The Brazilian Notebook: Leites and Tibau Debut in UFC

By Gleidson Venga Nov 10, 2006
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has bet on some Brazilian fighters, and they are doing right. Names like Marcio Cruz (Pictures), Gabriel Gonzaga (Pictures) and Thiago Alves (Pictures) are just some of the new breed of talented fighters rising out of Brazil who’ve showed their wares in the UFC.

Two new athletes arrive this November, and trust us, they have everything to become champions on their weight classes. Thales Leites (Pictures), one of the stars from the Nova Uniao Team (the same team as Vitor Ribeiro (Pictures)), and Gleison Tibau, the newest American Top Team acquisition, promise to make a lot of noise in the Octagon.

And news from the MMA world is just beginning. Wallid Ismail (Pictures) has announced a brand new MMA league, the Nogueira brothers are expanding their family business, and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu beast promises to take away Randy Couture (Pictures)’s peace.

Thales Leite is ready for UFC debut

One of the most promising young names in mixed martial arts, Thales Leites (Pictures) makes his UFC debut Saturday on the TUF 4 finale card in Las Vegas against Dutch fighter Martin Kampmann (Pictures).

Having great victories in his career against well-rounded fighters such as Jose Landi-Jons (Pictures) and Gustavo Machado (Pictures), Leites is ready to step into the Octagon.

“I’ve trained hard for this event,” the Brazilian middleweight said, “like I always did in my life. I always look to be in 100 percent condition to fight.”

The BJJ black belt doesn’t know much about Kampmann.

“All I know is he is a very experienced and an explosive fighter,” Leites said. “He has six wins in a row and he is willing to fight on his feet.”

Scheduled to fight in a past UFC, Leites had trouble securing his visa and couldn’t travel from Brazil to the U.S. to fight. But he accepted his fate and now he is here.

“I was in the best shape for that fight,” Leites said. “But now I’m 100 percent again, and if I couldn’t fight here before that was God’s wish.”

Fighting at 185 pounds, the Brazilian confessed he was cheering for Anderson Silva (Anderson Silva' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) to defeat then UFC champion Rich Franklin (Pictures).

“Anderson is a tough and very dangerous fighter, besides being one of the best in the world,” the undefeated Leites said. “I was cheering for him and he deserves this title. My congratulations to him.”

Taking a look at possible future opponents, Leites analyzed who are the tops in his weight class. “This weight division brings great athletes, like Anderson (Silva), Rich Franklin (Pictures), Nathan Quarry (Pictures) and David Loiseau (Pictures). But I don’t choose my opponents. Whoever I fight will be a great fight. I respect all of them.”

Wallid Ismail (Pictures) raises a new MMA league

Wallid Ismail (Pictures), known as a great conqueror inside and outside the ring, is one of the first professional fighters from Brazil. He defeated three Gracie’s family members in BJJ contests and fought for many of the major MMA promoters on the planet before creating “Jungle Fight,” his successful fighting organization.

Now, Ismail has introduces a new undertaking, which according to him has everything needed to become a blockbuster MMA enterprise. “I think this will be very good for our sport,” Wallid told Sherdog.com. “The fights will have three two-minutes rounds, the fighters will wear helmets, and new fighters will be raised. We will revolutionize the sport.”

According to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, MMA events will be promoted inside gyms and can be watched on the Internet live to the all world. With this, Ismail hopes that businessmen throughout the world will watch the fights and in turn will sponsor the young athletes directly, without managers or even the league involved.

We will bring more news of this soon. For those interested in Ismail’s endeavor, you can the promoters by E-mail at [email protected]

Benkei explains Denis Kang (Pictures)’s injury

Denis Kang (Pictures) fans were certainly disappointed with his performance during last weekend’s PRIDE Bushido Welterweight Grand Prix final, when Kazuo Misaki (Pictures) defeated him by judges’ decision. According to Andre “Benkei”, American Top Team’s physical trainer, Kang injured a tendon in his left shoulder weeks before the event and he must now undergo surgery.

To make his situation worse than it is, Kang tore his right biceps in the fight against Akihiro Gono (Pictures) in addition to stretching the muscular group surrounding the right shoulder.

“Mohamed Ouali and me held it with a ‘muscular tape’ just so he could move his arm,” Benkei told Sherdog.com after the event. “His strength on this arm was totally gone. In the second round against Misaki, his bicep was already torn, and even with this, you all saw them fighting. He is a warrior. I’m proud to train this warrior.”

Benkei also spoke about Marcus Aurelio (Marcus Aurelio' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures)’s fight against Takanori Gomi (Pictures) and his future in PRIDE. “DSE loved Marcus’s fight,” he said. “They apologized and said to us that if it wasn’t a title fight, Aurelio would have won. Gomi went to our dressing room to ask for one more fight. He knows that he lost.”

Gleison Tibau talks about his UFC debut

Gleison Tibau is already confirmed for the UFC 65 card on November 18. The American Top Team fighter faces Nick Diaz (Pictures) in his first UFC bout, and he is anxious about this.

“American Top Team scheduled me to fight because of my training and my history,” Tibau said. “I will be able to show my work in the event I always dreamed to fight in.”

Training at ATT about two months, Tibau guaranteed he is already used to the daily training sessions and he promises to make a amazing fight. “I’ll give all my best in this fight,” he said. “I’ll defeat Diaz, submitting him, knocking him out or in a judges’ decision. But I’m sure I’ll win. I’m in a hardcore training season here at ATT. I’m very comfortable.”

Ronaldo “Jacaré” anxious to face Couture

Dedicating his time to prepare himself for MMA fights, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza faces retired UFC star Randy Couture (Pictures) in a submission-wrestling match November 17 in the X-Mission in Santa Monica, Calif.

“I think this is a great opportunity to show to the world high-level BJJ,” said Jacaré, a five-time world BJJ champion. Watching at the greatest MMA events, the Brazilian fighter knows how important a win over Couture, even in submission wrestling, would be.

“The MMA gates have been open for me and I know I can be the best in my weight class in any event,” said the Brazilian grappling star.

Fury FC 2 starts to schedule its next card

The Fury Fight Championship is one more bet from a great businessman from São Paulo, Brazil. Victor Costa, owner of Koral fightwear, is leading this project, which promises to be among the biggest in MMA.

During its first edition, Fury FC brought together eight light-heavyweight athletes. The remaining fighters will have to fight twice in the same evening on Nov. 30 to becoming the tournament champion.

With the likes of Wanderlei Silva (Pictures), Mauricio Rua (Pictures) and Pedro Rizzo (Pictures) watching the first edition, the next one promises be better. At this moment, just the semifinal fights are scheduled. The rest of the card will be announced soon.

Cláudio Godoy fights Thiago Silva and Danilo “Moto-Serra” takes on Vitor Vianna (Pictures).

News and Notes

Resting from the vicious training season and the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) joined to his brother Rogerio and to promote Minotauro Fights 5. The event is scheduled for Dec. 8 and it will promote seven MMA contests, three boxing bouts and three Muay Thai fights.

While waiting to be contacted by PRIDE, Rogerio is totally dedicated to boxing. He will fight on the South American Boxing Championship in Argentina Nov. 10-16. Nogueira promises if the fight dates do not conflict, he will also attempt to fight MMA, the 2007 Pan American games and the 2008 Olympic. “Minotoro” is the reigning amateur heavyweight champion in Brazil.

One of the biggest São Paulo’s events, Predador FC, will have trials on Dec 1. The newest Chute Boxe rising heavyweight, Edgar Castadelli, Nogueira’s student Cesar “Monstro” and the beautiful BTT athlete Ana Maria are already confirmed.
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