Rafael Natal Ready to Fight at Home on Wednesday
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 09.02.2013
He faces Tor Troeng at UFC Fight Night 28
UFC fighter Rafael Natal recently spoke on his upcoming bout with Tor Troeng at UFC Fight Night 28 set for Wednesday Night. Natal will be getting to fight in his native city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Below are some highlights:
Natal on not being able to fight in Belo Horizonte previously: "The last time I was already booked to fight in San Jose, (Calif.,) and the card in Belo Horizonte was already full. This time around, as soon as I heard Belo Horizonte was under consideration again, I asked to be included because I had never fought in my city before."
Natal on fighting a foreigner in Brazil: "I'm on the main card fighting a foreigner in Brazil. That's always a good thing. … I don't choose who I face, but when I asked to fight on this second Belo Horizonte card, I also mentioned that if possible, I wanted to face a foreigner – not necessarily an American, but someone who is not from Brazil. It's a good thing for the promotion. I think the 'Brazil vs. the world' angle is important to sell the card. A Brazilian against another Brazilian in a Brazilian UFC card doesn't make as much sense."
Natal's thoughts on Troeng: "He's a tough guy with good jiu-jitsu and wrestling," Natal said. "I think striking is what he does best. He's tough, of course. The UFC only hires tough guys. He's yet another complete opponent I'll be facing. I don't like to speculate since I don't know how the fight's going to turn out. This will be a good fight, no matter if it goes to the ground or stays on the feet. My jiu-jitsu is my best skill, but I also enjoy striking. We'll see."
Natal on being able to fight at home: "Belo Horizonte is where I was born and where I grew up. I am very excited. My entire family will be there. I have 250 tickets for my family, friends and students who live there. I lived in Belo Horizonte until I was 25 years old. The Mineirinho Arena is where I've had jiu-jitsu matches, and now I'm coming back to fight in the UFC. One more dream comes true. I'm both excited and confident."