C: Congrats on your win over Jason Black at UFC Fight Night 10.
TT: Thank you. I really worked hard for that fight.
PC: How do you feel about your performance?
TT: It couldn't have been better. All of my training for that fight was perfect. I arrived there in good shape, with a good gameplan and good mental condition.
PC: There was a ton of hype surrounding Black coming into this fight. Were you aware of his credentials as a fighter and how good did it feel to ruin his UFC debut?
TT: When I fight against somebody, I try to analyze his weaknesses. I don`t pay attention to his strong points, because if I do that, I`ll make it a defensive bout. I prefer to emphasize on my strong points and his weak points.Unfortunately for him, my happiness would mean his frustration on that night so I hope he`ll win his next bout in the UFC.
PC: Did you shock yourself at how you were able to dominate such a veteran of MMA like Jason Black?
TT: Jason Black is a good fighter, but he`s really predictable. In all of his fights I`ve watched, he's always used the same method. He has very solid and efficient skills, but he doesn`t change it. It depends on the choice of the method and the training. For example, I was sure he would take the half guard from the right side, so I worked a lot on the triangle chokes coming from the half guard and that`s what happened.
PC: Could you tell us how you set up the triangle choke that ultimately finished the fight?
TT: That triangle choke coming from the half guard was a position that one of my pupils created and actually just started to train for it about one month before the fight After watching Black's fights, I knew that it could submit him.
PC: It's very tough to keep an unbeaten record in MMA 13 fights in. Who are some of the people that help you prepare for your fights?
TT: Actually, it's 16 fights, but the 3 others are not considered professional because I didn`t get money for the fight. I just work hard. I have my goals and nothing in my life can change it. With faith in God and with my friend's and family's support, I will continue to honor the trust that they give to me. A lot of people are responsible for this conquest: my father, my coaches Murilo Rupp and Pedro Paulo. At last, I`m a lucky person because I have great friends and a family that help me a lot.
PC: A lot of fighters get away from where they've had their success. Being that you've submitted nearly 80% of your opponents, are you content with that or will you look to stand more and knock guys out?
TT: Obviously I`m satisfied. Sincerely I think my Muay Thai is on the same level of my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But I came from grappling so I feel safer fighting on the ground. Maybe in my next fights, I will be able to show my qualities standing too. I will train more and more to make it better.
PC: The UFC's lightweight division is so stacked right now. Where would you like this win to place you into the division?
TT: I've just arrived in the UFC, so I`m aware I have to show more; one good fight is not enough to secure my place. I will train more every day to have a chance to fight for the title and it doesn`t matter who is keeping it. Faith in God + work = UFC title. The championship belt`s place is in my house.
PC: You're fighting again at UFC 75 in London on September 22nd. Are there any names being thrown around right now?
TT: I think I`ll be fighting on September 22th, but in California. At the moment, I don`t know the opponent, but I`m really anxious. I`m back trainning hard and I believe I`ll be more ready than I was in the last fight.
PC: What did you think of the lightweight champion Sean Sherk's dominating performance over Hermes Franca?
TT: He had a very good physique, and his game is very solid and efficient. He chose the perfect strategy and he used it from the beginning to the end of the fight; it was his night. It would be a pleasure and an honor to fight against him for the UFC title.
PC: You are very young, explosive and seem to be very confident in your abilities. How many fights away do you think you are from aiming for that title?
TT: I always say, "If I don`t believe in my abilities, who will?" I think with 2 more fights, I`ll be able to have the opportunity to fight for the title. That`s because of the rankings. But I feel I would be completely able to capture the title if it was on my next fight.
PC: Who are some of the fighters you enjoyed watching coming up?
TT: I like to watch the best fighters because I can learn a lot with them. Rodrigo "Minotauro", Paulo Filho, Fedor Emelianenko, Mauricio "Shogun".
PC: I look forward to seeing you again in September. Is there anyone you want to thank or anything you want to say in closing?
TT: I want to thank everyone who believed and believe in my job. I promise to continue honoring you. With faith and hard training, I`ll give my best to win again and give my victory to my family, friends and people that follow my career. God bless all of us. And if you would like to watch my vídeos, you can access my website: www.thiagotavares.com.br
He has a better chance at the belt here if they strip sherk
They can both toss people around, so I think it might be something to look forward to in the future.
thiago is for real. contender in lw division. I'd say watch out for him.
thiago is a talent he deserv to fight against the tops