Jiu-Jitsu coach of the heavyweight champion of UFC, Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros arrived in Brazil on July 27 to visit his friends and TATAME talked to the two-time absolute world champion on Muzio de Angelis’ gym, on Gávea neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro. The expert on the gentle art talked about his plans, commented on Brock Lesnar’s win over Shane Carwin doing the move he taught him, analyzed the next confrontation of him with Cain Velasquez and the possible fight of Junior “Cigano” dos Santos, next challenger for the belt of the division. Check these and other subjects on the interview below.
How are things going on the United States?
I’ve been travelling a lot. The good side is that I’ve been working a lot, but the bad side is that I won’t be able to fight the Mundial, because I won’t be training. I had the opportunity to go to places like Greece, New Zeeland and several cities of the United States. I didn’t like the way people treated me in Greece, because it was too much… I told them to take it easy, to hold their instincts because they’re not my parents (laughs). But, on a general way, I like how people treat me when I travel.
How are things at your gym, Flow MMA?
I already have my first purple-belt, and Andrei Arlovski is now my partner, and there’s a chance that we start to work together, since he’s teaching MMA in my gym. We haven’t talked about it yet, mainly because he fought and is injured, but it’s possible that we start to work together. There’s nothing confirmed, but it’s the natural way.
Do you intend to change your focus from the trips and go back to the competitions?
I arrived here on the 27th… I had a fight on the United Stated on the 26th, and I’m preparing myself to fight on Chicago Open, but I’ll try not to travel on the first semester of 2011 so I can dispute the Mundial in a good shape, because since I started travelling, it became harder for me.
People questioned a lot Brock Lesnar’s technique and he surprised everybody managing to find a submission position out of nowhere after being spanked. How did you feel when you saw your work making a difference so Lesnar could keep his heavyweight belt of UFC?
The position on which he made the difference is mine, but it’s not only one thing that makes it work and brought him to the spot where he is. He has his training partners, his sparring, his Wrestling coach, Boxing, Muay Thai, so it was a complete work that made him win. But the fight ended due to a position that I taught him, so my work was recognized. Whoever knows me knows that what he did on the fight against Frank Mir had many adjustments I did and my friends in Brazil said he even looked like me. We do a different work focusing ourselves on our opponent and what’s been done for the fight with Mir was great, because he couldn’t move on the ground, he couldn’t even blink his eyes. The submission of Brock was a good thing for me, for him, and it answered several questions about Brock’s limitations.
How is he like when you see him every day?
He’s a guy who has the heart of a fighter and dedicated himself to be where he is. He’s a cool guy, who wants to live to his family and to have his things and sometimes we just don’t get it. The guy likes to talk to the press and people don’t get it… He likes it, what can we do? He kept himself on the media all his life with WWE… I knew the guys on WWE and they’re treated like movie stars, and Brock is tired of all this attention, he doesn’t what that anymore. He wants to stay on his place with his family and the guys keep running after him.
After the hard time Brock had while stand-up, do you intend to focus more on his Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu preparation and avoid the bangs?
Of course I can’t tell you what the strategy to be used against Velasquez will be, but I see Cain trying to use his good shape in his favor, because he has a great conditioning and I believe he’ll try to move a lot, punch him, run, kick, and keep doing that while he runs on that octagon… Maybe he tries a single leg, and that’s what I see Velasquez doing. Of course that he can surprise us as well. He’s a more complete fighter than Carwin, but he doesn’t have the same catch ability, because Shane’s catch what absurd and Brock was the only one who handled him.
There’s a possibility of him fighting against Cigano. What do you thing that would be the best way to beat your countryman?
I believe we have to give one step at a time. I watched Cigano’s fight and I think he’s an excellent athlete, there’s no way of him being a bad fighter on the ground, he’s doing Jiu-Jitsu for a long time and he trains along with the Nogueira brothers and Demian (mais), so for sure, he’s not a silly boy on the ground. Cigano has a heavy hand, he’s strong. UFC has the best heavyweight of the world, there’s no easy choice there, and Brock knows that. Who would imagine that Anderson would have a hard time or that BJ would lose his belt? The level is so high and everybody wants to beat Brock, who is the champion. I believe that he’ll win and will confront Cigano and it’ll be two hard fights… It’ll be great for people to watch.