Pederneiras Discusses Nova União’s Year

By Gleidson Venga Jan 9, 2008
Nova União is one of the better mixed martial arts teams in the world. The camp's fighters proved as much in 2007 with excellent performances in Brazil and abroad.

"For sure we had an amazing year," said Nova União leader Andre Pederneiras. "We fought more than ever. We fought 61 times, won 50 and lost 11. With this, we were 82 percent successful. We had much success in 2006 but with few fights. With the number of fights we did in 2007 and with our success, you must agree that we had an amazing year."

Pederneiras explained the main reasons behind his team's accomplishments, detailing the structure he provides for his athletes.

"I think the structure we offer to training in our gym helped a lot," he said. "We have in our gym physical conditioning and recovering with physiotherapists to solve any trouble the athletes may have. Plus the training at the same facility. The union of our team is very great. Everybody helps everybody; this is a fact that increases the level of our team. And now with me as Shooto Brazil's director, I can help more because I can put more of our athletes on the cards, and this will let our athletes fight more and improve more."

In 2008 one of Nova União's newest talents could get a UFC title shot. Thales Leites (Pictures) dropped out of his February bout against Nathan Marquardt (Pictures) due to a hand injury, but he remains on the road to the title.

"We are hoping for this," Pederneiras said. "We know the athlete needs more to win than just to be well prepared -- anything can happen. But we try to give him every tool we have to make him able to fight for a chance to the title."

Another star, Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro, is gradually returning to training. He is recovering from eye surgery after his September loss to Gesias Calvancante (Pictures).

"Shaolin is back to training, and now it is a matter of time to know when the doctors will set him free to fight again," Pederneiras explained. "This is in the doctors' hands. When they say OK, Shaolin will be ready to fight in one month or two. We are all depending on this doctor's release to avoid any complications to his eye. We are working step by step and, when they release him, just give us a date, and he will be ready."

Pederneiras is also counting on more success from Wagnney Fabiano (Pictures). The BJJ black belt had a great year in the IFL, with five submissions in five fights.

"Wagnney is now a member of our main team, the highest level of our fighters, such as Shaolin and Thales, among others," Pederneiras said. "I don't know why he isn't in the rankings because a guy with a performance like his should be in every ranking. He has been working for a long time and only now he is known. For sure he is one of the top fighters."
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>