Although he did not fight for Pride Fighting Championships, Brazilian mixed martial artist Roan Carneiro has had fond memories of the famed defunct MMA organization. A professional competitor since 2000, Carneiro was the winner of the Battlegrounds MMA’s one-night, eight-man tournament, in which he won three fights to become the champion. He has fought for the likes of the UFC, DEEP, Heroes, Road FC, Shooto, and more. Tony Reid of MyMMANews.com catches up with Jucão in the below Q&A.
Tony Reid – If you could choose one fight from your career that every MMA fan should see, which fight would you choose and why?
Roan Carneiro – “I would say my fight with Matt Horwich at WCFC “No Guts No Glory” and also my fight with Trey Houston at BattleGrounds MMA 5 as well. Against Matt it was for a Grand Prix and it was my second fight that same night. I was exhausted from my first match and Matt keep coming forward. He is a beast. And Trey Houston was the same. That kid also wasn’t tired. He wasn’t trying to give it up. There was no quit in him. These were great experiences for me in both of those fights.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone in any weight class who would you choose to fight and why?
Roan Carneiro – “I would want to fight Dan Henderson. For me he is an icon in this sport and he actually fought few friends of mine as well like The Nogueira Brothers and Ricardo Arona. I would have loved to test my skills against him. It would be a dream for me for sure. I saw when he fought Crezio Souza in Brazil. I was kid at the time and that fight actually got me excited to do MMA one day in the future.”
Tony Reid – What was the most memorable moment from any training session you have been involved in?
Roan Carneiro – “The most memorable time in the gym for me was the ADCC qualifying we had inside the Carlson Gracie Academy. It was training and at the same time qualifying for the opportunity to compete in ADCC. We could watch guys like Amaury Bitetti, Ricardo Arona, Fernando Margarida, Marcos Parrumpinha, Marcelo Bocão, even myself, Pablo Poppovitch, Marcel Ferreira and others fighting for a chance to compete in ADCC. It was definitely one if the best training sessions and most memorable gym moments I was ever involved in.”
Tony Reid – Who has the heaviest hands of anybody you have fought or trained with?
Roan Carneiro – “I would say the heaviest hands of anybody I have trained with would definitely go to Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva. He is a monster and he is absolutely lethal when he gets on top of you.”
Tony Reid-If you could fight anyone outside the world of MMA, who would you choose to pick a fight with and why?
Roan Carneiro – “I would love to fight our former President in Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Why? Because he is so corrupt.”
Tony Reid – Who are the people that inspire you most, personally and professionally?
Roan Carneiro – “The person that has inspired me most over the course of my life and my career is my grandmother. She died when I was younger and she always had my back in every way growing up. She was the one who would clean my gi every Saturday with her own hands. She was the one that would feed me as well. She is definitely my heroin. I wish I could have one more dinner with her, my daddy and my mom.”
Tony Reid – If you weren’t a professional mixed martial artist what would you be doing for a living right now?
Roan Carneiro – “It’s difficult to say what I would be doing or where I would be without the martial arts and mixed martial arts in my life. If I had to guess I would say that I would probably be working with animals in some way. I would like to be a veterinarian and take care of animals.”
Tony Reid – Who are your favorite fighters to watch and why? Conversely, who are your least favorite fighters to watch?
Roan Carneiro – “My favorite fighters to watch are Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira. He was one of my first favorite fighters to watch. Now I would say that Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva are my favorite fighters to watch compete.”
Tony Reid – Many professional athletes have strange superstitious habits. Do you have any we should know about?
Roan Carneiro – “My biggest superstition is that I let everything I can leave for the last possible minute and see what happens!”
Tony Reid – What is the most amazing thing you have seen in regards to the growth of MMA since the beginning of your career?
Roan Carneiro – “The most amazing thing I have seen in the course of my career was the time I spent over in Japan for Pride and just the overall crowds, crowd reaction and great people in Japan. It was insane. When Ricardo Arona fought Kazushi Sakuraba I was in the ring, I actually was in the ring and saw Kazushi Sakuraba’s entrance that night. Oh my God, it was sick! It was like nothing I had ever seen before.”