When I published a post about Japanese fight veteran Daiju Takase last week, I really didn't expect it to stir up any controversy. The piece was fairly innocuous, but it did include mention of Takase's current career objective: return to the UFC and once again submit Anderson Silva via triangle choke.
Brazilian welterweight and recent Maximum Fighting Championships signee Thiago "Jambo" Goncalves took exception to Takase's comments, firing off this tweet to current Sengoku Raiden Championships matchmaker Koichi "Booker K" Kawasaki moments after the article went up:
@booker_k I wanna Fight Takase and Avenge my friend Anderson Silva! Please Mr. Kawasaki make it happen!
I was intrigued that the story had elicited such a reaction, but didn't put much more thought into it... until the next day, when Goncalves submitted an email to our site through SBNation's web support form.
In the interest of fair play -- and, potentially, helping to make this fight happen -- I decided to ask the man they call "Jambo" a few questions:
You've fought in the U.S. a number of times, but for American fans who might not be familiar with you, tell us about yourself.
My name is Thiago "Jambo" Goncalves. I'm a "Minotauro" Nogueira BJJ black belt. I have fought in the U.S., Europe and Canada, and I fight for Team Nogueira!
You say you'd like to fight Daiju Takase to avenge your friend, Anderson Silva. Could you talk a little about your connection with Silva and why this would mean so much to you?
Anderson is a good friend and training partner of mine. Silva and the Nogueira brothers have helped me so many times before, and that's the main reason why I'm standing up for him. I have a lot of respect for Takase, but he is not in the UFC and I think fighting him would make sense, since the chances of him fighting Anderson again are very slim to none.
Is fighting Takase something you've thought about before, or only after you read his comments?
I used to love watching Pride. I watched Takase fight back in Pride and I think he is a very tough fighter. It crossed my mind, fighting him or some other fighter back then, but it was never something personal.
I didn't agree with his comments about fighting Anderson again. I think he is just saying those things to get into the UFC or something, but Silva is a much different fighter since they fought. Anderson has fought the best and proved that he is the best fighter in the world right now. We all know that. Takase would not beat Anderson again, and that's a fact. I think Takase should fight his way into the UFC before thinking about fighting Anderson again.
Do you have any other plans or fights lined up at the moment?
I have a non-exclusive (outside Canada) contract with the MFC, and if Takase honors me with the fight, I would love for it to be in Japan.