Right after submitting Pat Audinwood with a standing guillotine, on UFC 119, Thiago Tavares hold his opponent’s leg and arm, making it up with himself after eight months away from the octagon. This morning, Thiago chatted with TATAME and celebrated the great act. “Just when the fight was over, UFC’s match maker (Joe Silva) said this is the Thiago Tavares they want to see… I mean, they are used to this now (laughs)”, celebrates, revealing he wants to be back on the months to follow. Check below the exclusive interview with the lightweight, who also commented the loss of Rogério Minotouro to the American Ryan Bader.
What did you think of this win on this comeback to UFC?
Man, it was a reward for the work I’ve been done. For a long time I’ve been training and my fights were cancelled, my last one was postponed because of an injury… I’m coming from a great evolution and it’s a reward of a serious work I’ve been doing… It was just a win. I needed this win, to have a nice win again, so it was great. Just when the fight was over, UFC’s match maker (Joe Silva) said this is the Thiago Tavares they want to see… I mean, they are used to this now (laughs).
That’s good for me, this charge is good for me because it demands me more, I have to evolve each time more and more constantly because they demand it of me, directly my boss demands. It was a simple win, an important one, a win that seals the work I’ve done. It was great and now I have to come back for the trainings. I hope I’ll be back in October. The important of it all is to keep the trainings so I can fight next month, take advantage of the fact I didn’t get injured on this fight, didn’t hurt myself, and I can fight again.
Was your strategy to use your Jiu-Jitsu, since you did not know about your opponent?
I confess I wanted to exchange while standing up, but when I got there I saw he was much taller than me, than the game plan to exchange with him was replaced. In the end I exchanged a bit, focusing on the opponent, hit him with a crossed jab, it got him and he was on the grid, so I started playing on the short distance because on the long distance he’d catch me. He couldn’t move because he’s much taller… Well, I’ve never fought with a guy that tall, he looked like a pole right in front of me (laughs).
I was anxious to exchange with him, but the guy was too tall, I punched him about two times, put some speed on it, connected well the coups and then I took him down, grabbed the chance I’ve got. Well, I’m a MMA fighter, I’m not a Jiu-Jitsu fighter or a boxing fighter, so I have to take every single opportunity the guy gives me, used my speed to take him down with a double leg, and that was it. I continued on the ground and pound game until he gave me his “little” neck”.
What is your next move on the division?
Man, I’m gonna tell you the truth. I wasn’t punch, so if they propose tome to fight next week, I’m on it, I’m ready, get it? Since I worked very hard to improve and I’ve been working for a long time, I wanna fight pretty bad. I was glad that finally I was going to fight… It’s like a doctor who studied all his life and don’t be able to do a surgery. I also studied my whole life and I wasn’t fighting. Yesterday I was on the flood of happiness because I was working again. When the fight ended I talked to Alex Davis, my manager, and told him to do his job and get me another fight. He said that to the match maker of UFC to check the availability.
Any fighter, you can call. You can call me on the next weekends, if anyone is down, if they have a stand by guy, I can fight him. Otherwise, of course I’ll have to wait for my call and it’ll probably be on December or January because they make the guys to fight every 3 or 4 months, so it’s nice too. If that’s what happens, I’ll be more prepared than now. I want to work. I’m training since I was five years old and not fighting is frustrating. Today is one of the happiest days of my life because I’m fighting again, going for the event very happy. The fight had just ended and I asked to Alex: “find me another fight, please. Try to fit me on an event because I want to work”.
Last week you earned some money by betting on Charles Oliveira. Did you bet on your own self yesterday?
No, man. I can’t bet on myself, but my father won a lot of money because of me (laughs). My father called me and said he earned a large amount of money… My father and another friend of mine, Marcelo. UFC asks its fighters not to bet on themselves to avoid any problems. I won’t tell you how much was it, but my dad earned a lot of money (laughs), Marcelo too. Even if it sounds unbelievable, I earned some money yesterday on UFC because of Sean Sherk and CB Dollaway, but unfortunately I lost some because of our Rogério (Nogueira).
What did you think of this fight between Rogério and Ryan Bader?
Man, honesty I think that Rogério lost the first round. The second one was tied, but I could see a small advantage for Rogério and on the third he undoubtedly won. What happened? The judges scored the three rounds to Bader. In my opinion, I’d give the second and third rounds to Rogério, but independently of it, it was a very tied fight, Ryan Bader is a great opponent, he’s a very strong guy in there, so it was a hard fight. Anyway, it could be a draw or a win to Rogério because if the first round was won by Bader, the second being a draw and the third of Rogérios, he’s win it or it’d be a draw. Since my opinion doesn’t matter to anyone and is not the one which decides who shall win or lose, that was what happened, unfortunately.