“If Brazil would invest in MMA, we’d have all the UFC belts”

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Party in Dedé's honor at Nova União, in Rio / Photo: Carlos Ozório

A Carlson Gracie black belt and one of the most respected MMA coaches around, having produced the likes of UFC champ José Aldo, André Pederneiras unabashedly made a declaration over Twitter after watching Junior Cigano crowned champion: “If Brazil would invest in MMA, we’d have all the UFC belts.”

GRACIEMAG.com contacted the Nova União commander-in-chief to find out about his thinking in more than 140 characters.

“In Brazil, wherever there’s investment, return is guaranteed. The country today is already a breeding ground for great fighters, with three UFC belts. If we would invest more in fighting from now on we could soon have hegemony over all the divisions,” he said. “Cigano’s knockout was perfect. The moment that hand landed it was over, there’s nothing more to say about it.”

Indeed, now Brazil holds the featherweight, middleweight and heavyweight crowns. The United States holds another three – the bantam, light and light heavyweight titles –, while Canada owns the welterweight belt.

As for the UFC broadcast on Rede Globo television network, the coach sees only cause for celebration. “I see it as a huge deal for teachers, fighters and anyone who just likes the sport. It’s something that will make a huge difference for MMA.”

Pederneiras also touched on José Aldo’s preparations for UFC 142/Rio on January 14. “We’re going at a frenetic pace over here, believe me. He’s been training right, three times a day, resting only on weekends – in other words, he’s going strong,” said Pederneiras in finishing.

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