By Eduardo Alonso
Jorge Macaco Patino is one of the most controversial and charismatic NHB fighters in Brazil, and has been this way ever since his first battles with Pele Landi several years ago. Wherever Macaco is fighting, he brings excitement to the event. The last MECA event in Curitiba, where he fought RVT member Gustavo Ximu, was no exception. In a conversation held before his fight at MECA, Macaco shared a lot of his views on fighting, training and a fighter’s behavior. Unfortunately, Patino ended up losing his fight against Ximu by submission, but it was still very interesting to review this interview and share it with FCF’s readers, because Macaco is really an interesting character and he surely will be around the NHB game for a long time. The Octagon awaits…
FCF: You are already a well known fighter abroad, but you spend a good amount of time without fighting in the major events, only training and helping your students. How was it for you to stay away from the ring for such a long time?
JMP: Well, the last event that I fought was Deep, in January 2001. Then I suffered an injury on my left hand, I broke the capsule of my hand hitting the opponent’s face and the also hitting the ring. From then on, I have been working with my students. I have been working on my cardio, my techniques, and focusing on my students. But, if something came up, I would fight! I already had a fight abroad scheduled for this year and the MECA invitation came about. MECA is very important here in Brazil, and my students can watch me, so I need to work here inside Brazil too. It’s here that I make my money. When you go to fight abroad, you don’t have students there. But here I have students. So I have to put my neck on the line! I make a living out of this, and I like it. Besides, MECA is for sure the biggest NHB event in Brazil, and if I’m not in it, I’m losing! Rudimar [Fedrigo] opened the doors for me, and got me a very tough fight against Ximu. So, may the best man win!
FCF: You have been to some previous MECA editions, bringing your students over to fight. This is the first time that you will actually fight in the event. How can you compare both experiences?
JMP: I can only congratulate Rudimar on the event’s organization, and the Chute Boxe team for the great reception they always give us! We always participated in the event, from the first MECA to the fourth! We only haven’t been here in the fifth. Now we’re back to MECA, with Luiz Azeredo and myself. Azeredo already won two times in MECA, and he’s coming for his third fight at the event. My students have been working very hard, and you know that it’s not easy to step inside the ring. It’s very tough! You need very tough psychological work. There are some days that everything will go right for you, and there are others that nothing will go right. As a fighter, I know that, because it happens to me a lot of times! I trained the whole year, I’m more than ready, but when I step into the ring I get kind of locked. But I’m relaxed, and I’ll try to do a good work there. I have Jesus in my heart, and thank God we had a great reception once again. All the guys from the Chute Boxe team gave us a great support, and we’re here to add something to the event.
FCF: Everybody knows what you’re capable on the ground, but you have been training a lot of Muay Thai lately. Are you already feeling more comfortable to trade now?
JMP: Since I have been training Muay Thai with Luiz Azeredo for more than a year and a half now, we have been hitting each other for that long, I could do a good showing of my stand up in Japan. I traded a lot of strikes with my opponent at Deep, I was able to hit him with several punches and kicks, but I couldn’t knock him out because he was very tough indeed! He was a real Samurai. He was much bigger and stronger than me. As for my fight with Ximu, let’s see what happens. It’ll be like a major test. He is also a stand-up fighter, which I wasn’t in the past, but I’m becoming one now! So I’ll look for the stand-up fight. I’ll look to fight in his style… let’s trade! It’ll be all or nothing, let’s do the event’s show. I came here to give a show! Let’s brawl standing up and the best will win! If I have the chance to take the fight to the ground, I’ll take it to the ground. But I’ll trade standing up first.
FCF: What do you expect for your career after this fight at MECA 6? Do you have any plans to fight abroad?
JMP: First of all I would like to thank everybody at the Cleber Luciano academy for all the support. Every time that I go there they treat me very well. My cousin Lili is married to Cleber Luciano, and we do good work there. My cousin is my manager, and she always gets the fights abroad for me. As a matter of fact in 2000 I had 17 wins, and I fought seven times abroad. In 2001, I fought 3 times abroad, and I won the Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship. So, MECA gives you the opportunity to go to PRIDE, and I already have a fight signed with the UFC. I’m only waiting to finish my work here to be able to work on that.
FCF: You had a big rivalry with Pele in the past, but nowadays you two get along very well. Do you fear that the fans from Curitiba, Pele’s hometown, will be all against you in the fight?
JMP: We’re, Pele and I, both professionals. Inside the ring we will try to beat the hell out of each other, we hate each other! But outside of the ring we’re professionals. We talk, eat together, and shake hands and stuff like that! This is the life of a real fighter. Outside the ring we’re regular people just like anyone. And inside the ring we do our work. Since I’m a very charismatic fighter, I don’t worry about the crowd. I have a very good psychological aspect. I’m sure the crowd will scream and call me names, because this is part of the event. But as much as they scream, it gives me even more strength in the fight. I like it! But I’ll also have my supporters here. There are some buses with my supporters coming from Sao Paulo to watch the show. I love when the crowd from Curitiba calls my name! This is part of the event, and it helps promote the sport, and this proves that I’m alive in the sport. I’m not the sort of guy who talks a lot but doesn’t put his neck on the line. Currently I have 25 fights, with 20 knockouts in under a minute! I also have 4 losses and a draw. If you take a close look among the Brazilian fighters, I’m one of the fighters with more fights on their records. Besides that, my defeats only helped me to learn from my mistakes and improve my game.
FCF: The best of luck for you, and thanks for the interview!
JMP: It was my pleasure.