[EXCLUSIVE] Cristiano Marcello on Locker Room Brawl in Pride and Grudge Match at UFC 153 Against Madadi
STUDIO MMA, RIVERSIDE, CA – A rivalry between two lightweights will come to an end on Saturday at UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar. Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Cristiano Marcello gets his long awaited grudge match with Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi in the first bout of the evening, airing live on UFC’s Facebook page at 4 p.m PT.
The two lightweights have been feuding since an April 2011 confrontation. Now they will finally meet, but in Marcello’s backyard of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While Madadi is coming off a successful debut, defeating previously undefeated Yoislandy Izquierdo at UFC on Fuel TV 2. Marcello, ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Live’ veteran, suffered a devastating knockout loss to Sam Sicilia in his June debut.
With a few days left before the Octagon door shuts and the two settle their differences. We here at StudioMMA got a chance to interview the former Chute Boxe BJJ coach, Cristiano Marcello.
Marcello gives his account of what happened backstage at a Pride Fighting Championships event back in 2005. Choking out MMA veteran Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett with a triangle-choke.
It was Wanderlei Silva’s rematch against Ricardo Arona. Crazy horse was in the same locker room as us. We had an argument in the locker room and then we started to fight. I choked him out. I haven’t talked to him since then, they tried to have us fight in the ring but that never happened. I’m not mad at him, it happened a long time ago; I hope he is doing well with his life. It was just in the heat of the moment, no hard feelings or animosity against him afterwards.
Talks about the altercation/incident he had with Madadi at Superior Challenge 7.
I don’t have good luck when I challenge people in the ring, every time something happens. It wasn’t my idea, it was the promoters Idea. So you have to be professional, can you imagine if that would happen in the UFC? A contender challenges the champion who goes crazy just because he challenges him? You have to be professional. So the promoter said to me, that I should challenge him after the fight if he wins, so I stepped in the cage, I was very respectful and also thanked him, and you can see it in the video.
I thanked Reza for the opportunity and suddenly he took the microphone from me and said: ‘Hey, you are not at my level, don’t try, don’t try!’
Then I responded: ‘Ok, I’m not at your level, you can choose I submit you either in arm-bar or triangle that’s what is going to happen in October.’ But the thing is I said it before in other interviews, ‘Reza was right when he said I was not in his level’. I’m better than him; I’m going to prove that! You know you have to be respectful, ‘I’m not at his level’? He has never fought outside Sweden!!!
After the incident I said Reza is a chicken, he was running away from me. Now he is in the UFC, he doesn’t have any excuse. Yet I don’t have nothing against him, everything will be handled inside the cage, just between me and him. It doesn’t matter if Reza likes to scream in the opponents face, bully his opponents. I will respect my opponents, I’m professional, he screams and tries to scare, but like I said before he has never fought outside Sweden before. We are going to fight in Brazil, not Sweden, in front of 17 000 people, it’s a different culture. I want see if he is the same man he is in Sweden.
On the pre-fight tactics Madadi has used throughout the course of his career to either scare of intimate his opponents.
I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to do that, if you do some action, and then expect a reaction! It’s better if he comes respectful.
The bout will most likely be contested on the ground, where both fighters are skilled. Marcello discusses his BJJ verse Madadi’s wrestling.
I hope Reza tries to put me down, but I’m going to be prepared for any situation. I have trained hard with my striking, with the top guys in Brazil. And my BJJ; I started with that when I was 11 years old. I have fought guys with better grappling skills than him.
While on ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Live’, Marcello was coached by UFC standout Urijah Faber. Though he didn’t win the show, he learned a lot from team Alpha Male.
I’m a jiu jitsu fighter, comfortable to have my back on the floor. I changed my game and I can test myself against the top wrestling guys. It was great for me; I learned a lot of things. I learned the way they train. Faber, Mendez and the rest of team were awesome guys, they wanted to really help and show you. It really opened my eyes; I can see now how a wrestler thinks. Reza is a good fighter, good career and though guy, But I don’t think he can surprise me with anything.
Even with all the animosity towards one another, Marcello still has nothing against Madadi.
I’m professional. I don’t know if he is an actor or he is doing things to promote himself. I don’t know, but it will be a beautiful moment when they close the cage for sure.
Fan questions for Cristiano Marcello:
1. Can I marry you Marcello?
I have a wife and two kids, too late
2. Do you listen to Beethoven?
I like it sometimes, it’s relaxing.
3. Reza said the following things about you: “All I ever think of is the fight, I will show you when the ref says: ‘Let’s get it on’. I will go in and show this Marcelo why I protected him and turned down to fight him the first time. Ok, you little rat, you didn’t get why I didn’t wanted to fight you the first time around. Now I will show you what I meant when I said apes should not play with the lions.” What are your comments?
HAHA I’m very scared, maybe I should call UFC’s matchmaker Joe Silva and cancel the fight! He can say whatever he wants! You proved you have a mouth, let’s see now in the cage. Reza has to show that, every time he says something, he will do this, he will do that, Show it instead. I will be in there with him for 15 minutes; he will have those 15 minutes to do something.