Rumors have been swirling about Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro's future after undergoing eye surgery for an injury suffered in the Sept. 17 HERO'S lightweight tournament final. André Pederneiras, Ribeiro's coach, spoke with Sherdog.com to clear up the speculation.
"It's bad enough to read the press during this situation, but for a guy to suffer an eye surgery and to still be lying in bed while he hears people say he won't fight again is even worse," Pederneiras said.
"People seem to know more than the doctors because no doctor has told this to him," the trainer continued. "I'd like to know where this information is coming from, for people to write these stupid things on the Internet and talk about this. Vitor is not giving interviews right now because doctors told him to take a rest, lie in his bed. It's cowardly to say these things when the guy can't respond."
Ribeiro's surgery was nothing special, Pederneiras said, and will require typical recovery time. The highly-ranked Brazilian will be resting for three weeks, but he is already moving around on his own.
"He can stand up to go to the bathroom or leave home to see the doctor," Pederneiras said. "No big deal. He can spend his days doing a lot of things . He can eat by himself and he can do everything by himself. He is not a cripple, stuck to a bed -- that's the truth. He just needs to rest in a position where the pressure inside his skull stays down, but he can do everything else as usual."
As for the lightweight's future, Pederneiras dismissed rumors that the 19-2 Brazilian will retire. Rather, Ribeiro should be back in the ring in 2008.
"I spoke to the doctor, and he never said that 'Shaolin' will not fight again," Pederneiras said. "He told me Vitor must rest. He can't be hit in the head because it would raise the pressure inside his skull, and nothing else. Vitor must recover, but this doesn't mean he won't be fighting again. Next year he will be back. He must respect the recovery time before taking hits to his head again. Nothing more than that. Vitor is still here. He's 28 years old, and nothing can make him give up fighting next year. Randy Couture cut his eye the same way as Vitor, and he is still in action at 44 years old and is the UFC champion now."
Shooto Brazil 4 shaping up
Under Pederneiras' direction, Shooto Brazil will host its fourth show Oct. 27 in Rio de Janeiro. The event will have 12 fights involving classes A, B and C. Eleven matches are official.
Geovani Diniz (Nova União/ Nobre Arte) vs. Marcio Zé Pequeno (Pequeno)
Will Ribeiro (Boxe Thai) vs. Willian Viana (Tatá)
Rodolpho Marques (Nova União) vs. Fábio Oliveira (Tatá)
Bicudinho (BTT) vs. Alexandre Pulga Pimentel (NG Combate)
Leonardo (Nova União) vs. Carlos Tuca (Pequeno)
Hernani (Nova União) vs. José Carlos da Silva (Jorge Turco)
Fernando Bruno (Nova União) vs. Kiko (NG Combate)
Filipe (Boxe Thai) vs. Rodrigo Cafu (Pequeno)
D'Ângelo (Pequeno Team) vs. Mogli (RFT)
Bruno Mão (Nova União/ RVT) vs. Daniel Rial (BTT)
Fernando Donan (RFT) vs. Rodrigo Viara (BTT)
'Minotoro' to HCF
After winning a bronze medal in boxing at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has signed to return to MMA. In November he will compete in Vancouver, British Columbia, at Hardcore Championship Fighting.
"I'm training hard for this fight," said Nogueira, who is waiting for his opponent to be named. "I'm in a very important phase of my career and I want to be back in MMA with my right foot forward and be a champion in my weight class. For sure I'll get there. I'm counting on my team's support for this."
Emelianenko declines Super Challenge Grappling invitation
Promoter Paulo Vasconcellos traveled to Russia and invited Fedor Emelianenko to compete in December's Super Challenge Grappling event, which will pit eight Brazilians against eight foreign competitors in an open-weight submission tournament in Brazil. However, the top-ranked heavyweight kindly refused the invitation, according to the promoter.
Vasconcellos has promised that many great names in the submission world will compete in the tournament, including representatives from the United States, Asia and Europe.
Three athletes are confirmed: ADCC 2007 open-weight champion Robert Drysdale, Demian Maia and Fabricio Werdum. One name that's being mentioned as a potential competitor is Jeff Monson, the 2005 ADCC champion at super heavyweight.
Storm Samurai goes window shopping
Storm Samurai, a longstanding organization in Brazil, held a successful event Sept. 29 inside one of the most beautiful malls in Curitiba: the Crystal. The event hosted Muay Thai and MMA bouts, with rising local talent shining. Luiz Sorriso thrilled the crowd, adding another knockout to his record.
Andre Toquinho (Noguchi FT) def. Danilo Zen (Zenedin) verbal submission R1
Rogelson BA (Chute Boxe) def. Alessandro Filhote (Zenedin) decision
Luis Sorriso (Chute Boxe) def. Rafael Ferreira (Zenedin) KO R2
Adison Preguiça (PRVT-SJPinhais) def. Gustavo Wurlitzer (Thai Boxe) anaconda choke R2
Fernando Bettega (Chute Boxe) def. Tiago Mônaco (PRVT) rear-naked choke R2
Márcio Gracinha (Chute Boxe) def. Rogério Ribeiro (Jacaré Team) verbal submission R2
Gleidson Venga covers mixed martial arts in Brazil for Sherdog.com.