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· On The Spot ~ Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 11/11 at 05:46 PM

For Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira Saturday's "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" event is the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance. Once he is standing inside of the Octagon looking across the cage at his opponent, Vladimir Matyushenko, a decade of sacrifice and uncertainty will all be behind him. And when the fight is over, win or lose, Ferreira will be able to walk back to his locker room to begin writing the next chapter in his life.

It has been a long wait for "Cacareco" to finally reach the pinnacle of his sport. That delay was lengthened, in large part, by the Brazilian's own dominance. As he continued to rack up victories, each one more exciting and quicker than the last, finding opponents willing to step in against him became an almost impossible task. Rumors have it that top fighters such as Lyoto Machida, Gegard Mousasi, and Paulo Filho have all turned down potential fights against Ferreira.

Ferreira (18-5, 17 submissions) is 10-1 since returning to the sport following a four year hiatus, all ten victories have come by submission. His last six bouts all ended in under 90 seconds, with a variety of submission techniques.

While the fighter's mainstream popularity is still waiting to take off, "Cacareco" has a growing number of supporters in and around the sport. Those that have seen Ferreira compete, whether in MMA or grappling tournaments, mention his name anytime there is an opening against a top fighter or on a high profile event. UFC's match maker Joe Silva may have heard the outcry, and finally found a way to get the Chute-Boxe veteran into the organization; respecting his talents enough to match him up with one of the best light heavyweights in the world in Vladimir Matyushenko.

With just days to go before "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami", MMA Spot's Andrew Yount caught up with "Cacareco" in Germany to discuss, among other things, the origins of his nickname, training with the legendary Chute-Boxe team, and what recently drove him to almost walk away from the sport.

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MMA Spot: How has your training gone for your up coming UFC debut?
Cacareco:
My training camp was very good. My training was hard as always. I feel I'm 100 percent for this fight.

MMA Spot: It has been over a year since you last fought, is “ring rust” a possibility?
Cacareco:
Maybe in the first 20 seconds of the fight. After the first blow hits, I'll be as ready as always, mainly because at Chute Boxe all training session are like a real fight. So, I think I won't have any problems with that.

MMA Spot: Have you done anything special to prepare for Vladimir Matyushenko?
Cacareco:
As always, my coaches study my opponent and we base all our strategy on what they tell me to do. I just try to go out there and put our game plan into practice.

MMA Spot: After having a recent run of bad luck, particularly with the Shine Fights cancellation, how did you react when UFC finally called?
Cacareco: Shine was the worst thing that could have happened to my career. After that, I even thought of stopping fighting, but my friends, my fiancée, and my whole team kept telling me not to quit. Now here I am in the best MMA event of the world. Receiving an offer to fight at the UFC was a big surprise, and I owe that to my manager, to my coach, and to the many people who put a good word in for me on the Internet, such as Ron Foster and yourself, who always root for my success. I'm very thankful to Joe Silva, who believed in me and my work. Now, I have to go out there and deliver a good performance because I know many people are expecting it.

MMA Spot: Matyushenko is still one of the top guys in the sport, are you happy to be coming into the UFC with such a high profile match up?
Cacareco:
He is a tough guy. Well known all over the world and I'm really pleased the UFC gave me this fight. We had almost a couple time before, so I am happy to have such a good opponent.

MMA Spot: Regardless of the outcome of the fight, what do you want fans of the sport to walk away thinking about you?
Cacareco: That I'm a very hard working fighter, humble, a person who respects everything and everybody. A fighter who's in the cage just to do his job as good as possible. Also, that I have a lion heart, so I'll always do my best to honor my fans and my team.

MMA Spot: With the wrestler-loaded light heavyweight division in UFC do you see your submission and grappling skills as an advantage over most opponents?
Cacareco:
It's a good weapon and I can do good against many opponents, but, at the moment, I have just one person in mind, that's Matyushenko. After this fight, let's see what's going to happen and who the UFC will want me to fight next. I believe I can face and do a good job against all fighters at the UFC.

MMA Spot: You have logged less than 10 minutes of ring time over the last three years total, winning seven bouts by quick submission. Can we expect to see you looking to end this fight quickly as well?
Cacareco:
Well, that's the way I am. That's the way I train everyday. If I can finish it fast, why not? But that doesn't mean that I will rush things. I'll stick to my game plan. A victory is a victory, no matter how fast it is.

MMA Spot: With the way the match ups are shaping up in the division, a dominant victory could line you up with some of the top names at light heavyweight. Would you want one of those fights next or would you like to work through the division slowly, taking time to test the waters?
Cacareco:
I am an employee and my boss is the UFC. I'll do whatever the UFC thinks is the best for me and for the show.

MMA Spot: What does the nickname "Cacareco" mean in English? Who gave it to you?
Cacareco:
When I was nine years old, I was basically a homeless kid. I would leave my home in the morning, and since in my house we didn't have a TV set, I would spend the whole day in a bar, in my neighborhood, so I could watch some TV. There was this Capoeira master, called Eraldo Arere, who saw me fighting in the streets one day and invited me to train Capoeira with him. So I did and started to like it very much. So much that I would be walking around with an old and broken Berimbau (Capoeira musical instrument) all day long. At that time, there was a slang for old and broken things, just like my Berimbau, which was "cacareco." So, that's how I got this nickname.

MMA Spot: How has the transition to Chute-Boxe been? Have you been warmly received, considering the history between BTT and Chute-Boxe in the past?
Cacareco: My transition to Chute-Boxe was very good. Better than I could expect. Actually, I was expecting some kind of hell when getting there for the first training session. But Chute-Boxe heads, Masters Rudimar Fedrigo and Augusto Oliveira, made sure that I'd feel at home and also that all the other fighters understood that. From that day on, I was part of the family.

MMA Spot: Which trainers, or training partners have been helping you with this fight?
Cacareco:
At Chute-Boxe we have many trainers. Everyday I was helped by Master Nilson de Castro, coaches Christopher Led and Luciano Monge, also my Madison helped with my physical preparation, Vinicius Queiroz and Michael Falcao were my more frequent sparring partners and, of course, Masters Rudimar and Augusto gave me all the support and knowledge during all this time.

MMA Spot: Your grappling skills are very well known, will we see improved stand up technique, coming from Chute-Boxe?
Cacareco:
I feel very good as a stand up fighter as well. I've been training my stand up skills every single day with the most knowledgeable coaches and vicious stand up fighters. I've got to have learned something. So, let's see how it's going to go on Saturday.

MMA Spot: Beyond the competition, what does finally making your UFC debut mean for you?
Cacareco:
It means I'll have the chance to change my life for good and show everybody what I can do.

MMA Spot: What drives you to continue to fight and train?
Cacareco:
My life itself, my past, my family, my team, all that I have been through. It all gives me the strength I need to endure.

MMA Spot: Would you like to thank any sponsors or friends that have helped you in preparing for this fight?
Cacareco:
I'd like to thank all my teammates, coaches and masters, my friends, my fiancée, and my sponsor Hayabusa for believing in my work.

 

 


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