Interview: Jorge “Macaco” Patino

“I am training like a champion for this fight.”

Jorge “Macaco” Patino

Interview by: AJ Hoffman

Jorge “Macaco” Patino is arguably the most accomplished fighter calling Houston home. With a UFC title fight and bouts with Pride and Strikeforce, Patino is truly a legend of the game. After defeating Pete Spratt at Legacy 8, Macaco now defends his belt against the man who held it before him, Mike Bronzoulis.

TCD: Congratulations on winning the Legacy title! How did it feel to finally become a champion after training for so long?

Macaco: Thank you very much! It’s awesome. This has always been my dream, to be a champion, and it is great to finally accomplish my goals.

TCD: No one was expecting for your fight with Pete Spratt to go 5 rounds. Was he even tougher than you expected?

Macaco: When you fight for a title belt you have to be ready for 5 rounds. Pete Spratt is a very tough fighter. He has strong hands and kicks and he showed good BJJ defense. I will be ready to go 5 rounds again with Mike Bronzoulis if that is what I have to do. I know Mike will be tough too. He is a former champion. He knows what it takes.

TCD: Even though everyone thought your best bet to beat Spratt was on the ground, you spent much of the fight matching standup with him. Why did you decide to strike with him?

Macaco: I followed my game plan. Everyone expected that I would put him on the ground and submit him, but I always have a good game plan put together. It isn’t always what everyone expects, but it works for me. My game plan against Pete Spratt was to stand and hope that he tired out. In the end, I think it worked for me.

TCD: Frank Trigg came in after your victory and challenged you to a fight? Where does the bad blood between the two of you come from?

Macaco: Frank is a funny guy. When I fought against Jacare in Amazon, Frank was there with his friends. When I was walking to the ring and my Jesus Christ music was playing they said that it was evil and he showed me his hands like a devil horns. The crowd and my corners want to kill all of them. There is no bad blood for me though. This was a long time ago.If Frank ever wants to fight at 170 lbs. again I will fight him, but he would have to earn a title shot.

TCD: Since we last spoke you have put another fighter in the UFC, which gives you two now (Charles Oliveira, Felipe Arantes). Do you enjoy teaching as much as you enjoy fighting?

Macaco: I like both. It is tough to choose. I love to compete. I have done this my whole life and this is what I love. I am very proud of my students though and I love to see them reaching their dreams too. Hopefully I will be coaching great fighters long after I am done fighting, but for now I am a fighter.

TCD: Your opponent at Legacy is former champion Mike Bronzoulis. What are some of the differences you see between him and Pete Spratt?

Macaco: I don’t see any differences. I have to fight him no matter who it is. I think Mike is a good opponent. He has a big name in Houston and he is very strong. I will prepare for this fight just like I do for every fight. I try to only control what I can.

TCD: Mike said he plans on taking you down and beating you with ground and pound. How do you see the fight going?

Macaco: For me it doesn’t really matter. I am ready to fight stand up and I am always ready to fight on the ground. I think I am good no matter where the fight goes, and that is what you have to be to be a great champion. You have to be ready no matter where the fight ends up.

TCD: Talk about your training for this fight. What does an average day look like for you? How many hours a day are you training?

Macaco: I am training hard. Every day. Monday to Monday, five times a day. I work at my gym with my students. I work my boxing I work my Muay Thai. I work my boxing and wrestling. I also go to Lifetime Fitness and do my weight training and my cardio. I am training like a champion for this fight.

TCD: There are rumors you could have a third fight with Pele in Brazil in the works. Is there any truth to that?

Macaco: The promoter in Brazil offered that fight to me, but Pele has gone back to Chute Boxe and we can’t fight anymore because now he is my team mate. It would have been fun to have that fight again, but right now it looks like it isn’t going to happen.

TCD: As you approach 40 years old, how many more fights do you think you have left in you?

Macaco: I am in shape for an old man. I still have a dream to get back to the UFC and I will work hard to get it. I don’t know how much time I have left to fight, but I am going to keep training every day like I could get the call again. I work harder than a lot of the guys who are half my age. I know what it takes to compete at the highest level.

TCD: Do you have anyone you want to thank or sponsors you want to mention?

Macaco: I want to thank Jesus Christ my GOD for giving me my title and giving me a chance to defend it. My boxing coach Roberto Flores “Bob”, my sparring partners Uko, Alvin, Lex Pappas, Raul Jimenez, Vitor Pozas, Luiz Azeredo, Lucas Pimenta and Plinio Cruz. Thank you my best friends Brian Quinn, Craig Summers and Gavin Osorio and my sponsors who are supporting me; Best Bet, Associate Marine Services, OTM, Memorial Gold Team, NO GI, Homeland, Lexani, Entero Health, Conduta, Gamma-o. And thank you to TheCageDoor.net for this interview.

Legacy FC 9 will broadcast live on HDNet.