UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares will return to the Octagon at UFC on Versus 3, an event planed for March 3rd but not officialised by the organisation yet. Ataque Duplo’s prospect faces off against Shane Roller of WEC fame, where he won 6 out of 8 fights.
Thiago promises not to disappoint the fans that are used to his aggressive style “that never disappoints”, as he himself says. Tavares spoke with Fighters Only in Brazil about Roller and trainings with light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado. Check out the following interview:
Fighters Only: You’re going to square off a fighter who has finished many guys. Do you believe this will be a fight developed on the ground?
Thiago Tavares: He finished many opponents but he has never fought anyone with my jiu-jitsu level. But it doesn’t make difference at all whether this is going to be on the mat or not.
FO: Have you prior watched his bouts? Have you got any information about Shane Roller?
I already saw many of his fights. He owns a high-level wrestling and is three times All American and BJJ black belt. Great opponent, it’ll be very good for me to beat him.
FO: You come off two victories and a draw. It is time to think about disputing the lightweight belt?
I don’t think about belt, I only think about an obstacle each time. Now my ‘problem’ is called Shane Roller.
FO: You’ve been training with Fabio Maldonado. What these trainings have added into your game, overall at boxing?
My trainings with Fabio Maldonado have been of great importance for my boxing. My regular coach is Kevin Souza but Fabio comes over as always as is possible to add experience and tecnicall quality chiefly in the months that preceed each bout. I have earned a lot [with Maldonado].
FO: Yesterday Maldonado told me that he has just an average jiu-jitsu level. How do you evaluate his BJJ and grappling in general?
I believe Maldonado has been constantly improving his game on the soil. He hasn’t shown the level he holds. I believe that with some more months of training, many classes and positions he will be able to demonstrate in the fights the BJJ that he has showed at Ataque Duplo in Florianópolis [Brazil Southen region].
FO: To end up, make an analysis of 2010 in your career and the plans for 2011.
2010 was an important year in my career, I kept winning, got the fight-pace back, managed to show the essence of my game, the ‘forward style’ as I always fought. In 2011 I will maintain the work always focused on my targets and accomplishing my dreams.
FO: And any message for the fans around the world?
Fighters Only’ folks, keep attending to my fights. “Manezinho” from Florianópolis will never disappoint you. Independent of the result, you’ll always watch my wish always looking for the vitory. For those who want to know a little more about me and my life, follow me on Twitter @TavaresMMA. Happy new year full of accomplishments. I wish all of our dreams will be realized. Big hug and stay with God.
Thiago Tavares spoke with Eduardo Cruz