Vieira talks UFC debut, fighting in Brazil
Milton Vieira is set to debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship this weekend at UFC 147 in his home country of Brazil against Felipe Arantes. Heavy.com caught up with the inventor of the anaconda choke this week, as he finishes preparations for the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts career.
Duane Finley: You've built your name outside of the sport's biggest promotion and how does it feel to be not only making your UFC debut but doing so in your home country of Brazil?
Milton Vieira: I feel good and I am very happy. I have worked very hard in my whole career to fight in the UFC. To be able to debut in the UFC in my home country is an honor that makes me very happy. I love to fight in front of my countrymen. The fact that so many of my family and friends can come to the show and watch my fight will give me great energy for a victory.
Duane Finley:Brazilis considered the birthplace of this sport and how have you seen the country's pride in its fighters grow over the years?
Milton Vieira: MMA started in Brazil, and it is in a very strong moment both as it relates to talented fighters we are producing and the commercial opportunities for young athletes. It is good to know that young people like myself can make a meaningful and positive life through sports in MMA. It is a proud moment for my country most definitely.
Duane Finley: You will be facing Felipe Arantes in the bout at UFC 147. What are your thoughts on the matchup style wise?
Milton Vieira: He has a good Muay Thai style. He has showed himself as a talented fighter in his career. He is also a good person. I am happy to have the opportunity and the challenge to compete against him.
Duane Finley: High level jiu-jitsu technicians are not guaranteed success in the sport of MMA. What is your opinion on jiu-jitsu vs. other disciplines?
Milton Vieira: When MMA first started, Jiu-jitsu was the best system. No one can disagree that Jiu-jitsu is a fundamental element in MMA. A fighter can not survive on any level without Jiu-jitsu. The wresters have evolved the game and shown that wrestling is important, and it can sometimes slow the jiu-jitsu game down. But it also makes the fight less exciting when the game slows down. But in MMA you have to do everything and respect all styles. That is why when you see my fights, for example, I go for everything from flying knees to advanced jiu-jitsu techniques. With that being said, I have confidence in my jiu-jitsu because I do not have an orthodox MMA jiu-jitsu style. And I take value in that as one of the strong tools in my arsenal among other things like my striking and wrestling. It is a game that requires constant evolution, and I will be a student of the sport for many years to come.