Fernando Bettega made his debut at Strikeforce, on Saturday, against Wayne Phillips, but ended up involved in a strange controversy. The Brazilian was declared the winner of the fight, which happened in one of the preliminaries of the night, but minutes later, in the locker room, he was informed that the decision had changed, with his opponent becoming the winner. In an interview with our team, Bettega talked about the episode.
How was this controversial? They gave the victory to you and then gone back?
That's what happened. Ended the fighting and first two judges gave the victory to me and one for him. Then the judge raised my hand, gave me the victory and we left. Everyone was celebrating, but when we got there the athletic commission said that problem had occurred in the sum of the calculations and that the victory was for my opponent. We asked to see the papers and they were all marked out. I could not see the correct score.
This was a confusion of athletic commission?
My manager spoke to Scott Coker and we had already spoken to him at the event. We tell him that this error had occurred and that when we had requests for papers with the scores, they were all marked out. We say that it was impossible to know if occurred some sudden change, or if someone had put some pressure to change the result. Could anyone have tampered with the numbers, because there was no way of knowing. If they had shown it was all like that and they had calculate wrong it’s ok, but everything was already written above.
What attitude will you take? You will enter with a protest?
Now I’ll leave everything to my lawyer. He is now with the papers in his hand and will send it to Strikeforce. We are also seeing what we can do against the athletic commission because they were arrogant. They said that was like that, which had been like that and would stay that way. As we were also focused on the Babalu fight would happen, we did not want to be doing much fanfare. There was much turmoil at the time. Actually, we do not understand anything, because the guys have got this result and played in the media.
How is your life in America? How long are you there?
Thank God everything is fine. In the beginning everything was very hard since I came here because of the coming of Rafael. I came along with him and I'm here with him. We started from nothing at the beginning and we trained at other academies. After he teach in the Academy of Affliction. Nowadays everything is going well and it's been two weeks since he opened his new academy here. The structure is very good and has many professional fighters. Has Werdum, Babalu and another gang. The trainings are very good and of high level. Beside them they still have many other fighters who are also training with us.
You went there just to accompany Rafael? How long have you started training with him?
I'm with him about eight years. Before I trained jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai with one of his students. Then I started training at Chute Boxe main academy and from then on I never stopped training with him. That much I have come with him here to the United States.
Where are you living in the United States?
I am living in Huntington Beach and training in Kings that is the Rafael’s academy. I live very close to the gym and also training in the Werdum’s academy in Marina Del Rey. I do a tour here in California (laughs).
* Photo: Dave Mandel - Sherdog