Gustavo Falciroli is one of the rising stars in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, he has taken on some of the best in his home land of Australia as well as Japan.
Gustavo is currently riding a two fight win streak heading into arguably the biggest fight of his career thus far on November 19th â€“ Gustavo has the opportunity to capture the Shooto Pan-Pacific Lightweight Championship however in his way stands Taiki Tsuchiya, a Japanese stand out with explosive power in his hands.
Gustavo took some time out of his busy training schedule to talk with me about life and his fighting career.
Lets start at the beginning, when did you begin training?
In December of 1996 I began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What were your biggest influences in beginning your training?
Too many fights on the soccer field I guess, jiu-jitsu was there for me to do so my mother brought me lessons as a gift.
You have a black belt in jiu-jitsu, when did you get your black belt and who gave it to you?
13 December 2003 from my coaches Roberto Tozi and Roberto Godoi.
Outside of yourself, who do you see as the best prospects based in Australia?
A lot of guys are very good but the best right now is George Sotiropoulos, he is doing very well for Australia over in the UFC.
What was it like competing in Japan?
It was pretty good, the crowd is the big difference â€“ they are a lot more appreciative, they respect you as a fighter more and realise this is your job, its very different. The people over there are very friendly, open to helping you out.
Your next bout is in Japan on November 19th for the Shooto Pan-Pacific Lightweight Championship, who are you fighting and tell us a little about them.
Heâ€™s another guy out there moving their way up the ranks, trying to get their name out there. He is a very good striker, I feel this will be a good fight for me. Taiki Tsuchiya defeated Issei Tamura who was the last person to beat me so it will be interesting.
How do you feel you match up against Taiki Tsuchiya and what are your keys to victory?
I donâ€™t worry about the result, I do my best at the gym while training and do my best to be prepared properly for my opponent. I just want to go out there and do my best, as long as I do thatâ€™s all that matters.
Training for the fight is the hardest part, when you get in there and do it thatâ€™s just the fun part.
For the folks out there who have never heard of you, tell them why they should watch your upcoming title fight.
Iâ€™m going to do a good job â€“ if people want to watch me they will see me fight my heart out, Iâ€™ve trained very hard for fight day and I will put forward my best effort to please the fans.
Winning a Championship in Japan would put you in demand for some of the larger MMA organization is Japan, who would you like to face in either DREAM or Sengoku?
I donâ€™t care who I face in these organizations, I just want to be there and be a good fighter. My dream is to fight in Sengoku or DREAM in japan, I want to keep fighting on the big shows, the end results are irrelevant.
At the end of the day I want to be the best and be the champion so I will face anyone, you canâ€™t pick and choose to be a Champion.
Have you had any offers to compete over in the United States?
No, not yet â€“ Right now I am not trying to, I am focused on Japan at the moment because I donâ€™t have the name value over in the United States. I just love to fight, but people need to know me there before I go over there.
I recently read that you are a father, whatâ€™s it like being a dad?
Yeah, I recently had my second son and its great having a family â€“ they are the best part of my life, one reason I fight is to provide for them and make sure they have a good life.
You have a number of impressive victories over some of the toughest in your weight class, who has been your biggest test to date?
All of them have been hard to fight, the hardest would be against Akiyo Nishiura mainly because of the situation. Winning that fight would be a big step to getting my name out there in Japan. Growing up in Brazil I saw Shooto and over there its very well respected and I wanted to go there to prove myself.
Where do you see the sport of mixed martial arts going in the next 10 to 15 years?
I think its coming along nicely, in fifteen years from no w people will be more educated to the sport and understand it more. People will understand that this is a job and we all have families to provide for, its not just people punching each other for no reason.
Over time bad publicity will stop when people understand more, just like Australian Rules Football or Cricket or any sport the fighters and the sport will get more respected over time when more people understand it.
How long will it be until we can open a newspaper in Australia and see an MMA story on the front cover?
Probably ten years from now, it could be shorter but really people donâ€™t like it that much at the moment. Its still a long journey until its accepted and people understand its not just violence, its competition.
Its much safer to fight in a ring than at a bar or a night club, people donâ€™t bring weapons or bottles when you fight in the ring.
With the new found popularity of fellow Australian George Sotiropoulos, do you see MMA becoming a huge thing in our home land?
No, its still far from that, MMA is coming out of Australia so it will take some time for people to get interested in it but weâ€™re on our way and we will get there.
Who have been your biggest supporters from the beginning?
The two main people are Miles Young and Don Heske â€“ they helped get me into the country and are always supporting me and helping to make my life easier. From there I met lots of friendly people, the entire Australian community have been kind and helped me out in some sort of way, I guess I have to than the entire Australian community for helping me and letting me do my job.
What is your dream fight? that dream opponent or a fight you would love to watch as a fan?
Any opponent, I just want to be on the big shows against the big names. If I get t here one day it will be a part of my dream and I want to be the Champion. I am not choosy, I am willing to fight anyone to be the best.
As a fan, I always liked to watch Rickson Gracie but I want to watch the upcoming fight between Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva â€“ its good to see two Brazilian fighters, will be a good fight.
Lets take a look into the future, where is Gustavo Falciroli five years from now?
I would love to keep fighting MMA, my life is good right now â€“ I get to do what I love to do and make a living for it, I hope to keep doing it. I always believed that if you keep doing your job well youâ€™ll always get more out of life so I will continue doing that.
Before we finish up, is there anything else you would like to say Gustavo?
I would like to quickly thank my sponsors Nillguim, Tween Shoes, Yelo Shop and Scandium Financial.