by Vitor Freitas
Long known for his dreaded arm triangle, seasoned veteran Milton Vieira made his UFC debut last June, which was followed by a layoff after undergoing surgery to his right knee.
Having recovered and gotten back to training at BTT in Rio de Janeiro, the featherweight spoke with GRACIEMAG.com about his recovery, his training partner Rousimar Toquinho’s fight with Hector Lombard, and much more.
GRACIEMAG.com: How’s your post-surgery recovery coming?
MILTON VIEIRA: Quick. I’m already back teaching at BTT and doing some low-intensity training. I’m still doing physiotherapy at Espaço Bruno Mantovano and have done a week’s lifting at the gym. Now I’m working with my manager and friend Alex Davis on getting a fight some time starting in November. Now I just have to bring the intensity up in training and wait for the call-up. I want to fight this year.
What do you make of your UFC debut, when you fought to a draw against Felipe Sertanejo at UFC 147 in Brazil?
It was a great experience for me and my team. We’re on the right path to move up in the division. The fight was good and evenly matched and pleased the crowd. The draw wasn’t according to expectations, but the overall effort was good. It was a good fight. I showed that I’m not just a grappler, but have got a good standup game. The work with my sponsors was excellent, especially the great partnership that remains strong with the brand Tapout.
Your go-to move on the ground is your arm triangle. Can you explain to us how you sink the hold and finish?
It’s always come easy to me; my long arms probably help. But the secret is knowing how to set up the position. That involves a lot of details that set it apart from the arm triangles the others do. A good arm triangle is impossible to get out of once it’s in place.
You train with Rousimar Toquinho in Rio all the time. What will it take for your teammate Toquinho to make it to the top of the UFC middleweight division?
I don’t know what it will take or if it takes anything. Toquinho’s an excellent athlete. He’s dedicated and determined. He has everything he needs to be at the top. But let’s keep in mind that it’s a high-level sport and event, where the best in the world are there all wanting the same thing. It’s hard, grueling work, and sometimes things don’t go to plan. But he’s carrying on with the same intensity. Now he has a fight against Hector Lombar where he’ll get another chance to show what sets him apart in the octagon and take a few more steps towards the top of the weight class.
What are your goals in the UFC?
My first goal is to be in the UFC for a long time. And to do that, there are other goals I need to take care of, like having great fights, pleasing the audience with my fights, being one of the top guys in the weight class, and of course, one day winning the belt. I want to thank the fans who have always supported me. What’s even better than seeing MMA grow is to participate in it with you all.