Denis Martins: You have been focusing a lot on MMA. What made you decide to enter a submission grappling event like the ADCC Trials? Jucao: It was a dream of mine. I am a former Carlson Gracie Team member. Since the first ADCC in 1998, I’ve helped my teammates train for the competition. I finally decided to make my dream come true and entered. Denis Martins: You are a tough MMA fighter. Nobody picked you as one of the favorites this year to win. How did you make it happen? Jucao: First of all, I like being the underdog. None of the ?experts?, expected me to do that well. I just did my best and beat all the guys expected to win. Denis Martins: You arrived here just one week before the Trials. Did you get to train enough in France? Jucao: I trained more Jiu Jitsu in France after some time off from it. I needed to focus more grappling and Jiu Jitsu apart from my usual MMA training. Denis Martins: You should have competed in the first phase of the Trials. How did you get a bye, to the second phase? Jucao: It worked out very well for me. I trained very hard expecting to compete in the first phase (in Campos City). There I might have had to compete in 4 matches to get a place in the finals. But Luis ‘Buscape’ Jr. got an offer to compete in Pride, that left a spot open. I was lucky to fill the void left by him. I trained hard for 4 matches, followed by 3. I only had to do 3 and did very well. Some of the matches I expected tough opponents, but they didn?t compete well. On the other hand I battled against guys who had a better game than I expected. Denis Martins: You mentioned, ‘Expecting tough opponents but they didn’t compete well’. Are you talking about Andre Galvao? Jucao: Well, he’s a very skilled young fighter. He has had a very good career in Jiu Jitsu. I’ve been around a long time. I’ve faced his master Fernando Terere when we were kids. I think Galvao’s time is still to come, and he will conquer a lot of things. However, he needed to be humble and a man. He imposed a cheater’s game in the first phase against Adriano ‘Nasal’ Pereira. I think he won due to it. Because of that, I fought against him with more will. This game is a man’s game, not a kids game like Galvao thinks. Denis Martins: Was there some sort of misunderstanding in the fight? Jucao: He did slap my face, and I looked at the judge. When I tried to grip him, he walked back. I did slap him not intending to. I realized he wanted to unbalance my game. I was too focused and beat him by the score of 4-1.Denis Martins: He sunk an armbar in the final second of the fight. Did it hurt you? Jucao: No it didn?t, I freed my elbow at the moment he executed the move. Everything was okay. Nobody saw that the whistle saved him. I would have got passed his guard and would have tried to finish him with all my strength. Denis Martins: In the semifinals you faced Leonardo Pecanha (Nova Uniao) who has a better background in submission grappling. Also this was a rematch where you won the first one. What were your thoughts about this match? Jucao: He was my toughest opponent for the championship. He won his last submission tournaments here in Brazil. I kept competing submission there in France. I fought 9 times in the same day to win my weight in the absolute in an event. Even so, the Pecanha fight was the most dangerous of the three. Denis: Sometimes when 2 fighters from the same team fight, there is sometimes a fake match (work). Your match against Eduardo Guedes was real. Did you prove to everybody that it?s possible to fight against a teammate? Jucao: We train everyday together when I’m in Brazil. We even stayed in the same hotel room. When we had to face each other, we decided we both had to do our best for our careers. We are professionals and so we fought for real. I hurt my shoulder against him. Nobody can talk that this was a fake match. It was a real fight between teammates that both wanted to go to ADCC2005. I performed with heart, technique and strength. I got the win. Denis Martins: We talked about Nasal, who lost to Galvao. Now I’d like to talk about your other teammate, Milton Vieira. He was one of the favorites, but was beaten in Phase 1. In the defeats of both your teammates, what are your thoughts? Jucao: Nasal lost due to Galvao’s cheating. Vieira lost within the rules. I know Bruno de Paula is tough, but Vieira is better. Vieira wasn?t clear with all the rules. You need to adapt yourself to ADCC rules because they aren’t the same as all submission events, mainly in Brazil. Denis Martins: In competing there is a chance of injuries. Will you focus mainly on training until May? Jucao: I think that nothing will impede me from fighting at the ADCC2005. I had plans to fight in the MFC Euphoria in February, but I’m confirmed against Ryo Chonan in DEEP scheduled for February 12th. Also I hope AFC Brazil promoters will call me to fight in April. I?m addicted to MMA and won’t stop competing before the ADCC 2005. (lol) Denis Martins: Is there a certain fighter that you would like to face soon? Jucao: Marcelo Garcia in submission, and Hayato Sakurai in MMA. Garcia because he has won in everything he’s competed in recently. I think our styles would collide and I have a great shot at beating him. I have wanted to fight Sakurai ever since he was the SHOOTO champion. We should have fought in Bushido, but it didn’t work out. I?m hungry for this fight! Denis Martins: Would you like to add anything else? Jucao: I would like to thank my sponsors, Gameness, Hunter, and Drogarias Norte-Sul. To all my fans on the inter-net, I?m going to rock in my next fights. Wait and see. Keep training and don’t make violence!
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