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DENIS MARTINS: Is Darrel Gholar a part of BTT again? SPERRY: He is. He came to add his wrestling know-how to the team again. Jefferson (the current wrestling coach) and Darrel will work together. Jefferson will coordinate the BTT wrestling team and Gholar will train us in wrestling for MMA. We’ll invest time in Jefferson by sending him to Cuba to develop his job and the BTT’s wrestling consequently. DENIS MARTINS: Gholar was a little close to ChuteBoxe academy. Was this a factor on bringing him back to BTT as quickly as possible? SPERRY: No. We had a lot of conversations with him since the end of 2004, but he didn’t have much time to train us because he was training Champions Factory and Gracie Humaita. So, by his criteria, he managed his calendar to train with us again. Now, it’s official — he’s part of team. DENIS MARTINS: He’s not exclusive with BTT right now. Is there any problem with this? SPERRY: It’s not a problem, as the fighter will win a fight if he’s very well-trained and not because someone told him the game-plan for opponent. The main problem was when Brazil Dojo team was created, and Wallid Ismail demanded that Gholar couldn’t come here. We understood his position and he left; however, Brazil Dojo finished and we continued here without any anger towards Gholar. DENIS MARTINS: Vitor Belfort left again; any surprise with this? SPERRY: He’s over 18 years old, so he knows what’s best for him. He believes it’s the best way for him. My goal is to make the fighters who represent the BTT each time better. Not only in the fight world, but in real life as well. We tried to help him this way, but he guesses that he has the tools to make it on his own. I got a little upset about it, but it’s normal. He’s a great fighter and we were personal friends. We don’t need star-fighters here, but we do need teammates. If you come here and don’t add anything to the team, but just train once and don’t come back; then it’s not interesting for us. I guess it was this case, he didn’t help us – just trained once and disappeared. DENIS MARTINS: Belfort can face either Ricardo Arona or Rogerio Minotoro, two recent former teammates. How do you face this situation? SPERRY: I prefer a fight between ‘us’ than a final between other fighters. We’re professional and we’ll face it as such with tough training. DENIS MARTINS: Talking about your career, you beat Yokoi in your last appearence (PRIDE 29), but you still confused us. I mean, you fight in two different weight classes, the heavyweight (where you faced Kopylov & Vovchanchyn) and the middleweight (where you faced Ninja, Kondo, Yokoi and Batman). What’s your fighting intentions in PRIDE? SPERRY: I got a little dissapointed because I didn’t get an invitation for PRIDE. I was training very hard, but we have fighters here with a better resume than mine in PRIDE — such as Arona and Minotoro. But it’s okay and we are very-well represented at the 4/23 Osaka Dome show. I’ll continue my training and I expect to fight soon because I have one more fight on my DSE contract. I’ll probably fight in South Korea, too. DENIS MARTINS: Are you looking to get a title belt in PRIDE? SPERRY: Well, my goal now is to fight everyone I can. Doesn’t matter if it’s for the Pride GP tournament, a single-bout or any other event that I’m headlined for. I feel good when I fight and I know my value to this sport. I train here at BTT with everybody, but I lost to them (Arona and Minotoro) when the issue is the cartel at PRIDE and their invitations were fair. I’m happy because my team has two representatives at this amazing tournament. I’d be worried if my team was weak and they (PRIDE people) didn’t invite me; however, they told me that if Arona or Minotoro got injured, I’d be invited. DENIS MARTINS: Taking a look at your fight resume in PRIDE, it sounds intriguing. When you faced Igor Vovchanchyn(PRIDE 17, Nov. 2001 in Tokyo Dome) and Yokoi they were very well trained and all Brazilian fans were a bit worried in these fights, but you won both. However against Kondo, you were very well trained and the same fans believed in a convicing victory, but Kondo TKO’d you. Isn’t this intriguing? SPERRY: This is the sport — we can’t foresee nothing. I was on the verge against Kondo but I used a wrong game-plan and when I stopped to breathe, he threw a knee that cut me bad. Against Vovchanchyn, it would be a hard fight and nobody believed that I’d beat him easily that way, and Yokoi has just lost to Minotauro and Heath Herring before me, so he’s a tough fighter. However, I was very confident. DENIS MARTINS: Is there any chance of a re-match against Kondo? SPERRY: I talked to PRIDE and I indicated that even though I lost to him, I wanted a re-match. I really lost to Ninja Rua, but against Kondo I committed one mistake in my game-plan and I would not repeat it in a re-match. DENIS MARTINS: What was the mistake in that fight? SPERRY: He expected me to take him down and I did it, so he was very-well prepared for it. I should have traded punches on the feet with him. DENIS MARTINS: You showed a good stand-up game against Andrei Kopylov(Pride 22, August 2002) and Mike ‘Batman’ Bencic(Pride Bushido 2, Feb. 2004)I know they’re different than Kondo. However, did you use a perfect strategy against them? SPERRY: I just used the correct strategy — everything is strategic.I came ahead to Batman, he missed his strikes and I hit him accurately. Kopylov tried to take me down by double-leg and I had a perfect defense to it, so I could pound him while he tried to wake-up. I feel myself comfortable on the feet, trading punches. I don’t know how I would go if I trade punches with Kondo. But my training is very good and I traded punches against Minotoro and Minotauro at Boxe Thay Gym under Luiz Alves’ supervision. DENIS MARTINS: Buscape lost his bout at Bushido Vol. 6 to Luiz Azeredo. Will it harm the intentions of conquering a future under -73kg belt? SPERRY: It’s part of the game. We do need to know that in the other side of the corner there’s a well prepared fighter too. This time, it was a fantastic fighter (Luiz Azeredo). We are looking for all belts in PRIDE. Maybe this loss to Azeredo can make Buscape a stronger fighter. DENIS MARTINS: What was your vision over Buscape’s defeat? SPERRY: I’ll try to answer you not like a coach or a BTT’ member. I respect ChuteBoxe and Azeredo a lot, but I believe Buscape won that match. Azeredo sunk two armbar at Buscape’s arm and these attacks were good; but that was it. Buscape kept himself on the top position. I know the hits landed by Buscape weren’t effective, however Buscape stayed on the top in 85% of the fight. Azeredo wasn’t effective either stand-up and on the ground. I saw Buscape takes Azeredo down 6 or 7 times, and in R2 Buscape punched him and he felt. So I don’t understand the criteria of the final result and the two red-cards that Buscape got in the fight, Azeredo got a red-one. I didn’t understand why it happened (the red-card) since they kept a high pace on the fight, the best fight-of-the-night in my opinion. DENIS MARTINS: Finally, Murilo Bustamante won a bout at Pride. He told me that he wasn’t worried about his fight. SPERRY: He cameback for an away off the fights where he lost his three prior matches. He got in better shape and he fought in his real weight class, so the final result couldn’t be different than a victory. DENIS MARTINS: Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira didn’t sign a PRIDE contract yet. Will it be done soon? SPERRY: This is our target (BTT’s target). The negotiations are being done and we expect to keep the job in this organization (DSE). Just small details are lacking; and the 5 years of the good relationship among BTT and PRIDE will be kept. DENIS MARTINS: Any final comments? SPERRY: BTT has a lot of fighters and we’re training very hard. We have fighters in all categories and the BTT’s goal is to be at the top, because of it the name of the team is Brazilian TOP Team.

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