Monday, March 5, 2007

Minotouro’s bane speaks

"To tell you the truth, I knew I was going to war for about fifteen minutes"

Already considered to be one of the greatest upsets in MMA's recent history, the Cameroonian Rameau Thierry Sokondjou is still coming to terms with his sudden fame after knocking out the Brazilian Rogério Minotouro Nogueira in only 23 seconds at Pride 33, on February 24. In an interview carried out in the USA, the African recognized he did not expect to leave the ring victorious so quickly.

“To tell you the truth, I knew I was going to war for about fifteen minutes. I knew he (Minotouro) was a good boxer and had never been knocked out, but me beating him like that was kind of not unexpected,” said Sokondjou.

The fact that he was so heavily regarded as the underdog before the fight that someone betting US$ 100 would take home US$ 1,300, did not scare the Cameroonian. "Those "many people" get paid for saying what they're saying, and I get paid to fight... and the more they talk, the more it will make me train harder to prove them wrong just like I proved them wrong by beating Nogueira... Nobody expected me to win, but I did,” he said.

Sokondjou also recalled how he started training at Team Quest, where he trained side-by-side with the recently-crowned middleweight champion, Dan Henderson. “Actually it was back in 2004 when Dan Henderson was getting ready to fight Nakamura and was looking for someone who knew Judo.
I got the call from my boss (I was a bouncer in a local club at the time) then went to train with him and I liked it thereafter. Rulon Gardner was fighting Yoshida and I helped him train as well. Those two experiences made me stay with Team Quest and also the people out there, really friendly and they're a real family...” he finished.


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