Marlon Sandro will leave his mark on yet another MMA promotion when he debuts in ROAD FC on August 22, 2015 against top Korean fighter Kim Soo-Chul.
Asia MMA was able to sit down with Marlon after the weigh ins and talk about his career from his most recent fight, all the way back to his days as the dual Pancrase and Sengoku Champion. The legendary journeyman is no stranger to MMA fans, yet Marlon still retains his humility and his passion for the sport of MMA.
ASIA MMA: Your most recent fight was in Pancrase in Japan. You were very vocal about it being a bad experience because of the judging, that you should have won the decision by didn’t. You have fought in Japan quite a lot. How did this fight compared to your other fights?
Sandro: It was crazy. Because everybody told me “You won, you won!” My friend Leo Santos told me “you won”. But the judges are crazy, I don’t know why. I don’t understand it. It stays in my mind.
ASIA MMA: Do you think that the unified rules coming to Pancrase is a positive thing?
Sandro: I think so, I hope so. I’m training harder because I don’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges.
ASIA MMA: ISAO is considered one of the top Japanese fighters. What was your experience fighting him?
Sandro: I just kept thinking “Come on, come on, I want to fight!” I like to fight in Japan, I fought there a long, long time. I love Japan but this (judging) is no good for me. I mean, two times. The first time they gave me a Draw. I know my fight was not good, but I think I won.
ASIA MMA: Isao is now in Bellator, what do you think about a rematch?
Sandro: I would fight with him again, no problem. But not in Japan! I would fight in Brazil or the United States. He’s a good guy. He told me that I won. I said “It’s alright my friend, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It’s the judges’.”
ASIA MMA: What’s the biggest difference between fighting in Asia and fighting in the west?
Sandro: It’s the same. Because the rules are almost all the same now. The same feeling everywhere now.
ASIA MMA: Is this your first time to Korea, what is your feeling?
Sandro: I’ve seen a few people, and everybody knows me, they watched my fights in Japan. But it’s new for me. I don’t know how the judges will be! I want to finish quick.
ASIA MMA: What do you think about your opponent, Kim Soo-Chul?
Sandro: I think he’s good, he’s got good cardio, he seems to have a good Muay Thai style.
ASIA MMA: Did you see his fight with Bibiano Fernandes?
Sandro: I didn’t see it.
ASIA MMA: Really?
ASIA MMA: Do you think you have an advantage because of your weight?
ASIA MMA: Does age help you?
ASIA MMA: He’s one of the top fighters in Korea.
Sandro: Yeah I see all the posters in the streets of just him, not me. I’m a new guy here, no problem. One day they’ll put my photo on the poster as the main event. I just want to think about this fight first, but I do want the belt. I have a contract I want to have more fights in Korea. I want the belt.
I just want to think about this fight first, but I do want the belt.
ASIA MMA: You’ve been in MMA a long time, what are your goals now?
Sandro: I just need to prove myself to Road FC that I’m here to put on a good fight. In my mind, I’m the new guy here, I want to prove myself to Road FC. I’m the new Marlon Sandro. I’m old, but I’m new!
ASIA MMA: What would you do if you were not an MMA fighter?
Sandro: I don’t know I just like MMA. I guess I’m like the boss of the gym, everybody believes in me. I pass on my spirit for fighting to everyone. Now my son comes up to me and says he wants to be a fighter. I said “No, go be a doctor!” He’s eight years old and I have one more who is three years old. He’s the same! “I want to fight MMA!”
ASIA MMA: Does he train jiujitsu?
Sandro: Yes, the eight-year old does. He trains and he fights jiujitsu, he loves jiujitsu. When I go to bring him to school, he says “Hey dadd,y is there training today?” “Yes, why?” “Then I want to take my gi with me, let me take my gi with me please! I want to train!” I want to go to my home and rest, but no, I wait for him.
ASIA MMA: Do you think the Japanese MMA or in Asia can get bigger now?
Sandro: I think it’s possible now because there’s so many events. Many people really want to see MMA. And many people want to fight. They want to fight in UFC but UFC says no and they don’t open the door. So having many fights, many events, is really good for everybody. And Road doing a lot of events is very good. I think Japan will go back to the days of Pride. It’s a dream I wanted. I watched Pride and I still think, oh my gosh, one day I want to fight in this style of event. I think Road is really good for me right now.
ASIA MMA: What do you think about the level of MMA fighters nowadays, versus when you started?
Sandro: Nowadays it’s much more difficult. Everyone has the internet, everyone has a lot more training, more information. It’s good for me, I watch the new guys fight, they have good positions. They make me train harder for it.
I need to fight good and I need to stay strong all the time because my sons are watching me!
ASIA MMA: When you look at your career, what fights stand out the most to you?
Sandro: You mean when I won or when I lost?
ASIA MMA: Which everyou feel.
Sandro: I have one that stands out, that was with Hioki. He had me on the ground, he got my arm. And when I fought for the title in Sengoku, with Kanehara, it was a beautiful day for me, a big dream.
ASIA MMA: What drives you to keep fighting?
Sandro: When I fought before, I had to fight because I needed money for my family. But now I’m more relaxed. But every time I really want to put on a good fight for the fans. I need to fight good and I need to stay strong all the time because my sons are watching me! My boys are watching me on TV with Jose Aldo and my mother, ohhh.
ASIA MMA: Do you train anything special for this fight?
Sandro: I trained a little bit more of my boxing. And I need to train jiujitsu and in the gi. Because my jiujitsu is a little bit “not good”. [laughs] But I do it for me, not for everybody else, but for me. Everybody has good jiujitsu now, jiujitsu has come back strong. All over the world. And I hope I can prove my training in my fight.