The Brazilian Beat:
Babalu to face Liddell, Wallid to return to PRIDE, Storm coming up, MECA 7 scheduled and more!
As the Shockwave event approaches, things are heating up in Brazil, with everybody paying close attention to what promises to be the biggest mixed martial arts event ever. Camps like Chute Boxe and the Brazilian Top Team are preparing their champions to compete in Japan, and both teams leave for Japan this week. However, Shockwave isn’t the only thing drawing attention in Brazil right now. The next editions of the UFC are also creating expectations with fighters training hard for it and new fights being commented all the time! If that’s not enough for a fight fan MECA 7 is finally set to go and promises to be the biggest MECA ever, Storm Muay Thai is getting closer and the one and only Wallid Ismail is ready to come back to PRIDE, as The Beat continues its never-ending groove…
- After his impressive win at UFO against Murakami Kazunari, who trained for the fight with the Brazilian Top Team, Wallid Ismail is already back in the USA to continue his training. Ismail has been training hard with the rAw team, and also in boxing with the likes of Al Stankie at Antonio Inoki’s own LA Dojo. Wallid told Full Contact Fighter that the training sessions have been extremely hard with great fighters such as Frank Trigg, Vladimir Matyushenko and Fernando Vasconcelos. Wallid went on to say that negotiations are ongoing for the formation of a fight team — combining the forces of Carlson Gracie, LA Dojo and the rAw team — intent on leading an assault on the Japanese NHB events! On the subject of fighting at UFO with his former teammates in the corner of his opponent Wallid Ismail commented to FCF: "Because it was Bebel [Duarte] who was in Kazunari’s corner I even found it funny, since he is a friend and someone who grew up with me. Also, if I would have lost, I wouldn’t be upset with their competence in doing good work with the training, instead I would be upset with myself for not have [achieving good training results]. I’m not like others who get upset with my professional competence instead of getting upset with their own incompetence. When these people look in the mirror, holding whatever titles they hold, they know their own incompetence"
- Charismatic as always, Wallid also told FCF how amazed he was with Rico Chiapparelli’s competence as a trainer and cornerman. Ismail reported that Rico gave him a lot of confidence during the fight, giving him the right atmosphere to perform his best like only Carlson Gracie can give him. The former IVC champion believes he is in the best shape of his life and has his new challenge already in his sight, a likely fight at PRIDE 22 in September, against an opponent to be named in the future, for which Wallid Ismail is already preparing himself. We will continue to keep a close eye on Wallid’s preparation and his next fight in PRIDE.
- UFC Legend Marco Ruas is already in the final stages of his recovery process from the broken hand he suffered while training for UFO. Ruas is already training, concentrating mostly on kicks instead of punches for obvious reasons, and doing physiotherapy. "The King of the Streets", who is already teaching again at his academy in the USA, told Full Contact Fighter that he believes in around one month his hand will be fully recovered and he will be able to resume full training once again, to then start getting ready for at least one more fight in the near future since he is still not retired!
- Speaking of the Ruas Vale Tudo team, Light Heavyweight Renato "Babalu" Sobral will be returning to the Octagon in November to face none other than "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell! Although not announced yet, the fight is likely to be a done deal and will probably showcase a stand-up war! "Babalu" is taking this challenge as the fight of his life and will be moving to the USA in the coming weeks to live and train with Marco Ruas until fight time, in order to be in the best possible shape to attempt such a difficult task… beating Chuck Liddell.
- Things are heated up at the Ruas Vale Tudo Team headquarters in Brazil as K-1 Legend Peter Aerts is already at Rio de Janeiro helping his friend Pedro Rizzo to train for his September UFC fight against Gan McGee. Reports have that the training sections has been as tough as ever and "The Rock" is sharpening up his Muay Thai skills with Aerts looking for a knockout against the huge McGee.
- The next edition of MECA World Vale Tudo is finally scheduled and approved for November 7th, at the "Palacio de Cristal" in Curitiba. The 7th edition of the show feature 12 NHB fights for the first time in the history of the event. Initially, the promoters planned on holding several editions throughout 2002, however Sportv ended up approving only one edition for November, so several fights planned for other editions were added to the November card. The event will be broadcast live on pay-per-view in Brazil and also broadcast later in two parts on Sportv.
- Still on the subject of MECA, it is now confirmed that Chute Boxe legend Pele Landi will be back in the event! The former WEF and IVC champion will be facing Ruas Vale Tudo team member Alexandre "Cacareco" in one of the event’s headline bouts! Pele is training hard and hopes that his fight will take him a step closer to the UFC. Among the other 11 fights being scheduled for the next MECA some interesting battles are set to happen: Luta-Livre legend Eugenio Tadeu will face Ryan Gracie student Marcelo Giudice; the debut of Mauricio "Shogun", Murilo Ninja’s brother, in NHB; a possible fight between Chute Boxe’s K-1 winner Nilson de Castro against Luta-Livre’s Bigu, as well as the presence of an American fighter, Dave Phillips on the card; and even a possible return of Jorge "Macaco" Patino! FCF will keep following the developments on the biggest NHB event in Brazil.
- On the always interesting subject of the Chute Boxe team, PRIDE Middleweight champion Vanderlei Silva will be leaving for Japan this Wednesday, August 21st, to compete at Shockwave. Vanderlei will fly to the land of the rising sun along with his master Rudimar Fedrigo and trainer Rafael Cordeiro. "The Axe Murder" is in top shape and will be leaving Brazil still not knowing who his opponent will be, although his opponent is about to be announced very soon in Japan. Negotiations for Vanderlei’s opponent began with K-1’s Ray Sefo, then went to another K-1 fighter in Cyril Abdil, and even got to a point where a Sumo player was a likely opponent. However, at this point Silva is truly in the dark. With nothing still certain about his opponent and his departure just moments away, the Axe Murderer said to FCF in typical Vanderlei form: "I don’t care! Let’s go there and fight!"
- As Shockwave is drawing most of the Brazilian NHB community’s attention right now, another PRIDE champion who will be leaving for Japan this week is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. "Minotauro" will be leaving Brazil this Thursday along with Mario Sperry and the rest of the Brazilian Top Team crew to face the giant Bob Sapp. Nogueira is feeling fresh and ready after his knockout win over Sanae Kikuta at UFO and promises to deliver another exciting performance for the fans, despite the weight difference.
- This weekend will also feature another edition of the Storm Muay Thai event, promoted by the Chute Boxe team, in Curitiba! This Saturday, May 24th the beautiful Opera de Arame, one of the city’s landmarks, will host for the second time a night full of hard hitting Muay Thai action. Not even the participation of Vanderlei Silva at Shockwave was able to jeopardize the event that is set and ready to deliver. Among the most interesting notes on the event will be the participation of Mauricio "Shogun," Murilo Ninja’s brother, facing Sariow, a fighter from the state of Santa Catarina, in a Muay Thai match. Promising Chute Boxe fighter Marlon Matias facing Peterson and NHB veteran from Chute Boxe Osmar Dias Fernandes facing Cleverson are also two fights to take note of in this event. The event will also feature a women’s Muay Thai fight to open the night of action, as well as the return of former Storm winner Nelson who scored the quickest knockout at the last edition. Things will also be interesting ringside, with fighters like Pele Landi, Murilo Ninja Rua, Assuerio Silva and Nilson de Castro all on hand to add prestige to the event.
- Another Brazilian fighter competing at Shockwave is Royce Gracie. The legendary fighter is already on the last stage of his preparation for the upcoming fight against Olympic gold medallist in judo, Hidehiko Yoshida. Royce has been training hard with his brother Royler and will have a impressive corner to help him in his fight against Yoshida. Helping Royce Gracie will be none other than Royler, Renzo, Rolker, Charles, Rodrigo and the legend himself, Helio Gracie. Since the early UFCs, the NHB world hasn’t seen so many Gracies united to win a fight, adding to the already major impact this fight is having in Japan. Royce told Full Contact Fighter that unfortunatelly Rickson Gracie won’t be able to join them for this fight in Japan due to particular issues, although he would have liked to come.