In an interview with Tatame.com's Marcelo Barone, former Shooto champion, Cage Rage champion, and 4th degree black belt under Andre 'Dede' Pederneiras, Vitor 'Shaolin' Ribeiro declares his retirement from MMA, three years after his last fight.
Marcelo Barone: You wanted to fight last year - which has not happened - andhaven't fought since 2010. Are you retired?
Vitor 'Shaolin' Ribeiro: "Yes, I stopped. I have so much to do in America that I’d have to cancel a lot of commitments in order to fight. There’s no reason why promoters would offer me an interesting fight with so much talents in the market right now. It was great as long it lasted, but I don’t see myself fighting MMA any more. If an offer comes up in No Gi Jiu-Jitsu, I could do that. MMA is much more professional now. I'm not crazy, I cannot train like the old days, when I lived in Brazil. I can be a good coach, but training two to three times per day, dieting, with the routine I have, it gets complicated.
MB: When did you realized that it was getting difficult to continue?
VSR: When I started to expand in the United States. I added more classes tp the gym, without much help; I had only (Mark) Loro, who also needed to train. I competed at other championships, conducted seminars, had three children... I enjoy my family, my wife ... The academy consumed my time, I devoted more to Jiu-Jitsu. I started to pull away slowly and walked away from MMA overall.
MB: What is your assessment of your career?
VSR: I was one of the original people at Nova União. Dede had John Roque and I, who was one of the people who took the idea further. I was one of the first to go out and fight. I did not fight in Pride, because we had no contacts there. Did 25 fights, lost five. I won the Cage Rage and Shooto in interesting times, which had Hansen, Gomi was ... a high level. I have nothing to complain about. There was this boom today, but it was nice to have that history in MMA. Life took another turn. Curti what came to enjoy. Now it is to see the success of the academy, which is super dedicated, and friends. This success (Nova União) is not new to me, I'm with Dede since 1993. He was a guy who had a small team and could make good world. Then we had a large group in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.
MB: Are you frustrated about anything?
VSR: I wish I had fought at Pride. At that time we struggled to get something going there, but Brazilian Top Team and Chute Boxe were so strong. I was well ranked, I couldn’t understand why they never called me. I entered K-1 through a friend who helped me to go to the event ... But I'd like to see what would have happened in the glorious era of Pride. The UFC is something cool to see now, but at that time it was not so big.
MB: What was the happiest moment of your career in MMA?
VSR: Certainly it the Shooto! (Joachim) Hansen defeated Gomi months before and was smashing everybody, He had good hands and great Jiu-Jitsu. It was a special moment in my career, defeating him and building my history in Japan with that title."
MB: Do you have a special message for anyone?
VSR: I'm away in America, and do not come over to Brazil so often, but I want to thank the staff of the Nova União, and in particular Dede, who always gave me a lot of strength. He's a guy that I miss being around.
Read entire article... (original Portuguese)