Thales Leites and Jess Liaudin Interview'sL
Hey I called up Thales and Jesse two days ago and scored a little q&a time for my website.
Franz: How's everything going?
Thales Leites: Definitely OK right now. Better than before. I'm recovering my hurts, and everything's OK.
Franz: Are you taking some time off?
Thales Leites: Yea, I'm going to take a week off to recover, rest a little bit.
Franz: What's your take on the Marquardt fight, and the controversial ending you guys had?
Thales Leites: The fight was an excellent fight. I was in great shape, great condition to fight. I was really looking forward to victory all the time, but we had some problems during the fight like the illegal knee, and an illegal elbow.
I was a little bit sad about it, I didn't expect it. In my opinion, he didn't do it to hurt me. It's a fight and I fought like a warrior every time. I didn't give up in the fight at any second, at any moment. I was looking for the fight every time and that's why all the best fighters are in the UFC.
Franz: That's true. That big slam he threw down at the end was illegal as well. He's not supposed to be dropping you on your head like that.
Thales Leites: Yeah, they did something illegal there. I don't know if he really knew what he was doing but if it happens, it happens. I have to fight.
When the referee stopped it and he was asking me, "Do you want to fight?" In my mind I was thinking, if I say no, the ref is going to stop the fight and give a victory to Nate and so every time I would look at the referee and say "No, I want to fight, I'm 100%", but I wasn't. As everybody could see that I wasn't 100% but I was saying every time, "I'm OK, I'm OK" because I didn't know what happened. I didn't see the illegal knee. I knew he did it, but I didn't see the illegal knee. I was a little bit out at that moment.
Franz: At the beginning of the fight, I noticed he was keeping his hands down around his waist. You hit him with that big straight, you almost took his back and you mounted him for a second there, how'd you feel about that?
Thales Leites: Yea, in the beginning I gave him a knock down. My right punch, straight to his face and I just warned myself, that's my time. I can't stop and I just have to go and get him and keep punching him to win the fight but he recovered fast.
I was trying. Doing my jiu-jitsu with my knee on his belly, and then it comes to the mount and waiting for the time to submit him but he fought good. He knew what to do. Nate's fought 40 times, and he used all that experience to fight me.
Franz: Would you take a rematch?
Thales Leites: I don't think so. He did a lot of illegal things to me. In my opinion it was his obligation to knock me out in the second round after the illegal knee. If he wants to fight me again I think he should get to the line, and wait in it again. I'm looking for the title-shot. He had his chance before, and he couldn't get it so now it's my time.
Franz: How do you feel about a rematch with Martin Kampmann?
Thales Leites: I feel great. Martin is a nice person and he's an excellent fighter too. I'd feel great if I got a chance to fight him again. It'd be an explosive fight, but it's going to be different. I'm more experienced then before but him too, I know. He fought excellent, to submit Rivera. Let's see what the UFC tells me, and I'm going to be ready for any situation, any challenge.
Franz: Do you get a lot of time to train Muay Thai down in Brazil?
Thales Leites: Yeah, I've been training Muay Thai for four years. Every time I'm looking forward to the ground game in my fight, but this time I brought a surprise and I'm going to fight and stand every time with him and see what we'll see.
He was thinking I was going to take him down since the beginning, but I didn't. I was looking for the fight to stand every time and I think that I gave him a big surprise.
Franz: I saw you win the Copa do Mundo in 2002. How long have you been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Thales Leites: I started training when I was seventeen years old. It was 1999. Since then, I have been training every day. After my black belt, I started training without the gi, just for submissions. In 2003, I start training MMA and I got my first fight.
Franz: Do you think all fighters should spend some time training in a gi?
Thales Leites: For sure. When you train with the gi, you feel more technical then when you train without the gi. I like training with the gi, for my pleasure and I feel more comfortable and technical.
Franz: Who do you think has the best Jiu-Jitsu in MMA today?
Thales Leites: There's a lot of good guys. I like Demian Maia's style, he's looking for the ground game and the submission every time. That's what I'm looking for too. We are in the same jiu-jitsu style, looking for the submission every time. This is real jiu-jitsu.
Franz: What's your favorite submission?
Thales Leites: Triangle is my favorite submission.
Franz: Do you wish you had a chance to score more KO victories in the UFC?
Thales Leites: Yea, every time I'm looking for it, thinking about it. Like this time, I was thinking about knocking him out. I'm ready to fight in every situation. Not just the ground game but even on standing and takedowns. MMA fighters have to be ready for every situation. You have to be ready for everything.
Franz: Would you like a chance to fight the ex-UFC Champion Rich Franklin?
Thales Leites: Yea, if they gave me a chance it would be an honor for me. Rich Franklin is a huge fighter, he's had a belt for a long time and he's very technical and aggressive fighter. It would be an excellent fight for me, that's going to be my plan.
Franz: How do you feel a fight would go down between you and Anderson Silva at this point?
Thales Leites: Anderson is a dangerous fight. I know it's a very dangerous fight if I fight him standing. Everybody knows that the secret to beating him in the UFC is to taking him down and doing some fast jiu-jitsu, never stop looking for the submission every single time.
Franz: Thanks for taking the time Thales, and good luck in the future.