Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira is fighting Alexanser Gustafsson on the first UFC show in Sweden, on April 14, and warned, on an exclusive interview with TATAME TV, what the fans might hope of his fight. “I train harder when I’m fighting a striker, I can do a good fight. I was born a counter attacker and that’s how I have greater chances to get the knockout… I’ll go for the knockout until the end”, shoot the Brazilian, who has knocked out names like Tito Ortiz and Luiz Cane in UFC, commenting on adapting his lifestyle to UFC, in comparison to the extinct Pride and his journey ‘step by step’ until the chance at the title. Check it:
You’re fighting in Sweden. You’ve asked for a striker and UFC gave you one.
That’s right. I train harder when I’m fighting a striker, I really like training Muay Thai, Boxing. I guess I can do a good fight. I’m a good fighter in the end of the fights, I can hold my impulse and do better later, I was born a counter attacker and that’s how I have greater chances to get the knockout. Tito Ortiz came to strike against me, and I got the knockout. Cane tried to sant-up and I got to knock him out. I can do a good fight against striker. It’s not because I don’t know Wrestling. Yes, I’m actually a lot better defending the takedowns, after I left Pride I had to adjust because the rules and the cage are different. I guess I can fight anywhere, but I rather stand-up because fans dig the knockouts and I’m a fighter who likes giving the KO to the fans.
You’re coming from a great win against Tito Ortiz, a former champion. Now you’re fighting against a growing athlete. A win can put you on the line for the title. How are the trainings and the expectations for the fight?
The trainings are hard, I’m doing a background check, I’m working on my strength, my resistance, endurance, focusing on my conditioning now. I’m getting my body ready to train hard and begin the sparing sessions. I’m training each modality separately: Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, strength, cardio… So then later I train MMA. The trainings are already tough and we’re training hard to handle it. There’re three months to go, but the important thing is starting to train hard two months before the bout.
Where do you think a victory against him leaves you at in the division?
Well, it depends a lot of the win. A win via points makes me move one step further, a win via knockout, two, three. It depends a lot on how I win. I really want to get a knockout to be in a good position. I’m a fighter who doesn’t like to get stuck during the fight. It’s hard to see me doing that. If I take someone down, I’ll try to use the ground and pound until the end. If I’m standing up I’ll go for the knockout. It’s something like that: if you knock me out, I’ll knock you out (laughs). I’ll go for the knockout until the end, absolutely. I’m moving forward. I’ll try to do a good fight to be in a good spot on this ranking. I’ll go for the knockout and I’ll stay among the top 3 of the division.
UFC is promoting its first event in Sweden and you’re fighting in the main event of the evening. What do you think about that?
I can’t complain about UFC. They’re being good for me, I did a co-main event against Phil Davis and now against Tito Ortiz it was supposed to be the co-main event, but then they matched Lyoto up (with Jon Jones) and it was the third fight, but it’s really a big fight, almost a co-main event. Now they really know what I’m capable of and they’re really proving that and I’ll have to prove them right. I have great responsibility and I know my talent, I know what I can do, so let’s bet on my experience. I’m much more experience, I have a bigger name and I’ll bet on my name to bring this win home.