Settled in the U.S. two years ago, Vitor Shaolin will do the main event of Strikeforce Challengers on Friday, in Mississippi (USA). The Brazilian will face Justin Willcox and spoke to us before the confrontation.
How are you getting for this fight? How was your preparation?
The preparation was great. I brought a big boy from Brazil, Gabriel Migliaccio, who is a student of Veras and staff from Sao Paulo. He came to spend a month and a half here with me helping me. He helped me in the boxing part and at the gym helping me with classes and everything. He was certainly a great help in training. I went, he and Loro, and Jim Miller and Dan Miller who also came here to train. We have a wrestling coach here, Rob, who is from Michigan and is also spectacular. I swear it was a month and a half of focused training. I am very well and full of health, so it was great. I have nothing to complain about.
Your opponent has some good fights in the curriculum. What have you seen of him? What are his strengths?
This guy is a wrestler and they are generally strong. He is a little shorter than me and gives some good right blows. He is a good wrestler, but from what I saw, he did not drop much. He is the type of those guys like Josh Koscheck. He has a good wrestling, but likes to give a few strokes on top. Nevertheless, if he needs a lot of wrestling he uses. He is a guy with good card and made some good fights against tough guys. He lost to Ishida that he made a fight in Strikeforce. I'll look for the ground game, but I can exchange a little on foot. My head is good, so there isn’t any stress. I am very confident and the workouts are good. This is what matters for a MMA fighter. With the head being good, just go there and do my job. Winning is consequence, but with the head being good is already halfway there.
In recent years you have not had that rhythm of fight that you had before. It's a plane back to doing his three fights per year, or you're holding a little because of your new gym?
The first year I was moving and I focused on this. After I was hoping to fight in Japan, but you know, the guys call you on the spot or they not call you. Now I'm here and I'm training right. I think four fights a year is a little tricky, but I think I can do three. The event, which begin to call me I'll be in there. I'm super into. So much that I was called to fight in this event and I was twat to get something. When they called me, I accepted right away. Sometimes the fighter wants to fight, but the event is with great number and little show. Sometimes the input gets a little complicated, but I'm practicing. Nevertheless, you can not get over the event or create confusion. I train because I want to fight. For this I have to wait my time. I did a fight in May, but the guys gave the victory to the other guy. Now is the time to recover. Let's see if after this fight I'll have some other fights. After all, I'm working. I am 31 years old and I am calm. I have no major injury and thank God I'm slowly getting into the swing.
How do you see the structure of Strikeforce since you were fighting for some time in Japan? Now you're living in America, how are you seeing this show?
The event I'm fighting is a challenger event. I am the main event here, the structure is very cool and transmissions is similar than in other events. You walk into the city and see a big outdoor of the event. The whole gym will be there watching on Friday. Have a restaurant there that we close and they will be able to attend. After all, the event is talked about and watched. The guys are more excited and investing more. They are realizing that good events have great champions. Strikeforce don’t have why not grown. The guys are there and working on various shows. God willing the challenger, the main event and the CBS shows will be good, and the event will have everything to keep growing. Today is the league that is behind the UFC, but has everything to stay together. If all goes well, I do not know, suddenly comes close.
How is your life, your gym and your family in the United States? How long you’re there?
I'm here for two years and I love. I think that was the best decision that I made. The biggest decision of my life was choosing Dedé’s academy and it certainly changed my life. That moment was certainly a watershed in my life where I came from a lazy teenager to a proactive person. After that I became a family man. This was the first and second turning point was when I came to live here. The experience I'm getting and what I'm learning have been instrumental in my development. Life is hard and it is not too easy. Despite this, after all I spent in Brazil that was exactly what I needed for myself. I needed that rush and that range of opportunities. Also had a thing that is make new friends here and to be able to open new horizons for Brazil. While I maintain contact with Brazil, I also seek to open a larger supply of the Nova União and the United States. What is missing for me is be able to give my seminars and when that happens I'll be completely happy. Dedé is now giving me a notion of business people and I will invite him to come here. Soon I’ll bring him or his wife. I'll call for her to have some fun in New York and he came along.