Caio Terra Plays Down Cesar Gracie’s Criticism, Praises Carlos Condit’s Jiu-Jitsu

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Carlos Condit Caio Terra e equipe em Montreal para o UFC 154

Caio Terra (far right) with Condit and team in Montreal, Canada, prior to UFC 154 / Publicity photo

GRACIEMAG.com: Now the dust has settled, what are your thoughts about Carlos Condit’s performance against Georges Saint-Pierre at UFC 154?

CAIO TERRA: Carlos put on a big-time display of true, smooth and free-flowing Jiu-Jitsu. He’s really smart and a fast learner. I trained him for about 40 days, which isn’t very long when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu. But he did great. Carlos is the only guy who Saint-Pierre hasn’t passed the guard of; except for Jake Shields, who’s a ground-fighting specialist, so GSP didn’t want to him take down—he beat him standing. GSP easily passed the guard of a phenomenon like BJ Penn, passed Dan Hardy’s 26 times! He only made it to Carlos’s half-guard, a position where he attacked but also got attacked. GSP never made it to side-control, the only position where he could have attacked and hit, because Condit didn’t let him.

Do you feel Condit could have attacked more on the ground?

I feel all the blood that came out at the start of the fight made things more slippery, which hindered Condit in using his Jiu-Jitsu. Even on bottom I feel Carlos hit harder, though. All you have to do is take a look at GSP’s face after the fight; he was beat up worse than Carlos. And Condit didn’t get hit all that much in half-guard.

After the fight, Cesar Gracie said that you’re no longer part of Gracie Fighter Team because you trained Condit. How did you deal with that?

I’m chill. I know I didn’t do anything wrong, and don’t regret it. When I moved to the USA I’d already been a black belt for a year, had already won the Worlds and other titles at every other belt. After three years teaching at Cesar’s academy, in 2010 I took off and started my own academy—with Cesar’s permission. It’s been a while now that I haven’t met up with anyone from Cesar’s MMA team, if just because on weekends I always travel to teach seminars.

You’d already notified Cesar and Nick Diaz, another welterweight contender, that you were going to coach Condit, right?

When Condit got in touch with me I immediately asked Cesar if it was cool. But he was aggressive with me, which made me sad because I saw that he didn’t have the same respect for me as I had for him. A few weeks later I bumped into him at an event, and he told me it had all been just a joke, that there was no problem, and that I should speak with Nick, who’d already faced Condit. Since Nick’s impossible to get a hold of, I asked Nick to call me, which never happened.

Do you feel you did anything wrong?

No. First of all, Nick isn’t just suspended; he said he was retiring (laughs). Secondly, I was training Condit to face GSP. Nick and Nathan have trained with a bunch of opponents in the past, like BJ Penn, Ben Henderson, Frankie Edgar. It’s normal. Jake [Shields] has trained with the Blackzilians. I have nothing but respect for them all, so the lack of respect for me saddens me.

GSP e Carlos Condit no UFC 154 Foto Josh Hedges UFC

Condit playing open guard against GSP / Photo by Josh Hedges/UFC

He said that you went to train Condit so you could make money and get some press…

If Cesar was unhappy, all he had to do was call me to tell me I was off the team, but he wanted to let it all out in the press. I didn’t want that press, nor did I want to appear in the UFC Countdown special. To paint a picture for you, it was Dana White who called Carlos and demanded that I be on the special. He’s the one who wanted to see shots of Jiu-Jitsu training to publicize the fight with. Anyways, I just want to make it clear that I didn’t coach Condit for press or for money. I need money just like the next guy, but that wasn’t my main motivator.

What was your main motivation, then?

I’ve done plenty of competing in Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve won all the big tournaments, and sometimes you need a new challenge to give you that extra motivation. Carlos is an excellent person, a talented fighter and true warrior, and I wanted to help him because I’d already seen him helping a lot of other people. I wanted to help him by teaching him modern Jiu-Jitsu, and I feel it was a phenomenal experience. And what a fight!

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