Former M-1 champion Vinny Magalhaes has been in the news a lot lately for his ugly divorce from the Russian organization, but the BJJ world champion also created some drama a couple of months ago when he said he would help Chael Sonnen prepare for his UFC 148 bout rematch with Anderson Silva. A Brazilian helping a non-Brazilian to fight a Brazilian is a relative rarity, and he caught a bunch of flack for the decision. Back in April, he told BJPenn.com what he thought of the haters:
"I do have all these responsibilities, so If you’re going to question why I’m going to train with Chael, why don’t you just pay me to sit at home and not go to Oregon, I will do that for you without a problem, but if you are not willing to do that, sometimes is just better not give your opinion and shut the f*ck up before you get all your facts straight."
"Also, I’m Not sure if it was noticed, but on the title of the thread it clearly says "HIRES", I guess that makes it pretty clear that I’m not going there as a favor. And I guarantee that neither was Chael expecting me to leave my job and family just to help him as a favor."
Magalhaes spoke to BJPenn.com again this week on a variety of issues, and gave a more measured explanation of his work with Sonnen now that he's done. You can check it after the jump.
"For this fight, he [Sonnen] sent an email to one of our mutual friends. And he was like ‘Do you wanna come up and help me out for this fight?' and I was like ‘Yeah, why not?' But here's the thing, he's fighting a guy from Brazil. And I'm from Brazil. So I really had to think about it a lot.
"I like the guy, but I'm not friends with Anderson [Silva]. I've never trained with Anderson. I don't have any of Anderson's friends. So I had no problem training with Chael. I've talked to him [Silva] maybe like once or twice, and it was ‘Hey, what's up?' Nothing else.
"It's not like we've had a serious conversation. It's not like we're really close friends. I haven't been to Brazil in six or seven years. I haven't had any kind of friendship with Anderson whatsoever. So I have no problems about training Chael, no problems whatsoever."
He gives his opinion on Chael's grappling, and says what they worked on:
"Chael's a pretty good grappler. Even though he's made mistakes in his fights, overall Chael's a good grappler. He just makes mistakes in submission defense, so pretty much that's what we worked on. And of course some attacks, control, some of that basic stuff.
"Basically what we worked on was top game. We did work some submission defense, of course. But the best thing is not to get caught in a submission in the first place. If you're just working submission defense, you have to first be in a submission. You don't want to get that far.
"A lot of people ask me when they hear I was training Chael, ‘Why don't you just work triangle defense?' No! For me to teach you triangle defense, first I have to teach you how to be in a triangle. And I don't want him to be there in the first place."
And he also took a shot at Siva's creds:
"Here's another point. A lot of people hype Anderson's Jiu-Jitsu game because he got his black belt from the Nogueiras. But not every black belt is a high-level black belt. You just happened to have got a black belt under that guy.
"It's not like he has great sweeps. It's not like he has great submissions. How many submissions has he gotten [in the UFC]? He submitted Henderson. He submitted Chael; that's two guys. And he submitted Travis Lutter. So that's three guys. He's even got a couple submission losses. They may be eight years ago, but they're still losses.
"So I feel like this whole thing about Anderson being a black belt doesn't make much of a difference in the fight... It's not that I'm not impressed. People think that if you have a black belt under certain guys, it automatically means you're excellent at it. It doesn't mean anything though. Black belts are not always going to have black-belt skills."
Interesting stuff from Mr. Magalhaes.