At this point in time, it is safe to say that if there is something on Vinny Magalhaes's mind, he is going to let everyone know. Magalhaes is the reigning M-1 light heavyweight champion and an elite submission grappler with many prestigious titles in his past. Earlier this year, he made a stellar run to the finals of the +99 kg division of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling tournament, where he out-pointed Fabricio Werdum in a legendary match.
In a recent interview with Kid Peligro, Vinny opens up about his ADCC experience - in particular, surviving the locked-on armbar Werdum had on him in the finals - and makes some very pointed comments about his M-1 experience.
Kid Peligro - In 2009 you had a very good performance, but this time you won and is a champion, what was the difference this time around?
Vinny Magalhaes - In 2009 I had a dream tournament; I had beautiful matches, I had spectacular submissions in some matches and I took home two medals (third palace weight and absolute) that was my first ADCC! But I didn't conquer the Gold Medal which is the one everyone desires. And that is the one people remember the most. This time I came in with the idea of fighting to win, that it would better to fight ugly and to win than to fight beautifully and leave without the Gold. For sure my performance in ADCC 2009 will be remembered one way or another for the flying arm-locks that I did and other submission, as in my fight with Cavaca and against Glover, but none of that is worth more to me than the Gold medal I conquered this year.
Hitr the jump for more ADCC talk and the eyebrow raising M-1 tidbits Vinny drops.
En route to the +99 kg title, Vinny beat acclaimed grapplers like Gerardi Rinaldi (the Cornell wrestling product who competed with the likes of Phil Davis and Chris Weidman), Bruno Bastos, Jose Junior and Fabricio Werdum. Only Werdum scored points during that run and Vinny would go on to compete in the Absolute, losing out by a narrow referee's decision to Murilo Santana.
In short, Vinny grapples real good. His MMA career is now his focus and the interview excerpts below reflect that. Make sure to read the entire interview, as Vinny is always entertaining when speaking his mind.
Kid Peligro - At that moment on the final your arm was stretched out to the max, how did you overcome that?
Vinny Magalhaes - I simply put in my head that I couldn't tap, because it was the finals of ADCC and I was ahead on points. I thought about letting the arm break, if necessary, because I would never give up, after all winning ADCC is like winning the Olympics, not only that but winning ADCC is the highest achievement a grappler can get in their career. If I tapped I would be ruining a great opportunity of making a name for myself.
KP- You were in the U.F.C., you did the Ultimate Fighter and competed a few times in the main event, now what would it be like to return to the UFC Octagon?
VM- My dreams go beyond "returning" to the UFC, I dream of returning to stay and to become a Champion. In my first time in UFC I was too inexperienced, I wasn't training correctly and all I wanted was to be there, in UFC, But I wasn't training and preparing with the ambition and desire that I have today. I wasn't fighting with the passion that I fight today! Today, I believe that when I return to the UFC I will have a much better and stronger presence than before. You can call me crazy but my desire is to have that belt no matter what the costs are and I am going after reaching that dream!
KP- What do you believe it will take for you to return to the UFC?
VM- The only thing missing is for my contract with M1 needs to expire. I believe that as soon as I am free of any contract with M-1 I will have my foot on the door of UFC, after all, of the 12 wins that I have in MMA they are all by submission or KO. I don't have a single win by decision, on top of that, the fans have recognized my efforts, because I was a part of TUF, and now ADCC Champion. So I believe that perhaps not immediately but with one or two more wins the UFC is going to be calling me back.
What do you readers think? Is Vinny's MMA career going to keep climbing upwards to international stardom, riches and rewards? Would it be best for Vinny to put aside the anger and get a few more exciting finishes for M-1? Where do you see him in the 205 division in a few years?