent's mistake. There are a few fighters that can defeat him.

Paulo: . After you fought with him, did he become better? If so, in which way?

  Vitor: He has become better but he plays his same old game. He hasn't fought the best. He defeated Royce, Royler (a small guy), Conan...I guess Sak lost the fight with Allan Goes...He's an excellent athlete, nobody can take him for granted, but from now on he's going to get tough fights.

Paulo:  Who would win if Saku fight with Frank Shamrock?

Vitor: It can go either way, very close.

Paulo: Who would win if Saku fight with Renzo Gracie?

Vitor: It can go either way, very close. They are very good fighters, we will only know the winner after the fight.

Paulo:. After fighting with you, Saku said "I want to fight someone stronger than him." We have heard that you are very angry about this comment. Is it true?

Vitor: If the fight would have been easy to Saku, he would have defeat me by KO or submission. I finished the fight with a baby face, despite of having a exposed fracture in my hand since the 4 minutes mark. You must be sure that if Saku had a exposed fracture fighting me, he would fallen down slobbering. He talks too much. When we have a rematch I will shut him up.

Paulo:  How is your physical conditioning today? Are you ready for a long fight?

Vitor: I have a personal trainer, Paulo Caruso, for about a year. He's specialized in training fighters. He adopts Russian Method. Everyday I'm training hard in the morning in the dojo, and at the evening I go to gym with Paulo Caruso. When I step in the ring I go for the KO, but I'm ready to fight with the same pace throughout the fight until the time limit. I'm in the best shape of my life. I can fight wild for 30, 40 minutes or however it takes.

Paulo: What happened when you fought Randy Couture?

Vitor: I was in a really bad shape, I had a very big worm. It was a bad time. People used to criticize when you fall down, but they must remember my victories, how fast I am...It's easier to find people that wants to put you down. Randy Couture was very well prepared, he deserves my respect, he owns the merits for the victory. My kudos for him. Nevertheless I had brilliant victories, I was the younger World Vale-Tudo champion, I was just 19 years old. Nobody can take it away from me. People should remember it.

Paulo: There were rumors that your romance with the playmate Marinara was the real reason of your defeat to Couture. Is it true?

Vitor: It's a very personal issue, it was disclosed by my former couch, Carlson Gracie, but it's such a thing that he shouldn't have made these remarks. It's my private life. When something goes wrong people used to search for a reason, it's not fair.

Paulo: How was your recent experience boxing in the Olympic trials?

Vitor: It was a great experience. I fought a few tourneys in Brazil and overseas, I went to Cuba and spent some time training and fighting. One week before the trials I hurt my knee and I was not able to fight. It was a pity. I fixed my knee and went straight to Japan, defeating Gilbert Yvel. Not bad. It was a gift of God. I'm happy to display my real game and to prove that I'm ready to take new challenges. The best is yet to come.

  Paulo: You displayed a very solid game and good strategy against Yvel. Did you study the best strategy to defeat him?

 Vitor: Vitor Belfort is a well rounded fighter, not just a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. I can exchange my strategy depending how the fight goes. If Yvel haven't stalled the fight, I would have knocked him out. He was smart because he knew that he would be KOed and he stalled the fight to last the time limit.

Paulo: The recent boxing training have improved your vale-tudo game?

Vitor: My boxing skills were responsible for my success in the vale-tudo scenario. I had a dream to represent my country in the Olympic Games. Vale-Tudo fighters don't have public recognition so I tried to get this public recognition in another sport. Only God knows what the future will brings.

Paulo: What's going next?

Vitor: I had two more fights in Pride by contract. I'm very happy with Pride, they are making great tourneys. Pride should develop his market in Brazil and specially in the USA. The sport will grow.

Paulo: A strong soccer club, Vasco da Gama, is sponsoring you and many fighters. Is it the beginning of a new era?

Vitor: I hope so. There are plenty of fighters specially in the new generation that must have some help to develop their skills. A big sponsor such as Vasco da Gama will bring life to the fighting scenario.

Paulo: What is your expectation about a rematch with Sakuraba?

Vitor: By the first time I had a knee surgery 1 month before the fight and broke my hand during the match. I will give my heart, my soul and my life in the rematch. I will teach him a lesson. He talks too much. He will learn to be just a little humble. My two cents.

Paulo: Do you think Sakuraba is the best in his weight?

Vitor: There isn't the number one. There are plenty of great fighters that can beat him in a good night. Nevertheless Sak is the fighter in evidence today. In my opinion, the best are: Frank Shamrock, Sakuraba, Belfort, Alan Goes, Bustamante, Vanderlei Silva...We have great fighters in middle-weight class.

Paulo: Would you like to send a message to Sakuraba?

Vitor: Congratulations for the good performance you used to display, you are doing a good job representing your country. Don't talk too much, be humble, you are not invincible, give me a rematch and I will give you all you can handle!

Paulo: Would you like to send a message for your fans in Japan?

Vitor: Thanks for the support you give to the martial artists and the sport. Don't use drugs, live your life healthy. Life is a dream, don't let your dream die.