By Eduardo Alonso
Heating up for Shockwave:
Vanderlei has his Axe ready for Another Murder!

PRIDE Middleweight champion Vanderlei Silva is once again just days away from yet another fight in his already extensive career. After winning his belt at PRIDE 17, back in November of 2001, Silva already fought three times, beating two Japanese opponents and fighting K1 fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic to a draw. However this time the Brazilian fighter had to face a new situation in his fighting career, traveling to Japan without even knowing who his opponent will be [After the interview PRIDE announced Dutch fighter Jerrel Venetiaan as his opponent]. Vanderlei Silva In typical Vanderlei fashion he didn't care, and unlike most people would do in his place he signed the fight anyway and departed anxious to compete in what promises to be the biggest MMA venture ever: Shockwave. Just a few hours before catching his plane, Vanderlei Silva talked with FCF about his last fight against "Cro Cop", his next challenge and much more! As Shockwave is delivering the heat for NHB fans, Full Contact Fighter checks the "Axe Murderer" appetite for yet another victim…

FCF:   Your last fight was against Mirko "Cro Cop" at PRIDE 20. Now that some time went by since this fight, how do you analyze your performance in the match-up?
VS:     I analyze it in a positive way since the rules didn't favor me and his weight didn't favor me as well. I really think I did well in the fight and I think I did an intelligent fight with him. From the second or third round and on he sort of chickened out and started to walk backwards. He really chickened out and I felt from the second and third round and on he didn't have all that tough guy attitude of his, and in fact I think I won the fight.

FCF:   What did you think of "Cro Cop's" attitudes before and during the begging of the fight, like blowing kisses to you? Did this motivate you even more?
VS:     That was desperation. The guy was in fact scared as hell to face me. You can even check his facial expression when he makes his entrance; it's not a tranquil expression like someone who is willing to brawl. The guy was nervous; he was scared to fight me.

FCF:   What about his stare down before the fight? Usually most fighters don't stare back at you, but he did. Do you get more motivated when someone stares back?
VS:     It doesn't matter in the end, because this is my line in the play. If the other guy wants to do a little guest appearance, or work in a supporting role it's ok with me, but this is my line after all [Laughs]

FCF:   Still speaking of your last fight, what did you think of fighting under those different rules, with no judges and shorter rounds? Would you fight again under those rules?
VS:     To tell you the truth I don't chose much of these things. If I have to do, I'll do it. It's tranquil, I don't pick any rules or I don't pick any fighters. I think when a fighter starts to demand a lot of things in order to fight he doesn't gain much credibility with the public, and this is what I praise the most.

FCF:   Mirko told the press after the fight that he thought neither of you were aggressive during the fight, and since now he fought you in NHB rules you should return the favor and face him under K1 rules. What do you think of those comments?
VS:     Maybe he will even want to play ball with me! [Laughs] I'm an NHB fighter and I think he should stay a bit quiet and admit he lost to me. Also, he wasn't aggressive but I was, so I believe he had his opportunity and if he didn't take advantage of it I gave me show.

FCF:   What do you think will happen in his fight against Sakuraba at Shockwave?
VS:     Good question! I hope Sakuraba will kick his ass to be honest with you. I don't have anything against this guy [Cro Cop] but I didn't really like him, I didn't like much of his attitude, therefore I'm rooting for Sakuraba.

Vanderlei Silva FCF:   In case Sakuraba wins can we expect even a Silva vs. Sakuraba part three coming up?
VS:     Of course! No problem about it. I'm still here and I already won twice against him, so why not fighting again? Sakuraba was, in fact, the opponent who gave my career an upgrade and I don't chose opponents.

FCF:   After your fight against Mirko there was an endless debate on the Internet on whether you did or didn't break your ribs in that fight. Since I know you personally, I even got in a debate on a Internet forum to say you didn't brake your ribs, however most people didn't believe me and there was even a guy who said that if I knew you he looked like Brad Pitt [Laughs] Can you say once and for all if you did brake your ribs or not?
VS:     Well, I guess you were debating with a movie star then! [Laughs] For those who don't know, Eduardo Alonso is a friend of mine for quite a while now and he is very talented NHB writer in my opinion. I think who knows if I broke any ribs or not is myself! And in fact I didn't break any ribs in that fight, I just got a bruise. I got back to Brazil on a Sunday, and on Monday I was already training again, lifting weights and stuff. Inclusively on the following Weekend you got here to Curitiba and we had the chance to go to some nightclubs and stuff, and you could see that I didn't break any ribs.

FCF:   Now you're about to fight in one of the biggest, if not the biggest, MMA events ever. Shockwave will be hold in a close to 100.000 thousand spectators stadium, and has probably the biggest budget ever for an event of that sort. How are you approaching the event and what are you thinking of fighting in such a large event?
VS:     I think as a fighter this is an honor. I was really anxious to fight in this event and I expect not only to win but also to do the best fight of the night. I don't enter the ring only to win, I enter the ring to please my public so I expect to be able to do everything they expect from me, most of all because this event will draw a lot of attention and I expect to be able to correspond to such attention.

FCF:   Will your PRIDE Middleweight belt be on the line at Shockwave?
VS:     Good question. To tell you the truth I don't know, but I don't think so because I'm probably going to face someone heavier. Well, I guess, because I don't even know against whom I'm going to fight! [Laughs]

FCF:   How much will you weighting for this fight?
VS:     Right now I'm weighting 98kg. I got ready to fight someone heavier, so the guy must will be around this weight I believe because I won't drop weight to fight now [Laughs] But I guess it'll probably be someone heavier than me.

FCF:   Being the PRIDE Champion and a top-level athlete, how is it for you to have to travel to Japan without knowing whom you will face? How are you dealing with this situation?
VS:     It's tranquil. I think it's worst for who is going to face me [Laughs] I'm very well prepared, with a sharp right hand and a very strong straight punch, that if it lands will drop anyone, so I don't worry much about the opponent. I prepare myself in the same way, no matter whom I'll face, so I'm thinking in a positive way and in top shape, with great stamina and very well technically wise. I don't have any injuries so I'm going to win! There's no such thing as worrying about it, if God helps I'll give a show there.

Vanderlei Silva FCF:   There's has been a trend lately of having K1 fighters facing you. You fought "Cro Cop" at PRIDE 20, a fight against Ray Sefo and then Cyril Abdil was negotiated for Shockwave, and you may even ending up facing someone from K1. We also had some wins from NHB fighters at K1 lately, like Quinton Jackson over Abdil and most recently Goodridge over Mike Bernardo. What do you think about all those K1 fighters as opponents for you, and those wins by NHB fighters in K1?
VS:     As for myself, I think the more fighters wanting to face me the less chance of myself going unemployed [Laughs] For me it doesn't matter if I'll face someone from K1 or PRIDE, I just want to fight! It doesn't matter against whom. I want to defend my country and my academy, and for me it's the same. I don't pick opponents so whomever appear to fight me I'll fight. As for the K1 fighters in NHB I think it's cool! It's valid. I think they want to improve themselves in NHB, because it's way easier for a fighter from NHB to go and fight… Well, it's not much easier in fact, it may be easier for those who train Muay Thai like me but if a Jiu-Jitsu fighter decided to fight in K1 he is screwed [Laughs] The guys from NHB who knows to fight standing have been doing well in K1, but to be honest with you I think that to fight Muay Thai against them [K1 fighters] may not be a pleasant experience. But it's great for the sport in my opinion. This attracts the attention of the media, and from the spectators who all of the sudden may want to see a famous K1 fighter facing a famous PRIDE fighter, so this helps the sport to evolve. It's good for everybody, even for the athletes. I for instance like to face famous and skilled fighters, I don't like to face lower level fighter, and I want to face top fighters! Even because in my career I just plan to fight like 45 more fights till I retire. [Laughs]

FCF:   This even brings up an interesting point. A lot of people have been criticizing the choice of your last opponents, especially because you have been facing a lot of Japanese opponents lately, and aren't facing the top fighters in your division. What do you think of those critics?
VS:     As everybody knows I never pick any opponents during my career. I always fought anyone and I even have several fights in my career against heavier opponents. Thankfully I have been doing well. If my opponent is tough or if he is not this is his problem. I think my game is always the same and I fight in the same way against all my opponents. If my opponent doesn't get tough and doesn't go after me, then I get tough and I go after him! [Laughs] And if he gets tough I'll get even tougher. [Laughs]

FCF:   There is even a rumor that you may end up facing Jan "The Giant" Nortje, although it can not happen in the end since he just got knocked out at K1 recently. What do you know about him, and what do you think of him as an opponent?
VS:     I don't know what to think, because I don't know him. I can't say much about him since I don't know him, but I expect to win by knockout.

FCF:   A lot have commented... and even Dana White himself said on the Internet that he would love to see a fight between you and Chuck Liddell. In fact, he said he believes Chuck will kill you. What do you think about a fight between you and Liddell?
VS:     It's tranquil! I'll fight him whenever he wants to. In fact, I'll fight him or any other fighter in the UFC that is my weight division. It doesn't matter who they are. I'll face them. As for Dana White thinking he will kill me, Dana isn't a fighter. Also, Chuck is his fighter so he must value him. It's just natural. It's like my mother always says "Everyone must estimate their belongings" I think if you ask the PRIDE owner he will say that he thinks I'll win [Laughs] So I think this is a normal and natural comment.

FCF:   What are you planning for after this event? Do you plan to fight again at PRIDE 22 in September?
VS:     I'll fight as soon as I can! If I can fight again in September I'll fight. At the next PRIDE event, if they want me to compete I'll fight. I just want to fight. If God helps I expect to fight like more three times this year.

FCF:   Speaking about PRIDE 22, what do you think of the heavily rumored fight between your teammate Murilo "Ninja" and Ricardo Arona?
VS:     I think Ninja will do to Arona more damage than he did to Sperry; since Sperry is Arona's teacher and he did that, imagine what he will do to the student! I think he will do sort of what Sakuraba did to Ryan, spank his butt [Laughs] I think is time for him to take a good beating, and I think Ninja will get the job done.

FCF:   Speaking of it, Arona expressed interest in facing you instead of Ninja, since you are the Middleweight champion. Would you like to face him?
VS:     Of course! I think he really doesn't know what he is asking for. When he steps in the ring with me I'll hurt him bad. In fact he already chickened out from me once, and I believe he is all about talk only.

FCF:   Frank Shamrock is finally about to be back to the game, and in the past he expressed his feelings about how a fight with you would go. Do you think you could face him in the future?
VS:     I think this guy was trying to promote himself over my name, and I think this is stupid. I think above all things the guy should respect me because I never talked about him before he said those things. I also think that for a guy to talk about me he must have a lot of guts to back it up, because I'm a man and the guy who talks about me must deal with the consequences. If he will not be able to deal with the consequences he is fucked because I'll hurt him bad.

FCF:   How was the training for your next fight? I was told you trained very hard with Anderson and Pele.
VS:     We have been brawling! I have been working a lot on my physical condition, and I have been improving my stamina a lot. I also have been doing some new things, like some elastic bed classes to give more agility in my legs, to strengthen my knees and stuff. I have also been doing classes with a guy who teaches Olympic Gymnastics, who is teaching me some stretches and the likes. Some unusual stuff, because when you keep doing always the same things you end getting tired of always doing those things, so I'm trying new things now. It shakes things up a bit, and you get more agile. I'm training a lot. The sparring has been tough as always, I almost knock the guys out, and they almost knock me out several times! It's always fun!

FCF:   Speaking of Anderson Silva, what did you think of his PRIDE debut against Alex Steibling?
VS:     To tell you the truth I wanted his opponent to be able to fight for more time because I like to see Anderson fighting! [Laughs] I wanted him to hit the guy more. But the man [Anderson Silva] is a show! What can I talk about him? Those who saw the fight can say what happened. He is a complete athlete, and it's like my brother commented after the fight "For a guy to beat Anderson he needs to be way heavier than him, but really way heavier!" I don't know, but I find it tough to see someone beating Anderson at his own weight. I don't think that Matt Hughes can beat him. I think Anderson would crush him, I also think Carlos Newton would lose to Anderson. I think Anderson will crush all those guys; it's just a matter of putting the in line for him to beat them all.

FCF:   Do you think all that "Brazilian Killer" attitude from Alex motivated Anderson even more for the fight?
VS:     Man, I think it wasn't even him who created this stuff. Maybe someone created it for him and he tried to play this character, and this character can't exist. He paid the price and fought literally against the wrong person [Laughs]

FCF:   Finally, any final message to your fans?
VS:     I want to say to all the guys that I'm very well prepared and I'll go till the end! There's no quitting in me, I'm a warrior and I expect to do a good fight. I want to send a hug to everybody that likes my work, especially those in the USA who follow my work, because my website has been receiving a lot of visits from people from the USA. I hope you will keep following not only my work but also the work from all the guys from the Chute Boxe academy, because we all like the fans that enjoy our show, it doesn't matter where they are from. In my opinion Martial Arts can't have a country and everybody must admire a good athlete. I hope you guys will keep supporting us, keep watching our fights and buying the pay per views. Let's continue to help the sport, and those of you who likes it a lot; let's practice some Wrestling, some Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu or any other fighting art, because this is healthy and fun! Let's keep away from drinking, smoking, drugs and all this sort of stuff, because this will hinder anyone's lives. So let's train, try to live a healthy life and go after the girls, cause this is what we all like! So let's spend our energy in a good way [Laughs] Keep following my fights because won't thing I can guarantee is that I'll never lack heart! Silva will always go till the end!

FCF:   Thanks a lot for your time and good luck against whatever opponent you'll fight! [Laughs]
VS:     [Laughs] Thank you and don't worry!

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