He saw it all up close and is ready for return

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Murilo Bustamante is heading for Australia this July 8. There, he will acclimatize for his bout at Impact FC, where he will face Jesse Taylor. Without having stepped into the cage as a fighter in two years, the fighter is confident.

Murilo was a part of MMA’s evolution. In 1991, he fought at the memorable Jiu-Jitsu vs Luta Livre challenges, with neither gloves nor rules, and even head butts counted. He became champion of the UFC, already with a set of rules, and fought at Pride when it was the world’s biggest event.

Bustamente had a chat with GRACIEMAG.com. Check it out:

Murilo against Yoji Anjo at UFC 25. Photo: Susumu Nagao

What does it feel like to return to fighting?

Everything’s great. The toughest part, the training, is out of the way and I’m well prepared and confident. It’s all just the way I want it. I’m stoked, really happy about this opportunity to get in the ring. I’ve wanted this for a long time and now I can make the most of the moment. There’s nothing more to say. I’m overjoyed.

Do you think the time out may hinder you?

Surely the time away does me no good and I’ll feel it. But I’m going to try and compensate for that with experience. I’m in shape, really well prepared for the fight. I managed to reach the baseline I’d hoped to. I have to fight smart and compensate with experience.

Campeão do UFC. Foto: Susumu Nagao

Taylor was recently submitted by Thales Leites. Could Jiu-Jitsu be the way to victory once again?

Jiu-Jitsu is always the way. If I get a chance to use it, it’s the best way, especially for those with it as their background, like me. But I trained a lot of boxing and wrestling. He fought Thales but I don’t know how he’ll come into the fight this time. He had a bad experience with Thales, made a mistake and taped. So he should be wary. I studied his game and I’m ready for any position that comes up, whether standing or on the ground. A fight’s a fight and I’m prepared.

Do you agree that the public likes knockouts and striking more? What are your thoughts on Jiu-Jitsu fighters looking to stand and trade in their fights?

I feel a good fight’s a good fight; it doesn’t matter if it’s on the ground or standing. A lively ground fight is great to watch. Some people prefer standup fighting and knockouts, but that’s a question of taste. The Japanese and Brazilian public has understood ground fighting for a long time and now the United States understands it too. As for Jiu-Jitsu fighters opting to strike, that’s not the smartest way to go. Of course MMA isn’t Jiu-Jitsu, but we have to use what we know best. But there are fighters who feel good standing, so it comes down to each individual.

Murilo on the cover of GRACIEMAG

You’re 43 now. How many more years do you plan to fight?

I don’t know; that’s a tough question. Back in the day, I thought I’d retire at 30. I made it to 43 and still feel like fighting. It’s a mixture of desire and my ability to keep up in training. As far as this fight goes, I hadn’t managed to train this way in two years, when the event I was supposed to fight at was cancelled. I didn’t know I could reach this level. But in the end, I’m content. It made me confident and we’ll see what happens. I’m motivated, prepared and confident. Now we just have to wait and see what happens given my lack of rhythm.

Check out the historic bout between Murilo Bustamante and Marcelo Mendes in the Jiu-Jitsu versus Luta Livre challenge of 1991.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJfA4LI_GEs

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