A two-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion as well as a WEC and UFC veteran, Frédson Paixão dropped by the Brazilian state of Amazonas to catch up with family and old friends. There Paixão, who now lives in Las Vegas, spoke with Lancenet website’s Antônio Barros Jr. about training in the USA, a possible UFC return, and how he got to roll with the Brazilian Supreme Court justice with a black belt, Luiz Fux.
Born in the town of Parintins, Frédson is now the owner of two academies in the US state of Nevada. Check out the highlights from the interview:
Tenure in UFC and WEC
FRÉDSON PAIXÃO: I was short on luck. I’ve been out of the mix for two years, and I believe that, if the world doesn’t end on December 12 like the Mayas say, next year I’ll officially be back in the octagon. I can only thank Zuffa for all they’ve done for me. Everyone there treated me well. Fact is, today I’m the coach at the training center at Zuffa headquarters. The guys who work behind the scenes at the UFC and like doing Jiu-Jitsu and MMA train with me.
What Chief Justice Fux learned
It wasn’t like that. I went there to train and learn from him… He’s been doing Jiu-Jitsu a lot longer than I have. Before I’d even thought of training, he was already a black belt! I got the opportunity and honor of training with Minister Luiz Fux again in January of this year. I’ve known Fux personally ever since the days at Osvaldo Alves’s academy, when I got to train with him and Osvaldo. I don’t mean to brown nose, but you can’t even imagine the knowledge he has, the heart he has in training. And he trains just like anybody, the generous guy he is. It was an honor to receive him for us to train.
Start in Jiu-Jitsu
When I first started competing I didn’t know anything. I’d do crazy stuff: I’d escape the triangle, pass guard and then go for the forearm choke. That’s all I’d do. On the week of my first competition, I worked on that a lot. Then I fought Dino Castelo Branco, who was a blue belt. I lost, but he told Professor Orley Lobato that I had a bright future ahead of me.
The match with de la Riva at 2002 Worlds
It was a good match. I have a lot of respect for him. De la Riva was an inspiration to me. The guard he created became a craze here in Manaus. It was rough having to go in there and face him but it all worked out; I became champion. I think I even had a chance to do more, but I didn’t go in there with the intention of humiliating him. At the time, if I had back mount and both hands on the collar, they’d tap, no matter who they were. I felt really honored to have competed against him.