Joao Paulo Rodrigues Wants To Be Known As More As The Guy Who Beat Renan Barao
Posted by Joseph Lee on 10.29.2013
He is going to take fighting seriously...
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Joao Paulo Rodrigues said that he wants to be known as more than the only man to hand a defeat to UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao. Here are highlights:
On his unanimous decision win over Barao: "Actually, we both already had some fights. It was the third fight for both of us. He had two wins, and I had one win and one loss. I remember a lot of people were betting on his victory because he already trained for a long time under his father, Netinho Pegado. I was a jiu-jitsu brown belt, and he was a blue belt. People thought I just wanted to take him to the ground and that he'd try to knock me out. When the fight started, I tried to take him down, but I started enjoying the standup, and he was having troubles there. He tried to take the fight down a few times, and I wanted it standing. I broke a finger in my right hand, but luckily I just felt it after the fight."
On his different fighting weights: "The fight with Barao was at 143.5 pounds, but I was so excited for that fight – I trained so much and ended up cutting up to 140 pounds. I have 59 fights today. I've fought at 135 pounds, 145, 150, 155 and even 176 pounds. On the 176-pound fight, I was at 160 pounds as a replacement. The guy didn't show up at the weigh-ins, and I only saw him on the day of the fight. He was huge! I beat him by TKO. He didn't answer the bell for the third round. I beat the crap out of him, made a huge cut on him and everything. But for some reason, they then raised both of our hands and later sent news to Tatame saying the result had been changed to his win by decision."
On dedicating his life to MMA: "I work as a bouncer at parties, proms and night clubs. I've worked with several things – clearing weeds, as an office boy, waiter, watchman – but I've never stopped training. But I never really had a manager to take care of my career. When I fought Barao guys were saying that if I won, I would have sponsorship opportunities overseas. When I fought Rony Jason, the promoter said whoever got a win in the event would be sponsored. I beat him, and Rony was the one to get the sponsorship. When I fought 'Massaranduba,' Wallid Ismail complimented me and people said they'd sponsor me, but nothing happened.
If there was someone taking care of me, I probably would have had more success. When I fought Iuri Alcantara, I was called with around 20 days to prepare. I was a featherweight, but they said it was a huge opportunity, so I took it at 155 pounds. Renato 'Moicano' Carneiro right after it was 145 pounds. But back then my coach told me to leave 13 pounds to cut on the day of weigh-ins in the sauna. Unfortunately, there was no sauna there for me to use. I had to take things to throw up and run under the hot sun. I was very weak before the fight even began. Several fights I had, I took with little time to prepare and in the opponent's city. People may say it's a thing of Brazilians making excuses, but I'm not making any. I just didn't have anyone to tell me it was the wrong thing to do and to think on my behalf. Sometimes I was led by false promises and was a victim of hometown decisions."