In an exclusive interview with TATAME, Rafael Cordeiro, head-coach of Kings MMA disagree with Dana White, and believes it’s not the end of the line for the Axe Murderer.
Guilherme Cruz: What went wrong with Wanderlei?
Rafael Cordeiro: The lack of fighting rhythm was the biggest factor. Wanderlei, while in a sequence of fights, will recover that. Wanderlei was coming from a sequence of injuries, did his best on the trainings, he was doing fine, but it happened. There were two prepared athletes, and a hard punch got him hard. He went for it, it’s hard to analyze… There was no bout. Wanderlei believed that he could finish the fight and went for it.
GC: Did you feel it on the trainings?
RC: He was doing great on the trainings with Mark Munoz, Vitor Vianna, Werdum… We had a great technical support. Wanderlei was ready for a war. Whoever things Wanderlei was not prepared for it, is mistaken. He was prepared for a war, but that punch really got caught him and it defined the fight.
GC: What was the game plan?
RC: To move a lot, use his best skills, which are his speed and exploding power, find the right moment and counterattack and, moving his legs a lot, finish the fight. He was well trained, but, unfortunately that punch really caught him. It’s hard to talk about game plans after the fight, but now we have to move along and think about his next bout. He still has much to do, he’s an excellent athlete, young… There are no excuses.
GC: How did Wanderlei react to Dana White’s statements, claiming it was the end of the line for him?
RC: Nobody said it directly to Wanderlei, that he won’ fight anymore. Wanderlei is in Brazil now, he’ll return to the United States this week, and he’s coming to train here. He wants to fight again. He trained his whole life and suffered many injuries as any other athlete, but they’re all healed. He’s with a good body, stronger than ever. He’s Wanderlei, he’ll never give up. That’s the main thing about him. And there’s no reasons for him to do that. He’s reached what every athlete wants to. I’m not saying this as his coach, I’m saying this as a guy who watched him growing in the sport. He has the potential to become champion again, it’s all about timing.