What did you think of the fight? Everything went as you’re expecting?

Once again we made our job. I was just upset to have fought with Thales, I wasn’t happy with that, but work is work. The fight was good, I think we have achieved a good recovery of what we’ve trained, our strategy was good, we’ve imagined what Thales could do and, thanks God, the coaches were able to help me and were perfect, each one in his specialty. Everybody helped me and I’m very happy with my work. The experiments we are doing, everything we are studying, has been right.

How do you fell winning the ninth victory in a row, the new UFC record?

Oh, man… Be the champion of the event that the Master Rorion Gracie introduced in the United States and being able to come close… I don’t ever want to have that comparison, who am I to be better or worse than Master Royce. But, being able to, one way or another, represent Brazil, the title remains in Brazil, then I continue honored to get this done and to keep the belt here.

What did you think of the criticisms that you’re receiving after the fight?

Every day we get older, the reflex is no longer the same… Fight with a kid like Thales and try to do things that might put me at risk wouldn’t be good for my career. One way or another he fought well, came well prepared, but I would have a lot to risk. I’m not risking something that took a long time for me to win. I think the fans are talking, criticizing… Each one has their opinion, I have to respect their opinion, after all they are always there applauding, but I’m happy, I was able to do my job well. All my team helped so that we could reach where we are and I don’t have much to say. Unfortunately, you can’t always do what people want. I try to fight and don’t get hurt and this is working over all these years. Sometimes I can fight faster, sometimes not, showing superiority, is better for me, for my career and the athletes who fight with me. Even because Thales is a dangerous athlete and I couldn’t risk something more.

Thales’s strategy has surprised you?

No. I think we were aware and had trained all that he could do. He was prepared and determined to win, but we managed to annul his game. I would like to thank Lyoto (Machida), André Galvão, Master Sylvio Behring, (Josuel) Distak, people who were determinants to this fight to happen and that we could get this result. The work that I did with Nogushi, Rogério Camões, Macarrão and all the people who gave me strength for me to come well prepared in this fight. I think I could honor the Nogueira Jiu-Jitsu, show that I made justice to the Jiu-Jitsu I learned all the time… We were able to do what we proposed and, unfortunately, we can’t always be like people want, what can I do… We try. I want to apologize to Thales, Dedé (Pederneiras) and the Nova União team. I already trained several times in the Nova União, with Dedé, Master Shaolin, and I didn’t like to do this fight, but we are professionals. I would like to congratulate Thales, he is a great fighter.

After the third round, Feijão and Distak said to you release the game and go over him. Why have you decided to keep the strategy of the previous rounds?

We were achieving to annul Thales’ game and wouldn’t change the strategy. We were able to, from the first to the last round, annul Thales game completely, despite the scores of the judges be a little crazy, I don’t know what fight they have seen, but the strategy we did was good. Distak said that I should move more, achieve my strokes more, and all instructions that Feijão gave I did and this brought us another victory. The type of training that we do, the strategy that we do for every fight, has brought a positive result. While is like this, we doesn’t have to change anything. We will always look to surprise the opponent, confuse them and minimize the chances of mistakes.

You’ve already beaten most of the top fighters of the UFC in your category… Does this disincentive you to continue fighting in your weight?

No. I’m very motivated to fight, I continue happy to be doing my job, but is as I’ve said. I’m no longer a kid, I have much to lose. It took so long to get here and we, as the age comes, do more conservative fights, I won’t expose myself and be knocked out. I have to be the most efficient possible with any opponent that I fight and that is what we are proposing, with lot of study we have done over the opponents, trainings, watching videos, talking with several people… People have no idea, we were almost an entire month talking to the whole coach team, our doctor, physiologist, several people, to see what we could or not do during the fight. I’m very happy for the result, I was able to use people who are willing to help me on the technical, physical and theoretical part. And that’s bringing results. I’m happy, I’m motivated, I love fighting in the UFC, but people must understand that fight is fight, I’m doing a fight that preserve my health, technique, and that is always like this, superior in some moments of the fight. One day I’ll lose, I’m not unbeatable, but the control we do have nothing wrong.

What’s the next step for you at the UFC? Will you defend your belt or increase in weight?

I haven’t thought about this. I still have a job to do. Feijão will fight, Maldonado, Corvo… Now is focus on them until the work end, then we’ll see what will be done: if I’ll fight in the category above or put the belt in game. We will work, try to do our work well in a very different way, intelligent, so that we can minimize even more the chances of mistake.

And what did you think of Shogun’s victory?

Shogun is a young boy, has everything ahead. Everyone has their bad phase, he went through one and overcame, a time when he wasn’t so well, had personal problems, injuries, and he, well trained, has already proven that it is candidate to the title, despite I’m cheering for Lyoto. Shogun is in the right way, doing his job… We had the opportunity to be together, he was focused, but I consider Chuck one of the best fighters of the category. He is a legend of the UFC and has to be respected, he ended knocked out, it happens. Fight is fight and we have to relieve and think about some issues when this happens. Shogun is with congratulations, he rediscovered himself and will give a lot of trouble in this category.

Do you think Liddell should retire after this defeat?

I don’t think so. Liddell is a reference of the UFC, and, particularly, if that happens I will be very sad, because he and Couture are references of the UFC, the face of the UFC. He has to talk with his team, his family, but I think Chuck is a fantastic person, a great champion, has to be respected for everything that has already done and still does… Fight with a guy like Shogun, a young boy, its difficult… We have to get off the hat for him, because he already made memorable fights and, whether being American or not, already gave many joys to everyone who saw him fighting.

What did you think of Wanderlei’s statements, commented your interview to the Sensei Sportv and saying that you’re “cocky” and that “the war is declared”?

Look, I have nothing against Wanderlei, I think every person speak what they want. He can say whatever he wants, but I don’t consider a declared war, even because I’m very well settled in relation to what I did and do in the UFC. Regardless of everything, I want to make very clear to everyone that I didn’t get here for nothing, I’m no fool. I started like any other fighter, did a well done job and Wanderlei is a great champion, deserves all my respect. People say that I commented about training… I didn’t comment about training, even because this has no sense. Is a code of honor that all black belt has… People say what they want. I respect everyone, Demian, Thales, Wanderlei, all my opponents. I never lacked with respect to anyone, but also I’m not afraid of anyone. I’m here to fight anyone, I always fought, but about this, “war”... First, to have a war there must be disagreements. I’m ok, I’m not worried about this and people have to stop talking about me. Talk about me is easy, it’s hard to be me. I don’t talk about anyone, I respect everyone. Each one has its limitations, each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but I’m not worried with this, I’m worried about helping Feijão to his fight, Corvo and, then, Minotauro’s fight.

Once again, if I suddenly said something that he said that wasn’t clear, I guess he understood wrong. We have to respect ourselves, even because, from where we came, a gossip results in fight. I like him, when he fought against Chuck I was screaming in the cheer, went to his locker room when the fight ended, but, finally… I always cheer for him to win his fights, I’ll pretend that this never happened, because it’s ridiculous. Sometimes people make us say about some things, but I never said anything that was supposedly disrespect to Wanderlei. Indeed, I talked about Demian, because I think is a bit of pretension Demian commenting that wants to dispute for the belt. I’ve never done this, I always respect everyone. When I fought for the first time in the UFC, I didn’t ask for the belt, I deserved that. I’ve never challenged any champion, I think that with this I would be pretentious and wouldn’t be myself. But I’m ok, each one knows what to do. I wish all these people who are talking to be happy, I’m not worried about that. My job is well done and I’m not worried in doing gossip.

Thanks to Tatame.com for the great interview.