Wilson Gouveia trains at one of the best MMA training camps in the world, American Top Team. But even with the star-studded roster at ATT, almost every fighter there will point to Gouveia as the most talented fighter in the camp.
Gouveia has tried to cultivate that talent in the light heavyweight division and had early success. After a loss to Keith Jardine in his first UFC bout, he rattled off four wins in a row before running into a speed bump that goes by the name Goran Reljic.
After losing to Reljic, Gouveia decided to re-invent himself at middleweight with the hopes of fast tracking himself to a title shot in a much less crowded division. With two quick wins in the middleweight division, Gouveia finds himself on the precipice of the middleweight elite with only a win over Nate Marquardt standing in his way.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com was able to catch up with Gouveia as he prepared to leave for his UFC 95 fight this Saturday in London. I was able to get his thoughts on a wide range of topics from his thoughts on Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn to if a win over Marquardt should guarantee him a title shot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How was your camp?
Wilson Gouveia: The Training has been amazing, very intense so far. No injuries, I feel great and can’t wait to fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: As this is your third fight at 185 lbs., is the weight cut getting any easier for you?
Wilson Gouveia: I will give you a good explanation about everything that happened. When I fought (Ryan) Jensen it was my first cut to 185lbs and I was very afraid to not make the weight so I started losing the weight three weeks before the fight. It came off very easy, I was 185lbs two days before the weigh-in so it was very easy for me. For the Jason MacDonald fight I was over confident because it was so easy the first time that I thought it would be just as easy the next time. It was a huge mistake because I miss the cut the last day of weigh ins and I think I had some salt two days before weigh-ins so that made me hold some water. I learned my lesson and a week before the fight I am already under 200 lbs. and everything looks very good.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How much weight do you cut the day of weigh-ins?
Wilson Gouveia: To be honest that Friday morning I do not want to be more than one pound over. I may even wake up 185 lbs. exactly on Friday morning. Every interview I give I am asked about this so I don’t want to take chances.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How many pounds do you think you put back on between weigh-ins and the fight?
Wilson Gouveia: It depends you know? In my first fight at 185 lbs. I think I put back 15 or 18 pounds. I think in this fight I will be around 200 lbs. by the fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: If you win the fight with Marquardt, do you see yourself ready for a shot at Anderson Silva’s title or would you like another fight first?
Wilson Gouveia: This is a tough question, I am not different from anyone else in my position, of course I want my shot at the title. I want my chance to fight for the belt. But at the end of the day the UFC decides who I fight next.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: You train at one of the biggest fight camps in the country, American Top Team. Do you have one main training partner or do you train with everyone regardless of size?
Wilson Gouveia: I train pretty much with everyone, but usually the heavier guys like Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, and Antonio Silva.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: If given the opportunity would you like a rematch with Goran Reljic?
Wilson Gouveia: Well I never pick my fights but of course I would like a rematch. He says he wants to drop to 185 lbs. also, but I don’t think he can make the weight. When we fought at 205 lbs., he is a pretty big guy and dehydrated to make 205 lbs. He is 6’3” or 6’4”, he is a very big guy. He was very lean at 205 lbs., I just don’t see him making 185 lbs. but who knows? I would love a rematch.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Most MMA fighters have different opinions on video study. Do you watch video on your opponents or do you just let your trainers do that for you?
Wilson Gouveia: Sometimes I do and sometimes I do not. I am not the guy who keeps watching his opponents video over and over. My coaches do that, they search the videos and try to find the weaknesses of my opponents, what they do good and what they don’t do so good. I have seen one or two fights of Nate’s, I have a lot of respect for him. After the champ I think he is the number one guy at 185 lbs. He has good striking, good wrestling, and good Jiu-Jitsu. I expect a really tough fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Without giving any gameplan away, do you see yourself with a distinct advantage in any one area?
Wilson Gouveia: To be honest, I see his wrestling as better than mine of course, but I see my striking as better than his striking. He says he is a pretty strong guy and I believe him. But I don’t think he has any idea what’s coming. He needs 10 shots sometimes to drop his opponent, but I only need one punch to drop someone. So he can be a very strong guy with his wrestling and on the floor, but he can’t compare to the punching power I have to what he’s got.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: If you win this fight and they offer you a title shot with Anderson Silva but inform you that the wait might be six to nine months before Silva is ready to defend against you, would you be ok with waiting or would you want another fight in between and risk the title shot?
Wilson Gouveia: That’s a good question. Probably that is a conversation I have with my manager and my camp but to have that conversation I have to beat Marquardt and that will not be an easy task. I will focus on Marquardt and dream about the title shot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What are your thoughts on the other middleweight bout on the card, Demian Maia versus Chael Sonnen?
Wilson Gouveia: I think Maia has incredible Jiu Jitsu, but I am not impressed with Sonnen at all. He is a good fighter, don’t get me wrong, but he has 1 win and 2 losses in the UFC. I think he is gonna get his third loss. His last fight he beat Paulo Filho, Ok, but who knows if Filho should have even fought with all his personal problems. I think Sonnen is going to be in big trouble with Maia. But MMA is MMA, you never know what is going to happen.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I have noticed that traditionally you have averaged about two fights a year until 2008. In 2008 you have four fights and even this fight is on about 10 weeks turn around. Do you prefer to fight often or is this just how the schedule broke out for you?
Wilson Gouveia: I can’t complain the way the UFC has treated me. I can’t complain at all. I love those guys. I guess they like me. I know guys that only fight once a year. It is very hard. This is how I feed my family so I gotta keep fighting. I am not a champion yet so I am not making the huge money but I make decent money and I want to keep it that way. The more you fight the more money you make. I want to keep doing that. If you ask me I want to fight every month.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Will the travel over to London for UFC 95 effect your preparation at all?
Wilson Gouveia: Last year around the same time, I think I fought in January in New Castle, England. I have no complaints. I like the British fans over there, they are pretty cool. They are very respectful people. I know it’s a little cold over there, and I don’t like the cold, but its my job and I will do what I have to do.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Is the food as bad over there as every fighter says it is?
Wilson Gouveia: No the food is not very good at all. But I will be on a diet, I won’t be eating much. I will be bringing my food with me so it won’t make a difference.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What were your thoughts on the Georges St Pierre versus B.J .Penn fight?
Wilson Gouveia: I am always a big fan of B.J. Penn. I was expecting a better fight than that but I guess it wasn’t his day. But I guarantee that B.J. will be back and stronger than ever. But I am not impressed with GSP, my boy Thiago (Alves) is going to fight him and I think a lot of people will be shocked after that fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What hobbies do you have outside of fighting? What do you do on your down time?
Wilson Gouveia: I was trying to be a pilot about five years ago. Actually I have about 150 hours logged in little planes. I have a lot of friends that are pilots and they take me to fly jets sometimes. That is my main hobby. I have a flight simulator at home with everything, controllers, throttle, and three monitors. I spend a lot of time on it. I also love to play video games with my son. He is six years old and he loves video games. We play everything.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Wilson, thank you so much for your time. Any sponsors you would like to thank?
Wilson Gouveia: I would just like to tell my fans and friends that I am very prepared for this fight and I will do my best to give an exciting performance.