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Rickson Gracie Freefight interview

    Fri, 2006-10-13 17:39 — FreeFight magazine

    This Article originally appeared on BJJ.org. The entire archive of information is now available on OntheMat.com

    From FreeFight magazine (Japan)
    Translated by Kuti
    Fall 1997

    This interview took place soon after Rickson's defeat of Takada in Japan on October 11, 1997.

    FreeFight
    Were you surprised your match with Takada was so short?

    Rickson
    I am never surprised at a quick match. If my opponent makes a mistake, I will capitalize whether it is one minute or ten minutes.

    FreeFight
    How did you prepare for your fight with Takada?

    Rickson
    Sparring with Royler for a month prior to the fight. Royler has the Warrior mentality and is a very good trainer.

    FreeFight
    What was it like growing up in Brazil?

    Rickson
    I had a very good childhood. My father never hit us kids, if we got in trouble at school we would not be allowed to go surfing. I use the same philosophy raising my kids.

    FreeFight
    Will you ever compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship?

    Rickson
    I don't see it ever happening. The UFC is just small time and doesn't have the quality of fighters or the money that Japan has to offer. I only fight for two reasons, pride and to take care of my family.

    FreeFight
    So do you mean fighters like Maurice Smith and Mark Kerr aren't on the same levels as the fighters here in Japan?

    Rickson
    Exactly. When I watch them fight, I see so many openings that even my son could capitalize on. I'm not saying they are bad fighters, just that I see many holes in them.

    FreeFight
    How would you see a match with Mark Kerr going?

    Rickson
    Kerr is a big strong guy with a good base. I would imagine him tiring out and giving me an opening.

    FreeFight
    What was your toughest match ever?

    Rickson
    I really haven't had a tough match, just matches that last longer than others.

    FreeFight
    What was your longest match?

    Rickson
    Definately Equada. He was 6'7" and at least 340 lbs.

    FreeFight
    How long did that fight go and how did you finish him.

    Rickson
    It went fifty minutes. I triangled him and he passed out. Very tough guy.

    FreeFight
    Why is there distance between you and Rorian?

    Rickson
    That is family business and something I would rather not discuss.

    FreeFight
    What are your impressions of Vitor Belfort?

    Rickson
    Good young fighter, with excellent punching ability. I question how he went from purple to black belt though. As far as I know, he never competed in Jiu Jitsu tournaments in Brazil.

    FreeFight
    Is it true that you were going to take Vitor under your wing?

    Rickson
    I told him if he comes to train with me, it has to be either me or Carlson.

    FreeFight
    What happens when you roll with him?

    Rickson
    It has been two years but he is not a superstar on the ground. With gi he taps quickly. Without it takes a little longer.

    FreeFight
    Who is the greatest fighter ever?

    Rickson
    Without a doubt Helio Gracie.

    FreeFight
    Are you acquainted with the Machado brothers?

    Rickson
    I see them at tournaments and we have a good time.

    FreeFight
    Who do you feel is the best Machado?

    Rickson
    Rigan.

    FreeFight
    Have yourself and Rigan ever fought in jiu-jitsu?

    Rickson
    Yes, on two occasions. The first time Rigan was very aggressive and had to quit due to exhaustion. The second time, six years ago in an exhibition match in Rio, I choked him out with two minutes remaining.

    FreeFight
    Has you ever lost in any grappling competition?

    Rickson
    Not since I got my blackbelt.

    FreeFight
    There are rumors that you lost a Sambo match in America.

    Rickson
    Yes, you did not hear the whole story. The rules were not properly explained to me so I was at a disadvantage. How can you play a game if you aren't told the rules?

    FreeFight
    Can we expect to see you fight anytime soon?

    Rickson
    Yes, I am negotiating right now to fight a very big name Japanese fighter in mid 1998.

    FreeFight
    I would like to thank you for sharing you time with us.

    Rickson
    My pleasure.

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