Wednesday, June 29, 2022

MMANews.com Exclusive: Pre-EXC Interview w/ Ninja Rua

MMANews.com's own Chris Howie had the opportunity to speak with EliteXC Middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua before his fight tomorrow night with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. Here is a complete transcript of the interview

Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the current EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murillo “Ninja” Rua. How are you today “Ninja”?

Murilo Rua:I’m doing very well and feeling great.

MMANews.com:How has training gone for your right with Robbie Lawler?

Murilo Rua: It went well. I trained a lot in the cage and well as ground skills and then on top of that I trained the usual stuff like Muay Thai and all around MMA.

MMANews.com: What strengths do you believe you have over Robbie Lawler?

Murilo Rua: I think my ground game is going to be better as well as my endurance.

MMANews.com: Who helped you train for this fight?

Murilo Rua: My brother Shogun helped me trained a lot for the fight as well as Master Rafael Cordeiro and at the end of last month I got a big surprise when Fabricio Werdum joined us in the gym.

MMANews.com: How big of an addition was he to Team Chute Boxe?

Murilo Rua: He is a good heavyweight with excellent Jiu-Jitsu. He is really hard on the ground and is a ADCC world champion. Having him at camp was great.

MMANews.com: With less than 24 hours before your fight how are you feeling?

Murilo Rua: I’m ready to go! My personal trainer was in to help me with my diet before the official weigh in and right now I am just waiting to fight.

MMANews.com: You have fought at three different weight classes and now find yourself as the EXC Middleweight Champion, is it safe to say this is the weight you are most comfortable at?

Murilo Rua: I feel very comfortable at his weight. I have had some bad moments in the past 2 years at other weight classes but now I am at the right one.

MMANews.com: How has Wanderlei Silva training in the USA affected Team Chute Boxe?

Murilo Rua: I don’t like that he is training with Forrest Griffin. Mauricio is a little upset about that as well but people can make their own choices and I can respect that.

MMANews.com: Has there been any contact with Wanderlei since he left?

Murilo Rua: No, we have not spoken.

MMANews.com: Who are some other fighters that you would like to fight?

Murilo Rua: For someone like me who has fought the top guys in different weight classes there is no one specific I would like to fight but I respect Anderson Silva.

MMANews.com: With him being a former training partner would that get in the way of fighting him?

Murilo Rua: No, we are both professionals and I know that he thinks the same way.

MMANews.com: What did it mean to you to win the EXC Middleweight belt?

Murilo Rua: It felt great. EXC is growing fast and the people behind it are very professional so I am happy there.

MMANews.com: One of the first people to congratulate you on the win was EXC president Gary Shaw, how helpful has he been in furthering your career in America?

Murilo Rua: He is the boss [laughs]. He has given me all the support in the world and we have talked a lot about my future. He has been a big part in promoting me in America.


PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREY KLAGENBERG

MMANews.com: Your brother signed with the UFC, has there ever been talks of you going there?

Murilo Rua: Right now I am focused on EXC. I have a fight tomorrow and one more on my contract after that. Maybe in the future but I like to just take it step by step now.

MMANews.com: With Pride seemingly coming to an end, what did that organization mean to you?

Murilo Rua: I am a little sad to see it go. I had two different feelings in Pride and seen the different sides of the game but right now I just want to live the present and see the future.

MMANews.com: Did you have any bad dealings with Pride?

Murilo Rua: No, they were a very important part of my career and I will never forget that.

MMANews.com: Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch?

Murilo Rua: Of course my brother and there are some very good fighters in Chute Boxe. Dida is doing well In Hero’s.

MMANews.com: Yes I caught his last fight and he was very impressive…

Murilo Rua: …and aggressive. He will have a tough fight Monday.

MMANews.com: You have fought some of the toughest competition in MMA today, who would you say has been your toughest challenge?

Murilo Rua: Sergei Kharitonov, Kevin Randleman, and Denis Kang

MMANews.com: You have had some close fights in the past, if you could fight any of them over again who would you fight?

Murilo Rua: Paulo Filho and Denis Kang

MMANews.com: I was just going to mention Filho, he claims to be the best in the world. What are your thoughts on that?

Murilo Rua: I think that Filho has a lot to prove.

MMANews.com: Is the rivalry between Chute Boxe and Brazilian Top Team as big as it once was?

Murilo Rua: Yes, the rivalry is good for the sport. There are guys that I respect and outside the cage we are all professionals. The rivalry is inside the cage.

MMANews.com: Is your brother Shogun going to be with you in your corner for your right?

Murilo Rua: No, he is training in Curitiba, Brazil and will arrive in the USA on Wednesday

MMANews.com: Watching your last fight with Joey Villasenor you appeared to be more focused than ever before, what did you change coming into that fight?

Murilo Rua: You know, I am a very anxious fighter but I am trying to learn and deal with that. It seems to be working. Using your head is a very important aspect in fighting.

MMANews.com: Do you have a prediction for your fight tomorrow night?

Murilo Rua: Yes, round 2 KO

MMANews.com: Ok Ninja, I have to thank you for taking the time to speak with me before your fight and I’d like to wish you luck against Robbie Lawler. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Murilo Rua: I’d like to first thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to my American friends. Next week I have 2 seminars coming up in San Diego, anyone that wants to go it would be a pleasure to meet you all.

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