Milton Vieira: BJJ is not effective unless you can take down your opponent (Exclusive Interview)Posted on June 18, 2011, 07:00 AM by Anton Gurevich
Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum is not the only fight card taking place this weekend, as the Brazilian top promotion Bitetti Combat will feture their 9th event, tonight at Club Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
One of the fighters competing at the event, will be the decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, inventor of Anaconda Choke, Milton "Miltinho" Vieira who will face Bruno "Cro Cop" Lobato in the main event of the night. It will be the 20th professional fight in Viera's MMA career and will also mark almost 10 years since his professional debut against Cyrillo Padilha. Since then, Viera competed in PRIDE, DEEP, Shooto and Meca, currently holding a professional record of 11-7-1 (7 Submission victories, 4 Decisions).
Here's what Milton Vieira had to say about his fight, the evolution of BJJ and his future as a Mixed Martial Artist. Stay tuned to LowKick.com for full Bitteti Combat 9 results, and a report from Miton's fight against Cro Cop, Bruno Cro Cop.
You're fighting Bruno Cro Cop this weekend. Does it brings you any memories from "the old PRIDE days"?
It is his nickname b/c he is a Muy Thai fighter from Curitiba. Curitiba is the city for Muy Thai in Brazil. I am excited to fight him.
Do you expect the same style from Lobato as the original Cro Cop? How you are prepared to counter it?
I trained a lot in wrestling, boxing, and Muy Thai. My Muy Thai training is to help nullify his high kicks and low kicks. I put a lot of effort in my wrestling too. His record on Sherdog is very deceptive b/c it does not document all of his MMA fights. Lobato actually has 16 wins in MMA. He is an experienced opponent. He is a young up and comer, but I believe my experience will be a strategic advantage in this fight.
You have 7 Submission and 4 Decision victories but still no KO. Would you look for a knockout this time?
Yes, every fight I look for a KO. I always attempt high kicks, punches, and flying knees. I use them a lot in my game. I have many knock downs, but yet to have a KO. I believe in my striking, and believe I am capable for a KO victory.
This fight will mark (almost) 10 years since your professional debut. What keeps you motivated to continue fighting?
My motivation comes from a passion for fighting. Being a sportsman is a lifestyle for me. Sports and fighting has brought a lot of positivity and focus to my life. My wins bring happiness to my friends, wife, family, and myself. The sport is continuing to evolve so there are always new things to learn as a fighter. I really can not see the day where I would stop being a competitor.
Are you satisfied with what you achieved in your career so far?
Yes, I am satisfied with my career. I have surrounded myself with great coaches, trainers, and team mates. I have had opportunities to fight with the best fighters in the world. With that being said, I still have more that I intend on accomplishing. My dream is to fight in North America for the UFC or Strikeforce. The best fighters right now can be found in Zuffa, and America has become a hotbed for some of the best MMA talent. I want to showcase my skills against the best in the world. I believe I can compete with the best, and I can make exciting and entertaining fights given the opportunity. It is a dream I believe in, and will fight for. It is great motivation for me as well.
As someone who invented the famous Anaconda Choke, what changed in "MMA BJJ" since the day you started fighting?
MMA has evolved, and so have the fighters. When I started fighting, many people did not understand the techniques of BJJ. But now everyone trains BJJ, and there are a lot of places to learn Jiu-jitsu. There are BJJ black belts all around the world teaching, and people can see techniques even on the internet. As a result, BJJ fighters need to be more complete and well-rounded. For example, if a BJJ fighter goes against a wrestler, the jiu-jitsu is not effective unless the BJJ guy can take the wrestler to the ground or beat him with strikes. So fighters must be more complete in order to play their games, and the BJJ on the ground has to be more tricky so as to catch an opponent with a surprise attack. But I believe in Jiu-jitsu, and the ground will always be my playground in a fight.
How important it is for you to fight in Brazil? And what can you tell about the current state of Brazilian MMA?
It is important for me to fight in Brazil because it creates commercial opportunities for me with potential sponsors. MMA in Brazil has become very popular. Everyone talks about Mixed Martial Arts. Many people watch the UFC in Brazil, and it is growing a lot. My dream is to fight in the UFC or Strikeforce. However, I will always fight in Brazil b/c great opportunities are ripening here in my country. Many influential investors are looking at MMA as a serious business in Brazil. I believe in 1 or 2 years the popularity of MMA in Brazil will be the same as in America.
Would you like to mention/thank anyone?
Most definitely want to thank my fans, Brazilian Top Team, and my future fans in America (laughing).