CagePotato.com: What do you think of Wilson Gouveia as a fighter? What do you think his strengths are?
I think he’s a tough guy, pretty well-rounded. He’s got good stand-up and good ground. He hits hard. But I think I’m better in all areas.
Is there one aspect that you think will make the difference, or is this fight going to go all over the place?
Definitely it’s going to go all over. If I get the opportunity to take him down and pound him, I’ll do that. Otherwise I’ll beat him up on the feet.
Do you think a win here puts you in line for a title shot?
I definitely think I’ll be number one contender. I don’t see how I wouldn’t be, but who knows. Hopefully then I’ll get a title shot.
You’re a Jackson camp guy. What do you make of the accusations that Georges St. Pierre was greased up for the B.J. Penn fight?
It’s actually pretty comical, I think. It’s totally ridiculous. The commission saw what happened. It was accidental, [Phil Nurse] had some Vaseline still on his hands when he touched his back and the commission caught it, wiped his back off, and there was no grease left on him after they wiped it dry. I think this is just about B.J. realizing that Georges is completely a better fighter than him and he’ll never be as good as Georges, and so he’s just making an excuse for himself.
What about former opponents of Georges’, like Matt Hughes, who are coming out and saying he was greased up for their fights, too?
Like I said, it’s just comical. It’s almost flattering. They realize they can never be as good as Georges and they’re trying to make excuses for why he beat them so bad. All the guys who are saying this, he completely demolished them. Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, all one-sided fights. Even if he had been completely greased up it wouldn’t have made much difference because he was the one trying to take them down. They weren’t really trying to take him down. Any amount of grease wouldn’t have changed the outcome of those fights.
You guys seem like a really tight team at the Jackson camp. How did that develop between all of you?
Well, first of all, if you don’t fit on our team, we don’t accept you. As far as a guy’s character, if he doesn’t work with us then we don’t let them on the team. And I think it’s also that good people attract other good people. We attract people who are like us, loyal guys who value camaraderie and working as a team to help each other.
What’s made you guys so successful? Are you doing stuff other teams aren’t?
I know we’re doing stuff that other teams aren’t doing, but I think that’s a part of it. We’re all loyal guys who want to be part of a team. We’re not just looking for sparring partners. We’re looking for guys we can trust. I want to be around guys who care as much about my career as I do. And I care about their careers as much as they do. That’s something we have that most teams don’t.
Thales Leites, who you lost a very close decision to, is up next to challenge for the 185-pound title. Do you think he’s deserving of that shot?
I don’t really know if he is or not. That’s not for me to say. He’s a tough guy and I definitely think he has a chance to beat Anderson [Silva].
But you still feel you won that fight, I imagine.
Oh, definitely. Anyone who saw that fight knows I won it. There’s just no question in my mind.