Legacy FC 18 marks the return of one of the promotion's most popular fighters, Vale Tudo legend and two-division title holder Jorge "Macaco" Patino. Patino will be defending his lightweight title against Marshall, TX native Derrick Krantz. We had a chance to talk to him heading into this weekend's title fight.
Examiner: How has this training camp been for you?
Macaco: I have been training hard, I left to Brazil for a little while to work with my team there at Chute Boxe in Brazil. Diego (Lima), Munil (Adriano), Thomas (Almeida), Allen (Nasciemento), Felipe (Arantes). They beat me up a lot, but it was a good training for me. They like to beat up on the grandpa, but it just makes me better. I don't let my age bother me. I saw today that Tank Abbott will fight again at 47 years old. This gives me more power.
Examiner: A lot of people don't know, but between Legacy fights you are fighting overseas. Talk about your fights outside the US.
Macaco: I fought Gerson Cordeiro in Brazil. It was a good challenge for me. He has good power, and a lot of knockouts. I wanted to test my game plan. I hit him a lot in the first round, and he took a lot of my shots. In the 2nd round I took him down and got on his back. I fought hard and finally got the choke. The fight was 5 hours from my home in Sao Paolo. 800 of my students from Brazil came. I have 6,000 there, so it was good to be able to fight in front of some of my students. If I win my fight at Legacy, I have a fight with the champion in Pancrase on March 17th in Japan. But I don't want to look ahead yet. I want to finish this fight healthy, and go from there.
Examiner: How many gyms and students do you have now?
Macaco: Here in Houston I have 220 students now. The gym has grown a lot here. In Brazil I have 36 gyms with 6,000 students. I have 9 gyms and 1,500 students in Poland. Mariusz Linke is the coach there. In Finland I have Rocha Gold Team, and there are 5 affiliates there. In Japan I have Joao Sekatine, and he has about 350 students, mostly kids. That is another reason I want to go to Japan. He has been my brown belt for 5 years. I am ready to promote him to black belt and do a seminar for his students.
Examiner: Why do you think your gym here has grown so fast?
Macaco: I do hard training. I push my students and I push myself. I want to compete in all the tournaments in Texas. I think when my students see me compete they see that get excited and see that I can make them champions. A lot of the black belts don't like to compete, but I like to prove that my way is working. I think that the students respect my background. They know I trained with the Chute Boxe team in Brazil. I have trained with Wanderlei (Silva) and Shogun (Rua). I fought in PRIDE and Strikeforce. I fought for a UFC title. My resume is very good, and the students like to see that.
Examiner: What do you think of your opponent, Derrick Krantz?
Macaco: He is a good challenge to me. He is 15 years younger than me. He is strong, and he will come to fight. I like his style. He will not run. He has good takedowns and he is a pretty good striker. I know he will make it an exciting fight, and that is what I want. I know it will be a good fight.
Examiner: What did you think of his comments, saying he was "going to whoop your ass?"
Macaco: A lot of people say that. It is easy to say things like that before the fight, but then they have to get in the cage. I am the champion, I carry myself like a champion. I am going there to do my best. Only God can kick my ass He will decide when it is my time to lose. Not this time, though.
Examiner: Do you still want to unify your 170 lb. title against interim champion Jeff Rexroad?
Macaco: Yes. I owe it to him. I hurt my knee before my fight with him. He gave me a lot of respect and accepted my apology. He had to do some things with his police job, so now I will wait until he is ready. I think Mick said we will fight in November or December. I like him. He is a good fighter, and I want to fight good fighters. It is a fight that I think we both want to have.
Examiner: What were your thoughts when he fought your student, Lucas Pimenta?
Macaco: In the first round, Lucas had a good game plan and he hit him hard a lot of times. I think that Jeff was hurt, and then the referee said there was an eye poke. In the second round, Lucas was very tired and he went on the ground with him and Jeff had a very good submission. I was sad because I think Lucas was going to be in the UFC if he won that fight. Now he has to start winning more fights to make it to his dream, but that was God's plan.
Examiner: You have 3 fighters in the UFC now. The UFC has started cutting a lot of fighters. Have you told your students how important every fight is at this point?
Macaco: I have 3 fighters now. Charles Oliveira, Felipe Arantes and Lucas Mineiro. I have a couple more guys who I think are close. Allen Nasciemento and Thomas Almeida. Those guys all know. It is a serious job. The UFC is a machine. If you don't do a good job, or you don't put on a good show, they will cut you. If you train hard and fight hard, you will keep working. If you fight like a girl, you will go home. And then, it's too late to cry.
Examiner: There had been talk about 145 before. Is that still interesting to you?
Macaco: I don't think so. I checked my weight in Brazil and I was 148, and I had been telling my boss, Mick Maynard, that I wanted to have a fight. He didn't have a matchup for me at the time, so I told him I will cut to 145 and take a fight there. Mick prefers me stay at 155 and 170. He is the boss, and I like to make him happy. He is very good to me. I ask Mick if I can fight in Japan and Brazil when I don't have a fight here, and he always lets me do it. Mick says go, but beat the guy. So I do what he says.
Examiner: Do you still want to fight in the UFC?
Macaco: I want to. It is my dream, but last time I went to the UFC. Joe Silva told me to keep winning. I have this fight. Maybe I have a fight in Japan, then a title fight in Australia. Maybe one more fight in Brazil. I would be close to a 10 fight win streak if that can happen. But I can't make a mistake. If I want to get back, I just have to stay focused on the goal. Right now it is beating Derrick Krantz. If I beat Derrick Krantz, I will move on to the next fight and if God wants it to happen, I will be there one day.
Examiner: What is the latest with Bobby Flores, your boxing coach?
Macaco: Bobby has a kidney problem. He is doing dialysis now, but he is back to coaching me. He is doing my game plan for the fight. He can't train me yet, but he is teaching me. He is a great coach and I love him very much. I am doing this fight for him.
Examiner: Do you have any sponsors you want to thank or anyone you want to mention?
Macaco: I want to say thank you to all my coaches and training partners and students and God. My sponsors are St. Michaels Emergency Room, Best Bet Marine Services, Hooters, Kidney Health Center, Homeland Staffing, Jesus Didn't Tap, IFX, Punch,Wu-MMA.com, WorldTatame, InegralMedica and MyFightShop. All those guys support me a lot. It is expensive to be a fighter, and they are the ones who let me concentrate on being a fighter.
Examiner: Thank you and good luck on Friday night.
Macaco: You're welcome A.J. I will see you there, with my title belt! HEY!!!