Two-time absolute world champion of Jiu-Jitsu, Alexandre Ribeiro is still recovering from a knee injury, but he cannot wait to get back into action. Training with younger guys, “a little cautious”, like he says, the black-belt is now preparing himself to start 2011 the right way, and he wants to join the main events of Jiu-Jitsu and wants to fight MMA. And it is on the rings that he hopes to put his gentle art’s skills in use, after two wins by knockout. “It’s truth: I’m only using my belt as a uniform (laughs). I think I can learn from all of it. I’m very glad and when I step on the ring in March, I promised to myself I’d get a submission”, said Xande, on an exclusive interview given to TATAME, talking about his projects, the possibility of fighting Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil this year and the success of Jacaré, Roger e Galvão on Strikeforce.
How are the trainings on the United States going?
Man, actually I’m still a little cautious, my knee is not 100% healed… I can train with the white and blue-belts, but I’m not on my level… I’m in pain because of my knee, there’re lots of thing I can’t do like half-guard, to close the triangle… I’m doing a lot of strengthen work, working out a lot so I won’t get hurt again, and I’m also taking care of the things at the gym, I’m organizing my students because there’s about 20 new students per month, the release of my DVD… There’re many things, besides the fights, happening at this moment. I’m getting better from my knee, but in terms of performance, I can’t do much.
So, you are training with younger guys, right?
Yeah, I’m training with the younger guys, the starters, but the positions and the technique continue. I’m very focused on my trainings with the kimono, doing a thing or another every once in a while, trying to keep me active… I’m taking care of my injury, my family, the business and, if God helps me, soon I’ll be 100%.
How is this DVD project going?
Well, actually it’s delayed, it should be released some time ago, but I got involved on the competitions and we lost track of time, but until the end of this month it1ll be released a instructive DVD with techniques, which was very pleasant for me to make, because it’s a very basic DVD, but there’re some advanced positions and maintenance of the position which may help the more graduated guys… There’s much left for the second edition. The number one is now even released and I’m already thinking about the number two (laughs). Until the end of the month, this DVD with the techniques I used on the competitions and on the gym, which had been proved to work, should be out and it’s all on a very basic level so I can show our real Jiu-Jitsu.
I was told you intend to fight on World of WLPJJ at the end of the year… Is it true?
I was very excited to join this competition, but I think I’ll end up not disputing it because we’re in September and I’m not doing my performance training, but I’m very focused. Last World (CBJJ) I think I rushed things too much because I was coming from an injury, had fought right before the event, so now I’ve learned from my mistakes. It’s still possible, but the important thing is that I want to train it all, I want to keep myself up-to-date, to be smart and learn this new tendencies of Jiu-Jitsu. I keep doing my basic training and I know I can get there and do a nice job. Actually there’re many focuses, but the real focus is to keep me active and always updated about what’s going on.
When it comes to MMA, is there anything scheduled?
Since I’m not 100% yet, it’s hard to negotiate. There’s an event, which I can’t quote right now because there’s nothing signed, that should happen at the end of next February or on the beginning of March, and that’s my goal. If I’m 100% ready physically, I’ll go for it and I’ll fight MMA in March. I’m training, I’m thrilled, climbing ropes… I’m doing everything I can with my arms and can’t with my legs. Until World, I want to do one MMA fight, and maybe a Jiu-Jitsu championship, and let’s see how I get to the World, but now I’m just doing the technical part. I’m very focus on this part of the training so that when the performance trainings are back, I can be pretty sharp.
Many Jiu-Jitsu athletes have given MMA a shot and succeeded, like Roger Gracie, who debuted quite well on Strikeforce, Ronaldo Jacaré, who became its champion, and André Galvão, who won twice on the event, being the last one over Jorge Patino Macaco. What do you think of the success of the Jiu-Jitsu guys on MMA?
That makes me very happy because the guys from Jiu-Jitsu are getting titles there. MMA, nowadays, is completely different from what it used to be here on the beginning of all. Now everybody is prepared and knows a little bit about everything. To see the good guys from Jiu-Jitsu getting there only makes me happy. Despite being a fighting and confronting André Galvão, Jacaré or Roger, I’m a fan. On the fight with (Kevin) Randelman I was yelling, on Jacaré’s too, just like on André’s… But André’s was against Macaco, so I wasn’t that thrilled. I’m thrilled and I hope and can come back to the circuit and represent Jiu-Jitsu the way these guys are representing.
Surprisingly, you only have wins by knockout on MMA. Will you manage to put yout black belt in use next time (laughs)?
It’s truth: I’m only using my belt as a uniform (laughs). I think I can learn from all of it, and one of the most important things for me is to have fought six rounds in two fights and have had the experience of going through two complete fights, I think it can have a good influence when I come back. I know I didn’t submit those guys because of my mistakes, I did much things wrong, and it’s a critic I make to myself, but I think that emotionally and even because of the experience I earned on my two fights, but analyzing the technique and physical matters, I think I still can evolve a lot. And I will. We have a very busy team in San Diego, Cyborg is here, there’re great guys here who’s been helping me, I’m very glad and when I step on the ring in March, I promised to myself I’d get a submission.