Pre-GP 2005 Opening Round Inte
04/22/2005
Vitor Belfort

Pride Fighting Championships: What is your height and weight?
Vitor Belfort: 6" Eand 205.
Pride: And your record is 4-1 in PRIDE?
Belfort: Yes.
Pride: You are Carlson Gracie's senior black belt?
Belfort: Yep.
Pride: 4-time BJJ World Champion, 3rd place in 2001 Abu Dhabi tournament and you started training in jiu-jitsu when you were 13?
Belfort: Yes.
Pride: You began fighting MMA in Super Brawl II, beating John Hess in 12 seconds. You won the UFC Heavyweight Tournament. You beat Tank Abbot in UFC 13. You knocked out Wanderlei in 44 seconds in UFC Brazil, right?
Belfort: Right.
Pride: And your last fight was a close fight against Tito Ortiz in UFC 51.
Belfort: Yes.
Pride: Okay, anything new happen lately?
Belfort: I got a baby!
Pride: What is your wife and child's name?
Belfort: My wife is Joanna and my son is Davi.
Pride: That's your first child.
Belfort: Yes, my first.
Pride: What are you thoughts on being back in PRIDE, representing UFC in this tournament and coming back to Japan?
Belfort: I'm very excited. I love the Japanese fans, PRIDE and I like the ring. I like PRIDE's rules, so I'm excited.
Pride: What kind of problems do you think Overeem will present to you?
Belfort: He's pretty good in legs and knees. He's a good puncher. He's good on the ground, too.
Pride: Yeah, he won the European Abu Dhabi trials.
Belfort: Yeah. I think he's coming up as a new fighter. I have to be very focused in the fight.
Pride: What did you think about switching to the 10 minute first rounds in PRIDE?
Belfort: In 10 minutes, you can work more. I think I prefer the first round as 10 minutes. If you fight in the cage, you stay on the cage all the time. That way, if you are on the bottom, you can't do much. The cage doesn't let you move your hips. You are locked. Here, if you get in the corner, they move you back to the center. The fight is happening all the time, so you have to have skills. You don't need to just stay in there and pound. I think you have to have more skills in PRIDE.
Pride: That's what happened when you fought Randy the last time. You were put against the cage and didn't get an opportunity to do much. The wrestlers in the cage have a much bigger advantage.
Belfort: Yeah, I think the cage is more for wrestlers. Plus, the judges in PRIDE have more experience with grappling, boxing, kickboxing and MMA. It's different. You can score if you get a takedown, but it doesn't mean much.
Pride: You've gone through a roller coaster in your career. How do you feel coming off your fight with Ortiz and how having a new baby? What is your mental mindset coming back to Japan?
Belfort: Very focused. I trained hard for this. I came here so someone has to pay! I've been away from my family for one month.
Pride: Where did you train?
Belfort: At Teresopolis. It's like 900 meters above sea level. It's in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro. I moved away from BTT but we trained like the last time, except we brought in a lot of highly skilled athletes. We had a Brazilian boxing champion and a coach from Cuba.
Pride: How away from your family is that?
Belfort: Well, I live in San Paulo now, where I have a gym. It's a six-hour drive away from my family.
Pride: That's a high-altitude place, like Big Bear in California?
Belfort: Right. That's a perfect way to put it.
Pride: You are a well-rounded fight already. What did you work on more for this fight, or was it just on everything? Overeem is known for his muay thai. Are you going to counter that with the ground or try to put on a show?
Belfort: I like being on my feet. I trained both, though. We had a very good wrestling coach. You can't train just one, anymore. That's why I don't have a strategy. Some fighters say they have a strategy but I don't. I like to make the fight exciting. Before, I used to be very strategic but now I don't care if I win or lose. I just want to put on a great show. That's what people want to see and that's what they pay for.
Pride: What did you think of your fight with Ortiz? Were you tired at the end?
Belfort: I think he won the 3rd round for sure but he didn't score any points. He didn't put me in danger. That's why I think it was a bad result because people were counting the takedowns. The only thing he did was take me down and then try to elbow me to open a cut, but he couldn't. There was nothing. My face was clear and I busted him in the 1st and 2nd round. I was looking for submission and looking for a fight. When I got tired, and he got tired too, he was just laying there. He was just there on top of me.
Pride: How about your conditioning?
Belfort: The problem with Tito is that I lost a lot of weight before the fight. I was not training. They called me and I trained for a month. After that fight, I just kept training and training. I did a lot of cardio and training for this fight.
Pride: Is there any pressure on you because you are representing the UFC?
Belfort: No, man. I don't care. The only pressure on me is that I've got to feed my family. The rest is just fun.