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Wanderlei Silva Faces Ricardo Arona


Interview by Marcelo Alonso

Two weeks before the final of the Pride GP 2005, Wanderlei Silva greeted us in Curitiba and answered some questions about his long awaited challenge against Ricardo Arona:

How is your training routine for this fight against Arona?

I healed all my injuries that prevented me from training hard for the first and second phase. In the first fight against Yoshida, I suffered injuries to both knees and could not run; against Nakamura I had a much worse injury and couldn't even train jiu-jitsu. Now, thank god, I'm in perfect condition, training twice a day. I'm in great shape. Ulisses Pereira, the best boxing trainer in Brazil, is also doing an excellent job with me and shogun.

Are you prepared to fight on the ground with Arona?

I'm prepared to do that too. He is not a fighter who submits or knocks out opponents. Maybe Overeem would have been tougher than him, because he is a more dangerous fighter. But Arona is tough too. Now that he finally got his chance, let's see during the fight if he can show the desire to fight me that he always said. Talk is easy I want to see what he is able to do in the ring on august 28.

Why don't you like Arona?

Actually I don't like his attitude, too arrogant, too negative. I don't like him. His style makes me really excited to fight him. He makes me train even more. He talks too much and I'll shut his mouth with punches.

What do you think about Shogun and Overeem?

Shogun will beat him. Shogun beat the two strongest fighters in this tournament, Quinton and Minotouro.  Actually I consider the fight between him and Minotouro as the best of 2005.  I think Shogun is too strong for this category.  I don't think he will stay too long as a middleweight, soon he will be chute boxe's representative in the heavyweight division.

Last pride you said Shogun was your successor. Are you planning to retire?

No way! When a guy stops, then he starts to count his stories of 400 fights and his legends, and that is not for me. I'm a real fighter and I'm in the middle of my career. I have only 35 fights, and I want to fight until I have 70 fights. I have a lot to do for this sport.

Last pride you challenged Rickson. Do you believe Pride can make this fight?

If Rickson accepts, sure the big boss will pay! Actually I don't believe that fight will happen, because Rickson is older now, and he will ask for more than 5 milion dollars, which is almost what the champion (myself) makes and that's not fair!!! (laughs...) I just said that because I think he should use his fame to help our sport, make an event, lead some campaign to legalize vale-tudo, like I'm doing in France. I cannot understand his statements in the interview he did for Tatame magazine, saying that vale-tudo was at a low level. I think he is living in a world of dreams, like star wars. Today I don't need to fight for money I fight because I love to fight, but anyone who disrespects my sport I will challenge. 

June 30, 2011