Zé Mario talks Fabio Gurgel and Belfort vs. Jones: “It’ll only last 2 rounds”

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Ze Mario ensina em seminario em Manchester

Blackzilians head coach Zé Mario during a Jiu-Jitsu seminar in Manchester, England last year / GRACIEMAG archive photo

By Vitor Freitas

GRACIEMAG: How did you take the news of the offer to do a supermatch with Fabio Gurgel at ADCC 2013?

ZÉ MARIO SPERRY: I was overjoyed. It’s always a pleasure to fight in the ADCC, now imagine against one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

Fabio quipped that he’s going to ask you to pull guard… What’s your game plan for the match?

Fabio can do whatever he wants in this kind of competition: he can trade grips on the feet or pull guard. He’s got the technique for it. But it’s still early to define strategies.

He said there’s a 90% chance the ADCC will be in São Paulo next year. Does it make any difference to you if it’s in Brazil, the USA or Europe.

I found that out myself. I think the deal only hasn’t been finalized yet because of the municipal elections in Brazil. It doesn’t make a difference to me. Still, I’d love to compete at home. I just haven’t decided yet where I’m going to do my training, if it’ll be here in Florida or in Brazil. But there’s still time, like I said.

What was the main factor in your moving to Blackzilians team in the USA?

I feel it was a set of factors. The offer was a good one; but there were other offers as well: the athletes I get to work with, the proximity to Brazil, the freedom I have to come and go between here and Brazil, the climate, the synergy with [team founder and manager] Glenn Robinson, the autonomy to do what I want in terms of training, to work in the USA doing what I like… In a nutshell, I’m really happy here.

What’s your daily routine like at the helm of the Blackzilians?

It’s great. I head two training sessions per day. Sometimes I teach some private lessons to professionals, and in the afternoon I work on the business I have back in Brazil.

UFC 152 is coming up. What is it that leads you to believe Vitor Belfort will beat Jon Jones?

His speed. Of course it’ll be difficult. But who can beat Jon Jones? I believe that to beat the champion you have to have the speed of a Rashad or Lyoto—they tried, lost, but I feel we could see them in situations where they could end the fight. I see the fight lasting no longer than two rounds. I want to believe Vitor’s going to surprise him with a high-speed combination of straight punches and hooks once he finds his range. If the fight lasts longer than that, I think Jon Jones will take it to the ground and start what would be the beginning of the end of the fight.


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