By Marcelo Barone
Photo by UFC
Due to an injury on his left shoulder, Johnny Eduardo was prevented from doing his second fight in Ultimate. But, now 100 percent healed, after an arthroscopy and physiotherapy sessions, the athlete of Nova Uniao team little by little is regaining rhythm. Although he has no date settled to return to the octagon, the fighter affirmed, on an interview conceded to TATAME, that he’s anxious about a match-up.
“There’s no pain anymore, just a great desire of reaching the top again. But I’m pretty sure it’ll happen. Andre (Pederneiras) said an athlete who’s coming from great performances, has a good ground base, doesn’t take long vacations, that guy can recover. I’m training, but it’s not like I’m waiting to sign the contact, but I’m looking forwards for them to invite me to fight in 2012. I don’t know in which month yet, but I’m sure I’ll come back and do a good fight”.
Despite not knowing when he will be back, Johnny, who fought in Ultimate on August for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro, hopes to find his way on the super event.
“I’m where many fighters dream of being, but I don’t want just to get here. I want to overcome all obstacles, win all fights and dream about my division’s belt. I want to grow a lot in the UFC, along with the fighter who just came. I have a lot to learn in there and I really want to come back”, affirmed the tough guy, who analyzed 2011.
“It was a good year. I was hired by UFC, I can’t forget it, because it’s a great chance in every fighter’s life. I gotta thank God for all the doors he’s opening to me, to Andre, who’s my coach, my sponsors and the companies that sponsor me”.
In Rio de Janeiro since December 21st to train with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, lightweight contender Gray Maynard had a nice surprise in training on Monday, at Nova Uniao’s training center. The fighter was honored by the team leader, Andre Pederneiras, with the blue belt at Jiu-Jitsu. “Training gi Jiu-Jitsu at Nova União. I received my blue belt tonight from Andre Pederneiras! I’m honored”, said Maynard on his Twitter account.
Story and photos by Eduardo Ferreira and Guilherme Cruz
This Wednesday’s afternoon was not like a regular summer day in Rio de Janeiro. But, Barra da Tijuca’s beach, on the west zone of the city, was crowed. That is because hundreds of MMA fans went to prestige the open training of UFC, with names like Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson in action. The activity is part of UFC 142 show, which will take place at HSBC Arena, in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday (14th). Junior dos Santos, Wanderlei Silva and Diego Brandao were there to support the Brazilians.
The first one to train was Johnson, and he trained striking and takedown attempts. Then came the American Chad Mendes. Vitor Belfort went on stage next and, differently from the others, trained his ground game. Featherweight title holder, Jose Aldo was the last one to go up and train.
Confident, Anthony Johnson wasn’t intimidated for being in Brazil and promised to dominate the Phenom.
“I’ll use everything in my power to dominate Vitor in all possible ways”, affirmed “Rumble”, who wants to remain on the division after the bout.
Trained by the Brazilian Fabio “Pateta” Prado, Chad Mendes like the experience of training outside the gym.
“It’s my first outdoor train. It was pretty cool. I feel better than ever and on the 14th I’ll do my best”.
A lot chanted by the fans, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Vitor Belfort, one of the most known fighters in the country, commented he would do his best to defeat his opponent, in his hometown.
“My responsibility is to do the best. It’s what I’ve been doing. It’s a tough week for all fighters, because they gotta cut weight, but I have a great team beside me, all Brazil as my gas and what I offer my bosses, sponsors and gans is to do my best. I’m focused as an arrow sees the mark. That’s my job”.
Leaded by Andre Pederneiras, head-coach of Nova Uniao team, Jose Aldo did a brief presentation to the fans and talked about the pleasure of fighting on the Wonderful City.
“Feeling the fan’s support is wonderful, it’s something special in my life. We can’t underestimate anyone, that’s the fight I asked for, so I’m going for it. The belt is ours, it’s like a son to me and nobody’s taking it from me. You gotta kill me first”.
ASM brings you an intimate view as Anthony Johnson prepares for his fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 142.
From rocks and wallies to flips, slides, and grinds, Mark covers all the bases in a single line.