After winning the belts of Shooto and Cage Rage, Vitor Ribeiro now has a new goal: to make history in the U.S. The black belt from Nova União will make his debut in Strikeforce, on Saturday, in combat against Lyle Beerbohm.
Living in New York for nearly two years, the fighter decided to come to Rio de Janeiro in the final stages of preparation.
"After my fight with Aoki, I saw that I had to leave a bit of teacher’s routine and came to Brazil to be a student again", said Shaolin, "was the best thing I did, because the workouts here are always full and with great quality. We have great athletes on the team. "
To avoid surprises in his fight, Shaolin studied well the game of his opponent.
"He's a tough guy, which plays on the two bases", he said, "He's a good wrestler, and certainly has a good gas, because his fights are always very busy".
The debut in Strikeforce will not be the first fight of the Brazilian in the U.S., since the first three matches of his career (in 2001 and 2002) were in the America. Shaolin believes should have no trouble to adapt after nearly eight years.
"I started fighting in the grid, I don’t see the rules as difficulty. I like to use the elbow, for example, even though this event only worth elbows while is standing up", he said," I am feeling very well, at the time of the fight I'll do a good warm up, I will concentrate well and this will help me a lot. I'm ready. "
Idol of the fighters of his own team, Shaolin returned to New York on the eve of the fight, and reunited with fighters as José Aldo, Marcos Loro and Marcelino Novaes, who cared of his academy while he trained in Brazil.
"I'm sure the gym was in good hands", said Shaolin, vibrating with the success of the new champions of the team, like Jose Aldo (WEC) and Marlon Sandro (Pancrase), "I’m glad to see them winning, because I saw the beginning of each one and I know how they battled to reap the success of today".