Marcelo Alonso and Eduardo Ferreira of Brazilian website/magazine Tatame come with one of the more intriguing interviews ideas in recent memory, inviting the UFC's 205-pound champion and his challenger to sit down face-to-face shortly before their title match at UFC 104. The results are about as cordial as you'd expect from a pair of sportsmen, countrymen and former training partners, but there are some interesting bits nonetheless.
First, Lyoto questions Shogun:
What do you think about our fight and how do you see it?
I got really surprised with this fight because I like you, we’ve trained together and talked sometimes. It was really a surprise, but the only person I wouldn’t like to fight with is Wanderlei Silva. I respect you, you’re the top of the category now, but we’re professionals and we have to fight. It’s hard to talk about a strategy of fight, because sometimes we get there and can’t make it. Actually I don’t know what I’ll do, and I have no idea of what you’ll do too. I hope that everything goes in my way, of course (laughs). But actually it’s very hard you keep saying that you’ll do this or that, each fight is a fight. Only on the night of the fight we’ll see.
Then Rua interviews the champ:
Are you taking English classes?
Yes, sometimes I study more, and sometimes less. I study alone, sometimes, but I always take the book to study. I think it’s really important do develop myself up there, inside and outside the octagon, because sometimes you have interviews. When the fight ends you want to pass a message to the audience, say something besides thank you, people have to see who you are, so is with the language that we communicate easily. I didn’t participate of the last TUF because of my English, so I have to get better to have the opportunity to be on The Ultimate Fighter.
Thanks to Jordan Breen for the tip.