The conducted a two-part interview with Luciano Azevedo; the Renovacao Fight Team member, Cage Gladiators World Lightweight Champion, and Luta Livre purist who is best known for being the only man to ever beat Jose Aldo (video and highlight here).  Azevedo is scheduled to face Milton Vieira on the blockbuster Bitetti Combat event in Brazil on September 12, and is also actively seeking an opportunity to impose his predatory ground game, well-rounded stand-up arsenal, and unrelenting aggression upon the world's best fighters in the WEC/UFC.

DW:  According to most official records, you began your fighting career with two losses, but then came back to win nine straight- how did you feel after losing the first two? Did you lose confidence in yourself, or did the losses make you stronger and a better fighter?
LA:  "I felt really bad, because nobody likes to lose, but this losses made me work on my mistakes so I wouldn’t repeat them. Maybe if I had won the first two fights, I could have been defeated at the others and wouldn’t have learned with my mistakes. I learned that the best thing is winning by submission or KO, because like this there are no doubts about your victory."  (Azevedo's first two losses were by decision.)
DW:  During your nine fight win streak, you beat some incredible fighters, like Rodrigo Damm, Jose Aldo, and Din Thomas. Jose Aldo is now considered one of the best fighters at 145 lbs. in the WEC- do you feel you could have the same success as Jose Aldo if you were given the chance to compete in one of the big American shows?
LA:  "Absolutely, and I tell more, I can have more success than other great fighters that are in the world setting. I know my potential and what I am capable of."
DW:  Tell me about a) beating Abdul Mohamed in Cage Gladiators, b) how you were able to secure the submission, and c) what it felt like to have the world LW championship belt around your waist?
LA:  "Defeating Abdul Mohamed was extremely satisfactory, because he was the Best of England (Mohamed was ranked #2 in England behind Terry Etim), but holding him in submission wasn’t that hard, I inputed my game and I finished him. Our team studied a lot his style, Cromado watched some of his fights with the Brazilians and we decided that the strategy would be try to finalize him quickly, because we observed that he is very agressive fighter that grows during the fight. Thank God everything went well, I finalized him at 3 mins of the first round in my speciality, that is the triangle."
DW:  When you fought Aldo, he landed the same type of flying knee that we’ve seen him KO people with- why do you think you were able to endure his punishing striking so much better? Do you feel it is because of the strength of your chin and your resistance to being knocked out?
LA:  "I was capable to hold his attacks, because I studied him very well and I knew what he could do. No, his flying knee didn’t hit my chin but my chest.  But if it did hit my chin, wouldn’t be different, I could have hold, because, like you said, I have a resistance to being knocked out."
DW:  What was it like fighting in the legendary Pride Fighting Championships for the Bushido 12 event?
LA:  "Fight the Pride was my dream, it was one of the great experiences of my life. After this fight I grew professionally."
DW:  Showing how difficult it is to finish you, you have only lost by decision, except for one loss by strikes to Hayato Sakurai- a) what was it like fighting one of the greatest fighters of the sport, and b) discuss the difference in weight, and c) how it affected the outcome?
LA:  "The only fact that affected the result was that it have opened a cut in my face, therefore the weight difference, although visible, it did not intimidated me, I placed him down and crossed with easiness, I was winning until the moment of the cut. I still risk to say that if the doctors had not paralyzed the fight I would have win."
DW:  You have fought in many different organizations throughout your career: Shooto, Jungle Fight, Meca, Pride, and Cage Gladiators- which event did you enjoy the most and why?
LA:  "All events in my opinion were beneficial, even the ones that has not been cited, however the one I took more advantage was the Cage Gladiators, because I fought many times, winning all the fights, besides making great friends in Liverpool (England), where nowadays we have a great school that is th Kaobon-RFT, where Terry Etim trains."
DW:  Do you prefer fighting in a ring or a cage?
LA:  "I prefer the cage."
DW:  Which setting do you feel favors the fighter going for the takedown to impose his grappling game: the ring or the cage?
LA:  "The favorable setting is the cage, because it’s more difficult to try to escape in case you are stronger."
DW:  Would you ever be able to make the 145 lb. weight limit?
LA:  "Yes, but today I fight in the 155 lbs."
DW:  "I think your exciting, well-rounded style and dangerous submissions would be a big threat to the best fighters in the WEC 155 lb. division- how do you think you would fare as a competitor there?
LA:  "I’m pretty sure that I would do well, even beating the ones that are already there. If I have the oportunity I can show my game."
DW:  Are you familiar with the UFC’s 155 lb. fighters, and if so, who do you respect in particular? Who do you enjoy watching?
LA:  "I respect all fighters, because if they are there its for their own merit, but I reallyappreciate BJ Penn, which hands are very fast and was the first gringo (foreign) to win the World Championship of Jiu-Jitsu on Black belt."
DW:  Do you feel the UFC’s 155 lb. division has the best LW fighters in the world?
LA:  "Absolutely."
DW:  How do you think you would perform in that division?
LA:  "I would do very well, certainly you wouldn’t regret to see me there. I would do everything I can to win all the awards of best submission on the event."
DW:  You are fighting on one of the best fight cards to ever come out of Brazil for the upcoming Bitetti Combat event- tell me how your training is going and how you expect to perform against another great grappler in Milton Vieira?
LA:  "My training is being really intensive, my expectation it’s the best possible, because I’m confident about my trainings, endurance and I know my potential to win this fight."
DW:  Do you have a message you would like to send to the American fans?
LA:  "Even though hasn’t fought in America, I’m thankful to you all and I hope to do a show there as soon as possible for all my fans and repay all the care that my fans has given to me. Thank you all."


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