Cane is Able in Coming to UFC

By Gleidson Venga Dec 27, 2007
Twenty-six-year-old Brazilian Luis Arthur Cane (Pictures) will see his dream come true when he fights in the Octagon on Dec. 29.

Nicknamed "Banha" for being an overweight kid at one time, Cane speaks slowly and politely. His manner outside the cage sharply contrasts his aggressiveness inside it. In seven fights he has knocked out six opponents and submitted one -- all in the first round.

Gleidson Venga: You had six fights in 2007 and will finish the year fighting in the major event nowadays, the UFC. Tell us about your journey.
Luis Cane: People can think that things happened too fast for me, but this is not true. I'm 26 years old, and since I was 16, I have been trying to reach it. I started to train jiu-jitsu because that was Royce's banner in the UFC. I watched the first UFC editions when I was a kid and then I decided I wanted to practice MMA. Since the beginning I intended to fight MMA, and thank God I'm having the opportunity to do it. But I had to pass through several obstacles to come here. I should have made my MMA debut in 2004, but I hurt my shoulder and I had to have surgery. I debuted in 2005, but soon I injured my knee and I had another surgery. When I finally got healthy, I was thirsty to fight. I wanted to fight, so I had six fights in 2006.

Venga: So you started to train BJJ planning to become an MMA fighter?
Cane: Yes. Usually guys think the opposite, right? The guys push hard to become BJJ professionals, and then they fight MMA. This is not my case. I was never a good BJJ competitor. I started to train MMA when I was a blue belt in 2002 to help Eduardo Pamplona (Pictures) (Eduardo Pamplona (Pictures)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures)'s training to face Sanae Kikuta (Pictures) (Sanae Kikuta (Pictures)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures). In 2004 I had my greatest BJJ win -- second place in the super heavyweight division of the world BJJ championships, at purple belt. After that I started to train more Muay Thai and focus myself only on MMA. Two months after that championship, I hurt my shoulder and I had to postpone my MMA debut in a small organization. I made my debut in 2005 in Santo André [São Paulo]. And in that same year, I was invited to face Thiago Silva (Pictures) (Thiago Silva (Pictures)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) at Shooto Brazil in Curitiba, but I injured my knee training and I had to have another surgery.

Venga: You will take on James Irvin (Pictures) (James Irvin (Pictures)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) as your first UFC opponent. He lost to Thiago Silva (Pictures) (Thiago Silva (Pictures)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) at UFC 71 in May. Do you think that you can finally face Thiago in the UFC? Both of you are undefeated and you won your previous seven fights by KO or submission.
Cane: I was invited to face Thiago at the Shooto Brazil and Clã Fight. After that, we would fight at the Show Fight. I watched his last fight at the UFC, and he fought very well. He is making a name for himself, and I'm trying to do the same thing. When I challenged him at the Show Fight, I felt he took it personally maybe because our teams always had a rivalry. When we finally face each other, this will be a professional match. He will do his job, and I'll do mine. All I know is I fought hard to be where I am, and I want to be the champion.

Venga: Do you already have a strategy for your fight in the Octagon?
Cane: I always fight looking for a KO or a submission. This time won't be different. After all, the first impression we show stays and I want to start my Octagon journey on the right foot.

Venga: What was it like working hard for 10 years until things started to happen for you?
Cane: Look, on this point I have to thank my family. My father was watching me coming from training and going to sleep. The next day I woke up and went to training again, and he was concerned about me. My mom was terrified. I tried to work regular employment once, wearing a suit and selling dental plans. It wasn't for me. I worked for weeks and I could sell one dental plan only. But this year, when things started to happen, my family understood that I could live by fighting despite difficulties I face. Actually, I'm in it because I like it. I have my degree in physical education because I like it. For sure the money is important, but the most important thing is what makes me feel good.

Venga: Would you like to leave a final message?
Cane: I would like to say I'm very happy with my career and to be working with very strong people in this business. I would like to ask the businessmen to support more athletes. The Brazilian businessmen still see the athletes asking for a sponsorship as homeless people asking for a room. And they want to pay the athletes with clothes, but clothes won't pay for training or the athletes' preparation. Trust in our sport and invest money in the new talents. A lot of good people gave up the sport because they had no support.
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