8 Questions for Vinicius ‘Spartan’

By Marcelo Alonso Sep 1, 2010
Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 220 pounds, Vinicius “Spartan” Kappke de Quieroz represents a new hope for Brazilian mixed martial arts fans as he enters the UFC’s heavyweight division. Trained by Rudimar Fedrigo at the Chute Boxe Academy, he will make his promotional debut against England’s Rob Broughton at UFC 120 “Bisping vs. Akiyama” on Oct. 16 at the O2 Arena in London.

Spartan caught the attention of the UFC with wins in five of his first six fights. He has finished his last four opponents inside the first round and knocked out Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Danilo Rodaki -- who hails from the same school as Fabricio Werdum -- at Samurai Fight Combat 3 in April.

In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Spartan discusses his workouts, strategy ahead of his UFC debut and the pride he has in representing Chute Boxe in the world’s top MMA promotion.

Sherdog.com: How has training gone for your debut in the UFC?
Spartan: My coach, Christopher Led, prepared a timeline so I could get in the best possible shape by the time of the fight. We’re now finishing work on strength and hypertrophy, with the support of trainer Madison Ramos -- Wanderlei Silva’s first physical trainer. Next week, we begin work on explosion, strength and aerobic work, while playing out parts of the fight, all under the supervision of Master Nilson Castro.

Sherdog.com: Can you speak about your training routine during the week?
Spartan: I train Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I practice MMA with Master Nilson Castro and Christopher on Tuesday. On Thursday morning, I run. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it’s weight training with trainer Madison Ramos. Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, it’s muay Thai at the Boxe Thai Academy with trainer Julinho Borges. In the evening, I train every day at the Corpo and Ritmo gym -- wrestling with Christopher and jiu-jitsu with Roberto Castro, under the supervision of Luiz Azeredo. I still do English classes twice a week after lunch (laughs). When I can, I work on flexibility with Felipe Combate. My day-to-day training is well-run, and I’m 100 percent focused on the fight.

Sherdog.com: What do you know about your opponent?
Spartan: I know he’s English, has never fought in the UFC and is very popular there in England. He’s heavy, about 280 pounds, and seems to be unusually resilient. He fought three times in one night and took the championship in a grand prix the last time he fought, knocking out James Thompson in his second fight of the tournament. He has a strong heart and a great ability to absorb punches. I’m preparing myself to the fullest, because I know it will be a tough fight.

Sherdog.com: What are your expectations entering the UFC’s heavyweight division?
Spartan: I know I’ll fight with the best in the world and see that the top guys in the division are forces to be reckoned with. The guys are really strong, but, God willing, I’ll use my speed and cardio to cancel out the pressure and ground-and-pound game. That’s what’s working for the guys who are on top.

Sherdog.com: What does it mean to you to represent Chute Boxe?
Spartan: It’s a great responsibility, because the school has trained many champions. I think the day-to-day strength my training partners are giving me helps me a lot. I rely heavily on Master Rudimar’s work and thank him for the confidence he has in me representing this school, which has already brought so much joy to Brazilians.

Sherdog.com: Who’s your idol in the sport?
Spartan: Cris Cyborg, for sure. I had the opportunity to see her at the beginning of her career, and today she’s the best in the world. The woman is a beast (laughs).

Sherdog.com: You once said you wanted to fight Fedor Emelianenko. Is there anyone in particular you’d like to face in the UFC?
Spartan: When I said it, the guys got me wrong. I said I dreamed about fighting him, but I wasn’t ready. I have a real sense of my abilities, and I know where I can go. Anything is possible when you seek knowledge and take the steps needed to realize a dream. The UFC is the same way. I want to be champion, but I know very well that I have to climb my way up inside the promotion. If, one day, they think that I deserve a shot, I’ll fight for the title. I train to fight the best, which is not to say that I’m ready to fight for a belt.

Sherdog.com: Can you send a message to your fans?
Spartan: I would like to thank the people who have followed my career and been involved in my accomplishments. I’m working hard to represent Brazil and the Chute Boxe Academy. I also have a hug for my students and friends from Rosa Beach and the region. Thank you all.
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