UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado opened up an interesting line of thought in an interview with Brazilian website R7.com recently (article translated by Eduardo Cruz of Fighters Only). Basically, he believes that Brazilians are falling behind Americans in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, in conditioning and other areas. Due to a bunch of recent losses by Brazilian fighters to their American counterparts, he was asked about the topic and was very frank with his response:
Questioned about a potential lack in the conditioning of Brazilian athletes compared to American ones, he went straight to the point:
"I agree with this analysis. Perhaps Brazilians miss the point in training. It's not that we train less, but sometimes we confuse the amount of training with quality. It's sad to say but Americans will dominate the mixed martial arts future," he told R7.com.
In addition, the former professional boxer feels that money plays a big factor in things:
"The trend is that the American fighters will take MMA over because of the financial side of the business. If they are not the best in something, they take the best [fighters and coaches] out there. How many Brazilian teach jiu-jitsu in America? Thousands. And how many Cuban or Bulgarian teach boxing or wrestling here? The figure is simple," he questioned rhetorically.
Maldonado recently fell to 1-1 in the UFC after dropping a decision to Kyle Kingsbury at The Ultimate Fighter 12 finale earlier this month. He states in the article that he will return to the US to train wrestling again, feeling it will be more beneficial than staying in Brazil. Is there a divide between Americans and Brazilians when it comes to conditioning? Is there a coaching imbalance now in terms of the two countries? Or elsewhere?