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Thursday, Jan 04, 2007

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Minotauro Talks About His Win Over Barnett
By Marcelo Alonso

Antonio Rodrigo 'Minotauro' Nogueira - Photo by Marcelo Alonso

Right after his revenge win against Josh Barnett, Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira spoke with Full Contact Fighter about the fight. Asked if his violent strategy had something to do with Barnett’s statement at a press conference before the fight (Barnett promised the break his leg this time), the Brazilian Top Team fighter said no: "Josh always tries to take away his opponents’ concentration. In the first time he got it, but now I did exactly what I planned to do. Unfortunately I was not in my best condition, I caught [the flu] five days before the fight, but even in this shape, I felt I got very close to knocking him out twice." When asked about why he didn’t try to pass the guard and get mount as he typically does, Minotauro explained: "Fifteen days before the fight, I got two broken toes [when escaping from a footlock]. After that, I was in serious pain whenever I took mount, so I was avoiding that. Also, this time I wanted to keep his back on the ground. Josh is strong from the top, but weak when his back is on the ground, so that was part of my strategy too."

Minotauro also commented on Barnett’s guillotine in the last round: "I don’t remember the last time I tapped out in a guillotine during training, but I remember escaping at least 15 attempts just in the week before the fight, and all of those were much tighter than Josh’s choke," assured the Brazilian, saying that he has no reason to celebrate the second place in the Pride ranking (since Mirko went to the UFC). "I am not worried about the Pride ranking, I just wanted to defeat him. Josh is such a strong fighter, but I knew I could beat him." After spending 48 hours trying to recover from his illness in the Hotel in Tokyo, Rodrigo went to visit his mother in Miami, where he will stay until January.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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