Mauricio Shogun Tuesday 19th of January 2010 08:07 AM By Erik Engelhart
The UFC light heavyweight contender sat down with TATAME.com to answer a lot of fan questions. In the exclusive interview, you check below, the Curitiba native talked about the fight with Lyoto, the rematch, his thoughts about Rogerio Nogueira in the UFC, his brother, Chute Boxe, Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva and a lot more.
What went through your mind when the judges gave the decision to Machida?
I was surprised with the result. So I talked about the fight with my corner, and considered the reaction of the fans. I was surprised, and I was trying to think ďwhat did I do wrong?Ē Then I came home, and saw the fight several times. And really, in my mind I won.
Do you think it was a mistake in judging, or a deliberate move to call a rematch between you?
It is difficult to know, but I believe it was in the particular interests of someone. I do not say the UFC, however. Perhaps the people who work with betting exchanges.
And how did you feel at the end of the fight, standing with Machida, before the decision?
In fact, when the fight was over, I was sure I had won the fight, with confidence. I was quite sure I won until they gave him the decision. But I was quiet, I was happy.
Since the fight between Machida and yourself was quite close, do you think the fact that he is seen as a rising star in the fighting world may have contributed to the decision by the judges?
I donít think so, I think every fight is a fight. The guy is on the rise, had the belt, but I think that fighting is fighting, so I donít believe so.
How would you feel to receive the title by decision, if it became evident that you lost the bout?
I think I would feel opposite to what I do now. Iím happy with my performance and Iím glad I fought, I would return to do it all again and Iíll come back better than last time. But really, the whole world saw who won the fight.
Lyoto stated that you received strong blows and knockdowns. Do you agree with the statement that you felt dizzy receiving those hits?
No, of course not. If people came to the fight, you would see that my moves were far more impressive than those of Machida, but unfortunately the media in Brazil is controlled. It unfortunately is, and we must try to change to reverse that.
What can fans expect for the rematch?
Iíll represent my country and my city, and I will surely represent myself. I do not promise victory, but fans can expect my greatest possible effort.
You will face Lyoto again. Will you maintain a similar strategy?
I will change my gameplan, because heíll surely change his. Iíll go in with other strategies, with other cards up my sleeve.
You always prepare strategies for the fight. Have there been fights in which strategies have to allow room for improvisation?
Definitely. For example, in the fight with Cyborg, I was trading punches with him and saw that the fight would be better on the floor, and took it to the ground.
Did you train with karate sparring partners for the fight against Machida? If so, was it to get the timing of attacks down?
Actually they were on the same team, the Dida Marcelinho. They even imitated and improvised Lyotoís training.
Did you do what you intended against Machida?
I believe that 70% of what I planned to do against Machida was successful, missed some things, but I did do the strategy and most of the things I wanted to do. I could put into practice almost everything I planned.
Who decided upon the strategy for your fight against Lyoto, considering that no opponent has ever been competitive against him?
I do my meeting with the team here at home, and everyone has freedom of speech, on the strategy and about everything else. Within these meetings we discuss all until the best strategy is agreed upon, and implement in practice.
Were you surprised by the strength of your low kicks? Do you believe that maintaining this strategy, you can win without going to a decision?
When my kicks hit him in the ribs, and knees, I realized he was getting hurt even during the fight. I believe he worked hard, the guy is a warrior himself, but I believe that if this fight was at any time, normally I would win.
You think you will have a disadvantage in the next fight with Lyoto, now lost your element of surprise?
I think not. Just as he knows my tactics for the fight, I know his. It becomes negated, nobody has any advantage. It will be a battle, I have to train all over again.
Do you believe that the likes of Renzo and Rickson Gracie, and even when Couture stops fighting in MMA, should they not be invited by the UFC to compose and extend the panel of judges, which apparently is composed of boxing judges and not MMA? This would not end all the controversies, but at least give more credibility to the decisions made by the judges?
I struggle discovering the reason I lost that fight, I really think that was a mistake of the judges. If had to put new judges, do a renovation, why not use MMA fighters, right?
In preparation for his last fight, your brother Murilo Ninja left to fight overseas. How important is Murilo in your preparation?
He always helps me a lot, one always wants to help others. Iím here to help and we always help eachother, we are always together, bolstering one another. One in the corner, we feel comfortable together.
When you started at Chute Boxe, Ninja was already there. Tell me how the beginning was for him. To what extent did he serve as a base for you?
When I started, I used to watch my brother fight with big beasts, and this serves as a mirror for me and was great motivation. I always used it while training at the academy, and of course for me it was very good, because itís good to train with someone who you admire, it makes you grow.
What is the difference between the UFC Shogun and PRIDE Shogun?
(Laughter) I think the Shogun in PRIDE was a man who adapted to the ring, and now the Shogun in the UFC is a man adapted to the cage. I focus more on fighting now, and before I had to do other things, today I am much more focused and professional.
You were criticized when Andre Dida was chosen to be your coach. They thought he is too young to be technical, or that it should have been Cunha, among other criticisms. But Dida fulfill what it promised? What you have to say to these people?
They have to be humble and accept that they were wrong, because when I chose Dida everyone was talking a lot of ****, then he proved that I was right. Dida is a guy that when I ventured to hire him, I knew his job was not at risk. Cunha is a guy who is good in the event, but not to training.
Shogun, how would you like to win over Lyoto Machida? Decision, submission, or knockout?
I said this in the U.S. at the press conference. I said that this fight is my dream and a win anyway is good, the goal is victory.
Ninja is your older brother. When you started training at Chute Boxe, you were soon regarded as a phenomenon, and it has been proven true. At what age did you begin to clash with Murilo?
We never think like that in training, we try to help each other. There are people who do not train well, but fight well. Weíre together to help each other in fights, our psychological energy is focused on our next opponent, not each other in practice.
When listening to a radio interview with you and Wanderlei Silva, Wanderlei said you had given him a pit bull, and wanted to get the dog back. And that you decided to fight in training, and the winner would take the pit bull. Who finally got the dog?
This story is not true, I have no pitbull, never had. We were coaching and I took a knockdown from him, and he was joking saying that he won.
Did you enjoy the trip back home to think about what happened at UFC 104?
This fight is already part of the past, and Iím already thinking about next fight now. I respect Lyoto a lot, he is not guilty of the result, it is with the judges. I can not live with this result before continuing my career.
How was it to get booed and cheered by the audience present at UFC 104?
Iím very happy, because the greatest motivation I have are my fans, so Iím happy to have the recognition of my fans.
During the fight you took some knees from the Lyoto, and never corrected yourself during the five rounds. Why?
I did correct myself. if you see the last round, my corner told me and I started to block the knees.
In the rematch what do you think Lyoto will change in his strategy?
I have not thought about it yet. The time will come where I sit down with my team and we discuss it, but not yet.
Shogun, as everyone knows, you trained with Anderson Silva at Chute Boxe Academy and recently he has raised controversy between Brazilians and members of your team. What is your position on this issue? How did you feel when you saw Anderson, your former training partner, in Lyotoís corner?
I was not upset, we treat his corner just like any other.
Would you be opposed to fighting Anderson Silva?
Certainly, I think we have to be professional. The only fight I would not accept is with my brother.
Is there any possibility of a fight against his Fedor Emelianenko?
(Laughs) Fedor, in my opinion, is the number one in the world. Of course everybody wants to fight with him. As I always say, Iíll fight with anyone and Iím used to tough opponents in front of me.
Aside from yourself, who are the other five best fighters in your opinion?
Fedor, Anderson, St. Pierre, BJ Penn and Lyoto I think.
Tell how your training was at Chute Boxe?
I was 19 then, and I went there with the interest of fighting. I got a black belt in three years with my teacher and friends. I thinned a lot to get where I am, and I think I have already presented several impressive shows, and I want to accomplish more.
Do you miss the Japanese public? What is the difference between the Japanese and American?
Japan is a beautiful country, I fought a lot there. I have much admiration with the Japanese, have fought many times there. The big difference is that in Japan they are analyzing and quiet. In the U.S. it is a screaming gallery.
Do you miss the soccer kicks? Do you think the rules of PRIDE were more exciting?
I think so, and I think elbows hurt much more than the kicks. But now Iím in the UFC and I have to follow the rules.
Do you think that Ricardo Arona is still one of the best of the middleweights, and deserves a place in the UFC? Or is his career in decline?
I donít train with him, so I canít really comment. But I believe he can take on anyone, without much problem.
You are currently in the UFC, but if Pride still existed, ignoring the amounts paid, where would you rather fight?
(Laughter) This guy wants to throw me in the fire, huh? I never really thought about it, but now Iím competing in the UFC and I am focused on it.
What was the best fight of your career?
I think I had several good ones with Liddell, Minotouro, Rampage, even with Lyoto, with Cyborg, I think all these battles were good.
Of your four career losses (Babalu, Coleman, Forrest and Machida), which was the most difficult to swallow?
I think it was the Machida decision, just by the way that I lost.
Your popularity in the United States grew considerably after your last fight. How is the reception from the fans? And here in Brazil, has anything changed after the fight?
Iíve seen increased responsiveness from the fans, and I am very happy with it.
Would you like to fight Forrest Griffin again? And what did you think of his fight against Anderson Silva?
In his fight with Forrest, he fought well and his strategy was good. He knew how to use psychological advantages against Forrest. I would like another fight with Forrest as well.
What changed from the Shogun which faced Forrest Griffin and Mark Coleman, to the Shogun who faced Chuck Liddell and Machida?
The difference is that today I am adapted to the UFC, and before I was not adapted to the octagon and everything.
Do you think Minotoro is one of the tops of the weight class, and do you see a dispute over the belt? How do you think the fight would go?
Sure, I made a really tough fight with Minotoro, and I think it would be interesting to fight him again.
If you win the UFC belt, what else would you want to achieve? What motivates you to continue fighting?
Actually, I have not thought about it. When it occurs I will see.
What MMA fighter do you consider best in submissions?
Who was your biggest *****?
Everyone I fight is my *****. I never focus on one person. Just my next opponent.