Minotouro: “Cigano could be boxing world champion”

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Photo: Carlos Ozório

Brothers Rodrigo Minotauro and Rogério Minotouro will again see action at the same MMA event. On the September 25 UFC 119 event in Indianapolis, the two will step into the octagon on the same evening. GRACIEMAG.com already spoke with Minotauro (see here), who faces Frank Mir. This time the word went to Minotouro, who has the undefeated Ryan Bader ahead of him. Check it out:

How’s training going? Are you training with your brother?

We train together here in Brazil, we do our strength workouts together, lift like mad. He took the opportunity to correct some things in Jiu-Jitsu and I helped him in muay thai. We also train with Rafael Feijão and Ronaldo Jacaré, who are getting ready to fight and are on fire. We went to Bahia and worked with Cigano and Luiz Dórea too. Dórea knows a lot about MMA, he’s always updated and helps us a lot. My brother just flew out for the United States with Cigano and Dórea. I’m not going to say we’re 100% yet, but on the day of the fight we will be.

The entire team. Photo: Carlos Ozório

Your brother went to the US. How’s your preparation going now?

I’m still training in Rio, but I’m going to organize myself. I want to get together with the wrestling guys to help me. Mark Munoz will fight now and, if he’s available after the fight, I’ll see if there’s a possibility of him training with me. I should find out next week.

Ryan Bader is undefeated in MMA (11 fights). What do you expect from him as an opponent?

He’s a super-tough guy who managed to fuse good wrestling with striking. He’s an opponent carrying weight. It’s a tough fight, but I’ll go after him with Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. I’ll have to use a lot of Jiu-Jitsu, that’ll be one weapon, but my boxing’s good too.

Against Jason Brilz. Photo: Josh Hedges

In your last fight there was a last-minute change of opponents. Jason Brilz, theoretically a weaker opponent, went in for Forrest Griffin. It was still a really tough fight, though.

When an opponent pulls out near a fight a lot of people refuse, asking not to fight. I accepted. I’m not going to deny the opponent change was a hindrance because I’d trained 100% muay thai. Griffin uses a lot of kicks and strikes, he comes at you. Brilz was the polar opposite. That changed my strategy. If I’d trained three months for a wrestler, it could have gone differently. But I managed to do well on the ground; even when I was on the bottom he didn’t hurt me. Standing, I took a hard cross, but I was ok. There was no denying I won the third round. It was good because I saw some weaknesses, but I feel I deserved the win.

What can Sonnen do to Anderson?” Minotouro

What do expect in the fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 117?

Anderson’s a showman, the best there is. Sonnen, although he talks a lot, is a tough opponent, a pain to fight. He has absurdly good wrestling. But if he gets the takedown, what can he do? Anderson overall offers much more danger. He’ll get up and get the knockout. Anderson will show him who’s the champion.

What about Cigano, who faces Roy Nelson? Will he get another knockout?

Cigano is a great talent. I’ve never seen a guy his size be so explosive and quick. He moves like a 135-pounder. Roy Nelson has a heavy hand, we’re keen to that. But Cigano’s level is that of a professional boxer. He could be a boxing world champion. Dórea is awesome, he got him to an unbelievable level.

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