The 17th installment of Jungle Fight has a number of draws. The kind of spectacle is brewing when the unpredictable Crocotá faces off against Israel’s Roy Parete? Will Renan Barão keep up his exciting winning streak against Cuba’s Yosdenis Cesdeno? Will Erick Silva, yet another revelation from Minotauro Team, live up to expectations? And will Gerônimo vs Conterrâneo be the battle it’s billed to be?
Packed with suspense, Saturday night’s event in Espirito Santo is promising. But make no mistake: the eyes of the MMA world are, today, on the Damm family.
One of the toughest pairs of siblings in Jiu-Jitsu, Rodrigo (8w, 3l) and Carina (14w, 3l) were taken as two major international promises. They made it onto the international stage, but are now at a standstill. Wallid Ismail’s jungle, set on the open beach of Vila Velha, may be the perfect setting to breathe new life into the career of the Damms.
That’s what Rodrigo is banking on, one of the most well-rounded 70kg fighters in Brazil, who hopes to shake the memory of his back-to-back losses.
GRACIEMAG.com: Since your days as a submission grappler, you impressed for your constant movement and incessant arm attacks. Is everything up to speed?
Yes, everything. I trained a lot for this fight, not only Jiu-Jitsu but wrestling and boxing, lots of boxing, which I honed at Minotauro’s gym with the whole team. I respect Ivan Pitbull; I know he’s a really tough Peruvian athlete, but I want to win. Of course fighting is unpredictable, but I’m going to win.
You spent three years undefeated and were considered one of the best fighters up to 70kg. Is the goal to win and pick up your international career where you left off?
Yes, but first I need to win this fight against a tough opponent. I made some good fights out there, a nice win over Ryan Bow, at Bodog Vancouver in 2007, but losses occur. And defeat is defeat, no excuses. There was a fight I had where I fought 15 days after an operation on my appendix, and wanted to test myself even without having training. So now I need to train and put on a show for my friends and family.
When you want to have fun what do you prefer, beach or forest?
I love the beach, but I also spend my vacation time at the farm in Linhares, at my uncle’s house. So I feel at home anywhere where I’m with friends. For this fight on the beach in Vila Velha, not only will the fans be in my favor, but also the climate, temperature, all in my favor. But I need to be well and show my game.
Dubbed “The beautiful beast” by the international press, your sister Carina is unbeaten in four years. Do you see Jungle as an ideal launching pad for her career as well?
She now signed with Bellator six fights and will certainly do well over there. She’d been doing well in international scene, but happened to get caught for banned substances, so she’ll need to be patient. She took a year off, complied with the punishment and now she’s going to shine with the stars again.Jungle Fight 17
Praia da Costa, Vila Velha, Espírito Santo
Saturday, February 27
Luciano Gadi vs Rogério Bezerra (kickboxing)
Marcelo Guimarães vs Gilmar de Andrade
Roy Parete vs Edilberto Crocotá
Renan Barão vs Sergio Bomba
Carina Damm vs Aline Sério
Erick Silva vs Igor Tokaryuk
Gerônimo Mondragon vs Edson Conterrâneo
Ivan Pitbull vs Rodrigo Damm
Luciano Olho de Tigre vs Oscar Bruno Fuchs (boxing)