Fans who are newer to Mixed Martial Arts may not be fully familiar with Vitor Ribeiro, but those who are aware of his past success in Japan and the UK know “Shaolin” is a serious threat to any opponent he faces.
The 31-year old Brazilian holds an overall record of 20-4, as well as victories over a number of tough foes in the past including Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mitsuhiro Ishida, and Joachim Hansen. However, he has lost three of his last four bouts, including his last in-ring outing against undefeated Lyle Beerbohm this past May at “Strikeforce – Heavy Artillery” (via split-decision).
Ribeiro recently spoke to media about his return to the cage tomorrow night at Strikeforce Challengers 12 in Jackson, Mississippi and explained why he feels especially motivated, and able, to finish 9-3 Justin Wilcox.
“This fight means a lot to me,” he began. “I’m really happy to be the main event in this show and I think that’s what motivated me to train so hard the last few months. I’m just working on a few things today and sparring a bit, but I feel great and I’m ready to go…”
As far as what he expects from “The Silverback”, who has won eight of his last nine fights including his last four in a row, Ribeiro made it clear he’s prepared to grapple based on Wilcox’s past performances (7-of-9 victories by way of outpointing his opponent).
“(Justin) sounds like a very powerful wrestler who has good hands. I’ll be ready to use my game plan, though, based on what I know about him.”
The BJJ-blackbelt also made it clear he wants to avoid the involvement of scorecards after having lost back-to-back decisions, stating, “I left my last fight to the judges, so I’m going to try to not make that mistake again and finish the fight in three rounds. If I can’t, I’m going to dominate the three rounds and not leave any doubt in anyone’s mind about who won.”
In addition to the headlining lightweights, Strikeforce Challengers 12 also features 205-pounders Antwain Britt and Ovince St. Preux mixing it up as well as Lithuanian kickboxer Marius Zaromskis looking to get back on the winning track against Waachim Spiritwolf. Fans can watch action unfold live on Showtime starting at 11:00 PM EST.