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Sunday, Jun 16, 2002

Paulo Filho Out Of Pride 21

Paulo Filho Out of Pride 21
By Eduardo Alonso

      Paulo Filho has been looking forward to his PRIDE debut, unfortunately his entry to Japan’s premier MMA event will have to be temporarily put on hold. The Brazilian Top Team fighter injured his knee during his last training session before leaving to Japan. Paulo says that he will take some time to heal and promises to be back in training in 3 weeks. He will most likely make his PRIDE debut as soon as he is recovered.

Eduardo did an interview with Paulao shortly before his unfortunate injury, even though he is out of this event, you may still find it intersting….

By Eduardo Alonso

Heating up for PRIDE 21:
Paulo Filho Finally Getting his Chance!

Coming from the Brazilian Top Team and with wins over the likes of Yuki Kondo and Ikuhisa Minowa, Paulo Filho finally comes to PRIDE with some very good credentials, despite being only 23 years old. With very explosive takedowns and a dominant "Ground and Pound" game, Filho has also been training a lot of standing up fighting to improve his style and mark his name among PRIDE’s top competitors. Paulao, like he is known by his teammates, knows the meaning of this opportunity for his career, and between him and his goal to establish himself in PRIDE’s Middleweight division is non-other than Chute Boxe rising start Anderson Silva. The Brazilian Top Team member knows how dangerous Anderson can be, and if you add to the mix the currently well-commented Chute Boxe vs. Brazilian Top Team rivalry, you won’t have to wonder a lot why many are considering this the best match on the PRIDE 21 card! On a quick conversation just two days before leaving for Japan, Paulo Filho shared with FCF his views on this fight and much more. Keep checking our news page to see what Anderson Silva has to say about the fight in the next couple of days, as FCF looks to heat us all up for PRIDE 21!

FCF:   You have been standing out for a long time, but only now you finally got your shot at PRIDE. Were you anxious for this chance?

PF:     PRIDE is a mega-event, and it’s the biggest NHB event in the world in my opinion, so I believe it’s every fighter’s dream to participate at a PRIDE event, fighting with the stars of the event. This opportunity appeared and I have to confess that I’m enjoying it a lot, and I’ll do everything I can to stay in the event, winning, and become one of PRIDE’s great names as well.

FCF:   Coming from the Brazilian Top Team, you get to PRIDE with some great credentials. Besides that, you already beat some top Japanese fighters, like Ikuhisa Minowa and Yuki Kondo. How do you think the Japanese public is going to react towards you?

PF:     I’m already well known in Japan because I fought against some famous fighters from Japan, and I think that depending on my next fight things can improve or get worst for me there! (Laughs) Every time I fought in Japan, even beating Japanese fighters, I always got a good reception from the public, always talked to everybody, took pictures with the fans and stuff like that. So I think that my relation with the Japanese public is good, we don’t have any problems, besides the Brazilian Top Team is very liked there, as is the Chute Boxe team too! The people in Japan are fans of the Chute Boxe team, so I think the public won’t take sides on this fight and the result of the fight will be more important.

FCF:   You have been considered by the NHB press one of the best in your weight division for a considerable amount of time. Do you think about moving up in weight a bit to pursuit the Middleweight title in PRIDE?

PF:     My regular weight is 90 kg! And my division goes till 93kg!

FCF:   But you used to fight with less than 90kg…
PF: Yeah, I already fought at 85kg. This was the lightest weight I manage to fight under. But it was tough! My ideal weight is around 89 or 90kg. I’ll be weighing 90kg for this fight!

FCF:   Since you’re weighing 90kg, and I know it’s a bit too early to say, but how are you going to handle a title pursuit in PRIDE, with your friends Ricardo Arona and Rogerio Nogueira also fighting in the same division?

PF:     Ricardo is a very good friend of mine, but we’re professionals. I would never fight him, he is a close friend, but I think we should handle it in the best possible way. But I don’t have any intentions to fight him, Rogerio, anyone from the Brazilian Top Team or even anyone from Jiu Jitsu for that matter. I don’t have this sort of problems. We will sit and talk, and if the opportunity appears the title will stay with the one who deserves it more! Apart from any belts, I think this is a personal issue and I have character, so I won’t ever hinder my friends in any situations like this.

FCF:   By the way, is there anyone in special you would like to face in the future?

PF:     I have to tell you that I respect a lot the Chute Boxe team, they are all great professionals and great athletes, but I think they could be a bit more humble. I think that they became, with time and due to all the wins, a bit arrogant. So I think that facing any fighter from the Chute Boxe team fighter is a great challenge and a great incentive for me. No matter who it is, like Vanderlei Silva, Ninja or even Anderson Silva for instance. Whatever comes my way I think it’s great.

FCF:   What about a fight against Sakuraba? You two are close in weight, and he beat a lot of Jiu Jitsu fighters in the past. Would you like to face him?

PF:     Without a doubt! I respect Sakuraba a lot! He is the best Japanese fighter in my opinion, and he is a very courageous guy, very respected! He would be a very tough fight for any fighter, and despite the fact that I’m explosive or strong, I believe it would be a great fight! Not only against me, but against any top level fighter, because Sakuraba is among the very best in the game! So it would be a great honor for me to face him!

Click here to continue the interview

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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