“I will fight until I am 70, if I can.”
Interview by: AJ Hoffman
Photos Provided by Gold Team Houston
Luiz Azeredo may be one of the best fighters you have never heard of. No, not you. Not the guy who knows every fighter who has ever fought. Your brilliance is unquestioned. The other 99% probably don’t know there is a guy out there who holds wins over Anderson Silva and Paul Daley. A veteran of PRIDE FC and Bellator, Azeredo has managed to fly under the radar his entire career. A student of Jorge “Macaco” Patino, he will be in action once again on April 9th in Austin on the King of Kombat 10 card.
Azeredo: I started with Macaco, and currently still train with Macaco at Gold Team. I have trained with Chute Boxe too. I have been training since 11 years old.
TCD: After your Ronys Torres fight, you took 2 years off, then you came back and had 4 fights in two months. Why the break and what brought on the comeback?
Azeredo: Booking fights can be a funny business. Sometimes everyone wants you to fight for them, and sometimes no one has a fight for you. I try to fight as much as possible. I dont see this as a come back. I am just on a run where everyone wants me to fight for them.
TCD: Did you feel like the break from competition changed you as a fighter?
Azeredo: Not really. I like to fight all the time! Just like everyone at Gold Team. I want to fight as much as I can.
TCD: You have been in against some of the best guys in the world, including Anderson Silva, Takanori Gomi, Joachim Hansen and Paul Daley. Which opponent stands out the most in your head?
Azeredo: Fighting in Japan is so much different. You are treated like a superstar, and everything is first class. Fighting Gomi and Sakurai in Japan was a really great experience! I also enjoyed fighting Paul Daley. He hits like a super heavyweight.
TCD: You were Anderson Silva’s first professional opponent. Did you have any idea at the time that he would go on to become one of the best fighters in the world? Looking back, what does it mean to you to have that win on your resume?
Azeredo: I was just a purple belt when I fought Silva, but there was a lot excitement about the fight. I knew he would be good, but him being UFC World champ is the biggest thing you can do in MMA. Having a win over him is ok, but that was a long time ago. He has grown as a fighter, and I have grown as a fighter.
TCD: How are you feeling? At 34 years old, do you feel you can still compete at a top level? How many more fights do you think you have left in you?
Azeredo: I will fight until I am 70, if I can. My last fight I had was in Bellator against a very good undefeated fighter who was 6-0 coming in. I still have a lot of fights left in me, and I would really love to fight in the UFC. I would jump at the chance to fight Anderson Silva or Paul Daily again!
TCD: What is bringing you down to Texas? What kind of a comfort level is there for you training with Macaco?
Azeredo: I thought this was a great opportunity against a good opponent. Macaco is the best. I will be very ready for my fight for King of Kombat.
TCD: What do you know about your opponent? What are his strengths and how do you feel you match up?
[UPDATE: Campos is out. No official announcement on a new opponent for Azeredo was announced at the time this was published, but rumors are that Houston's Lee King (Paradigm) might be stepping in to face Azeredo.]
TCD: Do you think you will continue to fight in Texas beyond this fight? What kind of a contract did you sign with KoK?
Azeredo: This is just a one fight deal, but there is talk if I win I can come back, or maybe fight for Legacy in Houston? I want to spend more time in Houston and train with Macaco.
TCD: What are your long term goals now? How do you want to finish your career?
Azeredo: I like fighting the best fighters in the world. I still want to go to the UFC. I never think about the end…. only the now.