Cristiano Marcello (11-3) will be facing Oriol Gaset (10-5) tonight in Brusque, Brazil as part of the Nitrix promotion.
Marcello has trained some of the biggest names in Brazilian MMA at the Chute Boxe Academy, and recently ventured out on his own to start his own martial arts academy, CM System. He also takes at-risk children off the streets and gets them into MMA, which has resulted in Marcello being painted as the savior of many young adults in Curitiba, Brazil.
Marcello is also well known for his backstage altercation at PRIDE Shockwave 2005 with Charles Bennett. Bennett had insulted the Chute Boxe Academy and Wanderlei Silva, resulting in Marcello putting Bennett to sleep with a triangle choke (you can check out video of that altercation at this link).
FightLine.com recently spoke to Marcello about tonight’s fight, you can check out our interview below:
You left Chute Box recently to start CM System. How difficult has it been to run a gym and have a fighting career?
It’s been hard because I like to train and fight myself, so I have to find balance. The worst moment for me was finding the place to start the academy. I train, but I also focus to fight. I love to fight and want to. My body gives me the opportunity to fight because I stay healthy.
You were very active in 2010, do you plan to stay that active in 2011?
I want to have eight fights this year and four next year. I’m 33 years old, so I think I have four years left to win a belt. I want to be a champion and win a belt. In the US, you can have a fight in every three months, but a lot of guys here in Brazil want to fight more often. I think people in the US don’t know. In Brazil… people fight every week sometimes. Some people fight three times a week even. There’s a lot more fighting here than you think. I used to fight in Vale Tudo two times in one day with no rules, no gloves. Now there are rules, gloves, safety equipment. It’s a paradise.
What are your thoughts on your opponent, Oriol Gaset?
I saw a couple of his fights, you know. He’s a little bit good in ground and stand up. He’s a big name in Europe. He’s good at every situation. It’s gonna be good for the show and for the fans. You know?
Do you have any plans to fight outside of Brazil in the near future?
I love to be in Strikeforce or UFC, you know? I love to fight in Strikeforce the guy I lost to in Pride, [Mitsuhiro] Ishida. I want to fight everyone I lost to so I prove it just wasn’t my day. For sure there are a lot of good guys in Strikeforce. I want to go there and fight the best in Strikeforce.
Do you have any desire to join Strikeforce, Bellator or the UFC?
Yes. I want people to know that I come to fight. I don’t care about the money. I want to give a good show and prove myself. I want to bring it to win and prove I can be among the best.
Do you have any final words for our readers?
I want to say thanks to Alchemist, my friend Andrew, and all my guys at my academy.