Ricardo Arona wants a chance to fight at UFC Rio

By Erik Engelhart

Without fighting since 2009, when he beat Marvin Eastman upo n Bitetti Combat 4, Ricardo Arona can’t wait to return to the rings. The tough guy suffered a knee injury on his last fight and he’s almost 100% recovered. Training in Itacoatiara with Paulo Filho among other athletes, Arona guarantees that in two months top he’ll be ready to fight and dreams with a vacancy on UFC Rio, which happens on August 27th, in Rio de Janeiro.

“I don’t have a contract signed with nobody, but I want to be ok to sign a contract, preferably an international one, but Brazil has been evolving a lot, so maybe I’ll fight in Brazil again. My goal is to dispute an international championship, except if it’s on UFC Rio, because it’s an international championship, but it’ll be in Brazil. If I have the chance to fight on UFC in August, it’ll be the ideal. I’ve been training thinking about it, I want to be 100% to return on this UFC in Brazil, I think it’d be perfect to return on UFC Rio and I’ve been training hard for it”, commented Arona.

How is your knee recovery and how is your preparation?
It’s ok. I’m not giving 100% on my trainings yet, but I’m training it all: Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, conditioning trainings… My knee is almost 100% healed, I’m almost ready to fight. I’m training hard, working on my conditioning, I’m preparing to return this year. I’m preparing, confident, training hard, doing some physiotherapy and preparing myself to return in 2010.


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Tiequan Zhang’s trainer talks UFC 127 win, says UFC is heading to Hong Kong in 2012

By Guilherme Cruz

Born in Mongolia, an independent zone situated on the North of Chine, the featherweight Tiequan Zhang put on a heel of a show on his debut on UFC. Being considered by many the greatest representative of MMA on the most crowd country on earth, Zhang needed only 48 seconds to submit Jason Reinhardt on UFC 127, and TATAME chatted with the responsible for the sharp ground game of the tough guy. Pupil of Carlson Gracie, Ruy Menezes works with the gentle art in China since 2003, and commented on the growth of MMA and the prejudice that many coaches still have towards the modality on the country, the evolution of Zhang on the floor and, among many other subjects, revealed UFC’s plan to promote a show in Hong Kong next year.

When did you start to work with Jiu-Jitsu in China? How did you start to work with Tiequan Zhang?
I come to China since 2003, and in 2009 I got an official proposal to train a MMA team, on which I met Tiequan Zhang. I was in Beijing, in 2005, and Andy Pi, who owns Art Of War invite me to minister a seminar on Xian’s University. They have the best team of Sanda(it’s a kind of mix between Muay Thai and Boxing) in all China, and then I met Tiequan Zhang. In 2009, I got the proposal and accepted it.

Since you first started working together, how did he evolve?
When I got here he was a BJJ blue belt, but not in Brazil’s level. I’ve started to train him and explain what really worked and what was just to distract. On these two years I’m here, I can tell you he learned a new Jiu-Jitsu and now he’s my brown belt. I taught Tiequan Zhang what I’ve learned from my master Carlson Gracie: to do it, don’t pretend it. He invited me to set up a team and I’ve accepted it, but as a coach, not owner. We put together China Top Team. I thought it was a cool name because I was from BTT, and Liborio and Conan, who are my friends, came from ATT.


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Anderson Silva’s coach: “GSP should stay in his division”

By Guilherme Cruz

After Anderson Silva dominated the UFC middleweight division, the matchmakers tries to find a new challenge for the champion, and it will probably be welterweight king Georges St. Pierre. In case he beats Jake Shields at UFC 129, GSP will move up to the heavier weight division to fight the “Spider”, but the Brazilian’s coach said it wouldn’t be a good idea.

“Georges St. Pierre should stay in his division (laughs), because if he moves up he’d have much headache”, Josuel DIstak told TATAME. “St. Pierre is a strategic fighter. Besides being very dangerous, Anderson also is strategic, so he has two weapons. Anderson has an advantage over St. Pierre because of his reach and game, he has a more efficient Muay Thai and a tough ground game”, analyzes, excited for the bout: “Anderson will be prepared for him”.


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Note: Antonio Silva weighed roughly the same amount more than Fedor as Anderson weighs over GSP. This match makes absolutely no sense at all. The UFC is always harping about “this is a real sport” and “this sport should be respected”…I agree, this sport should be respected. We don’t need freak show matches. We have weight classes for a reason. The UFC needs to respect their own sport.

– Evil

The Conviction Is Back In The Cage and Loving It

By Dale De Souza

She’s young, she’s sexy, she’s a knockout in every sense of the word, and if you’re Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, you might want to hope she’s lost more than a few big steps since the last time she fought you, because above all else…

She’s back.

I could only be talking about Gina “Conviction” Carano, one of the first ladies of the cage to have challenged for a women’s world title.

Moments before the Strikeforce Grand Prix began this past Saturday, it was announced that Gina would in fact be returning to the cage sometime before the end of the year.

To celebrate her return, here are 10 photos of one of Strikeforce’s hottest female fighters—and don’t forget that when Ms. Carano finally does get her first fight back in the cage, B/R will be the first to let you know about it!

Remember fellas, she’s a girl who packs a mean punch, some brutal Muay Thai, and… did I mention she packs a mean punch?

Whoever decided to be smart and knock people because they hit like a girl, we should hope wasn’t talking about Gina Carano.

Trust me, boys: Not only CAN Carano kick your ass, but if you ever question the power with which this girl can hit, she WILL kick your ass.
She trains at Xtreme Couture with Gray Maynard, Forrest Griffin, Randy Couture and a bunch of other dudes, and as you can tell, she’s none too distraught or disgruntled with that.

She actually looks like she’s having fun training and constantly prepping up to kick ass.

So tell me, how can you NOT like a girl that doesn’t seem to have her complaints about what she does?

If I ran a gym and I had a girl like her as part of my roster of fighters, I wouldn’t care that she was bashing my face in…

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Cristiano Marcello: “My plan is the same as always, I will be looking for the knockout or the submission.”

By Brendhan Conlan

Ask any knowledgeable fan of Mixed Martial Arts about the famed Chute Boxe Academy and the response is almost guaranteed to touch on the Brazilian camp’s reputation for producing fearless, ferocious fighters who in many cases have gone on to be considered among the sport’s best – names like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Wanderlei Silva for example.

One of the key components involved in Chute Boxe’s rise to glory was BJJ expert, and trainer, Cristiano Marcello. Marcello, who has since founded his own center called the CM System, first came to Chute Boxe in 2000 in hopes of improving his own Muay Thai and ended up staying on as a contracted coach after impressing chief trainer Rudimar Fedrigo.

Beyond teaching, Marcello has also translated his knowledge into the ring with an overall record of 11-3 and a trio of victories in 2010. Set for action against Oriol Gaset on February 19 in Brusque, Brazil as part of an event promoted by Nitrix, Marcello recently spoke with Five Ounces of Pain about his time with Chute Boxe, his current status, his interest in helping out at-risk children in Curitiba, a notorious backstage confrontation at a PRIDE event in 2005 which left Charles Bennett sleeping as the result of a Triangle Choke, as well as a number of other topics.

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‘Feijão’ working his boxing, not wrestling, to beat Dan Henderson

Report and photo Guilherme Cruz

Strikeforce’s champion on the light heavyweight division, Rafael Feijão hosted TATAME TV at X-Gym and chatted about his first title defense on the United States, against the former champion of Pride, Dan Henderson, and revealed he doesn’t have focused much on his Wrestling, his opponent’s strong point. “The trainings are pretty hard, it’s a huge team. I don’t train much Wrestling… I train some specific Wrestling positions and I take classes once in a while, but I can’t play Wrestling a lot. I’ve trained for four months, but when it’s close to the fight I rather focus on what I’m best”, said Rafael, who’s talked about the American’s striking, commented the fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort and pointed out his favorite fighters on Strikeforce’s heavyweight GP, and a lot more.

What are the expectations for this fight?
The trainings are pretty hard, with coach Erivan, today we did some Boxing prep, it’s a phenomenon the guys who are here: Anderson, Minotouro, Roberto Corvo, Erik Silva, Jaca… It’s a huge group and everybody’s in shape, we’ve trained a lot for this fight. Thanks God, everybody had their fights scheduled near each other, so we could help each other more, because we are our own sparrings, so as everybody’s on a good shape, we all push each other and the ones who weren’t prepared had to train even harder.

You’ve trained your guard just now, escaped from the grid… How you’re preparing yourself for the Wrestling game he’ll try to bring you to?
This training is not specific for this fight, usually do this training of attacking and defending on the grid. I don’t train much Wrestling… I train some specific Wrestling positions and I take classes once in a while, but I can’t play Wrestling a lot. I’ve trained for four months, but when it’s close to the fight you can get injured and I rather focus on what I’m best: Boxing, Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu.

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Del Rosario-Johnson could steal the show

By Dave Doyle

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The opening night of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix features plenty of star power at the top, as former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko, former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski, and former Elite XC kingpin Antonio Silva all seek to advance in quarterfinal action.

But a pair of alternates could potentially steal the show at the Izod Center on Saturday night. Two of Strikeforce’s top heavyweight prospects, Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson, make their Showtime main card debuts in a bout that promises plenty of fireworks.

“It could get explosive out there, baby,” said Johnson (15-3). “Sometimes when you go to the fights, the guys who aren’t in the main event are the ones who come out and really fire up the crowd. I’m going to do my part to make it happen.”

All 25 of the fighters’ combined wins have come by way of stoppage. Del Rosario, a Laguna Niguel, Calif., native and Muay Thai specialist, has only been pushed past the first round once in his career and has eight of his 10 wins via KO or TKO. Johnson, who relies on the power of his big right hand, has six first-round stoppages in his current seven-fight win streak.

Something has to give. But it probably won’t take long.

“We’ll come out standing and banging, no doubt,” said Del Rosario. “Where it goes from there, we’ll see.”


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