Xande wants to fight in the UFC
Tatame.com: You were focused on MMA, but did not manage to schedule a fight on that period. What happened?
Xande Ribeiro: It’s true. I had a contract with Japan, but when Japan when through a tough phase, the event was canceled and they did not continue with what they had to do. They had to give me two fights, but didn’t give me any. I would do another event here in America, but the contract wasn’t very good, the clauses weren’t nice. We work on our name within Jiu-Jitsu for a long time and a lot of MMA people start saying things about Jiu-Jitsu. I will keep on worshiping Jiu-Jitsu, so I’ll fight with who worships the sport and me. It didn’t happened, but in negotiation with another event, which I can’t speak right now, but let’s wait and see it goes on the right way so I can fight on September. As I said, my main focus in MMA was not fighting strong… Of course I wanted to fight, but my focus was on the lessons I could learn from it, the getting stronger part, my evolvement on Wrestling and Boxing, so I can be ready when I step on the ring. A lot of people train to fight and now I’m training to learn. When I step on the ring again, with God’s help, it will be on UFC’s, and I hope I’m in a good shape so that I can represent well our Jiu-Jitsu and show my evolvement in the last years.
Tatame: Don’t you think that, with your name and Jiu-Jitsu history you could get into an event like UFC?
XR: Yes, I could. But get in there is not the tough part; the thing is the conditions that it happens. Unfortunately, Jiu-Jitsu is not a thing everyone gets, our federation doesn’t invest on marketing at all, on the exposure of the athletes and there’s no commitment in this area. Everyone heard about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but no one really knows what it is. We have an organization where the championships are perfect, well organized, but in that championship matter, it’s still really weak in comparison with what we deserve. If you go to a Jiu-Jitsu championship, which is a number one championship, you can’t find a single company sponsor, there’s no marketing on that, no television, besides the one focused on Jiu-Jitsu… If you are hungry, you eat a nacho or a hot-dog, I can’t worship that. When you speak to the producers, they star pointing out things about Jiu-Jitsu, they say is has no value, no money. Unfortunately, nowadays, MMA is not about the athlete, is the event, so it doesn’t make much difference for the audience, you have to find a producer that wants to invest on you. I’m here, working on this project and after I become a world champion, we can talk about it all, search the MMA title and become the best on MMA too.
Tatame: Roger has a scheduled fight for this weekend on Strikeforce against Kevin Randelman. What do you expect from this fight?
XR: I’m hoping he comes off it without injuries, that he can win the fight just as he did on the couple last fights, without getting hurt, beating the opponent. I’m a fan of his Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, I’m a fan of any Jiu-Jitsu fighter that represents our sport. It will be a good fight, Randelm is not the same guy he used to be, but is dangerous, explosive, has a strong left hook. Roger will be prepared for this fight, will keep his hands pretty closed in order to protect himself. If the fight goes to the ground, it’s done. I’m only hoping he doesn’t get hurt. That’s my concern about Bráulio (Estima) as well, because both of them will fight on this weekend. I think the three of us are not updated with our Jiu-Jitsu, because Bráulio fought the World Pro and will debut on MMA. Roger only fights the World and MMA, so everyone is on the same boat and everyone has naphthalene in their kimono. For sure none of us has stopped training and we keep n going. I’m really hoping that Roger doesn’t get hurt and we can battle on June 5 with all our strength.