One of the greatest names of the Brazilian Wrestling, Rodrigo Artilheiro was chosen by Vitor Belfort to train his takedowns in Las Vegas, on the United States, and talked to TATAME about the preparation of the “Phenomenon” for his fight against Anderson Silva, on UFC 126.
Eduardo Ferreira: We did an article on the magazine and, among the 15 experts we’ve talked to, all of them have pointed out Anderson as the favorite. Do you, that has been training with him, think he has any chances against Anderson?
Rodrigo Artilheiro: Man, I don’t like to bet, even living in Las Vegas, but I’d bet all my cards on Vitor. I’ve said that already: in my mind, of a guy who once trained on the Nogueira’s TC, where Anderson trains… I know that he (Anderson) is an excellent athlete, a phenomenal guy, but I’ve always said that the only two guys that could beat Anderson are Vitor Belfort and Paulo Filho, if he’s on a good state of mind and well trained … Vitor has all weapons to win this bout. We can’t predict the future, but I believe he’s better than Anderson in all aspects.
EF: People has criticized a lot he choosing you as his Wrestling coach, once he’s living on the United States, a place with great wrestlers. How do you see it, since you’ve confronted many international fighters, has trained in Bulgaria and has a large experience as a coach?
RA: Brazilians are the best fighters on the world, we are more talented, and we’re pretty good. If you look at UFC’s champions, you’ll see that most of them are Brazilians and that’s a pity Brazilian people see it that way. Werdum went fighting with Fedor and the Brazilians said Fedor would win. I’ve never seen such thing, it’s crazy.
I fight Judo since I’m 5, I have a genetic baggage, since my father was a Judo fighter, he was on the Brazilian team, so I conquered many Judo titles. I’m a black belt, I’ve beaten great heavy weight in Brazil… From Judo I started training Wrestling, spent five months in Bulgaria, one of the great places of the modality… I’ve beaten Bulgarians, Turkeys; I’ve earned a Olympic vacancy for Beijing … I’ve fought with Cubans, many guys… Sometimes the guys don’t really know what they’re saying.
Here, I’ve trained with high level athletes of the American wrestling, like Randy Couture, I’ve had great trainings with them and they all love my training. It’s funny because the Americans come here and ask for help and the Brazilians claim the Americans are the bests (laughs). That’s all I have to say about it.
I’m sad Brazilian people think that way. They should be happy to see a Brazilian fighting on a modality that, indeed, I agree it’s weird, but there are great talents. If you look at the Brazilian team, you can find guys really tough, and I’m sure they could beat any guys. I, thanks God, am here helping not only Vitor, but few Americans. It’s a shame that Brazilians think that way.