We had the opportunity to talk with Chito Vera. These are the messages he sends from the United States prior to his fight on February 3 against the Brazilian Douglas Silva de Andrade in the city of Belem in Brazil.
Chito Vera is an Ecuadorian fighter who is representing the country in the UFC, the world’s largest and most important organization in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). See Chito Vera, the Ecuadorian in the UFC. Next an interview with the Manabita fighter.
1. When did you know you wanted to fight Mixed Martial Arts? How did it all start?
Since I was a child I always liked this fight, I always wanted to learn to fight, I was related to this kind of thing. I had that inside of me, the world of fights caught my attention, I started training jujitsu at age 16. All my life I had that vision of wanting to learn to fight, when I started I entered fully, I always did it with great desire and dedication because it was what I really liked.
2. Why and for whom do you fight?
Because I like the world of fights, I fight for myself. The day I started a family I obviously started fighting for my family, their well-being, for giving them the best. And once I made a name in the sport I represent my country and try to make it look good, to give my best, to set a good example and always show a good face to the sport.
3. What does the family mean to you?
Family is the most important thing for me, the reason I get up every day to go to work, why I keep insisting, why I don’t get tired and keep pushing. It is basically my day to day energy.
4. What were the decisive moments in your life? What was the hardest thing you have ever experienced and happened to get to where you are?
Leaving the house, leaving for a long time to train outside since in the country I did not have the necessary tools to achieve the level at which I am now.
The most difficult thing was to maintain discipline, constant work, there are always distractions but at the end of the day if you have the necessary focus you will achieve your goals.
5. How is training in the United States? What is the difference with training in Ecuador?
A totally different world, you have all the tools, you have the instructors, you have everything you need to develop your full potential. If you don’t develop it here, it’s because you really don’t want it. The different thing with Ecuador is that here there is experience, the technology is more advanced. In Ecuador there is a little years behind, we need more people to stick to the sport.
It’s like soccer. Soccer players arrive to a certain level. But there are some examples such as Enner Valencia and Antonio Valencia who went abroad and changed their bodies, their technique improves. They are in the big leagues, and to have a higher performance you have to go out, look for the foreigner support.
6. How many hours a day and how many days a week do you train?
4 to 5 hours a day, 2 times a day. Other days I train 3 for physical preparation. From Monday to Saturday, on Sundays I rest. It is always a hard workout.
7. What do you spend more time on, striking, grappling, jiujitsu? Where do you feel most comfortable?
On the ground now, I have improved a lot. Before, I was better known as grappler, now my striking has improved here in the United States, I proved it in my last fights. We really focus on everything, everything works here.
8. How easy is it for you to give 135 pounds, do you cut a lot of weight?
Weight is the worst thing in this sport. I would like to fight in the weight that I walk in, but if I would, I would have to fight someone who is 50-60 pounds heavier than me. In a fight, the weight is very important, a blow knocks you out, the grip influences everything. The cut weight is horrible but necessary since this is how the system works, this is how this is done. Everyone wants to lose weight to make the category bigger but at the end of the day I believe more in technique and effort, that is what will give me the victory. But the weight cut is very ugly.
9. What has been your most difficult fight?
All fights are difficult in the UFC, the level is always bigger. The hardest fight is against oneself, separating from the family, being better than yesterday and never giving up.
10. How did you become part of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America?
I really did nothing, the UFC was the one who called me, but obviously they were already watching fights, I was making myself known and that is what led the UFC to put their eyes on me.
11. How much support have you received from Ecuadorian media? We saw a tweet from you before your previous fight that no Ecuadorian media was present in your press conference.
The support from Ecuador gigantic for me. The support of the fans, of my friends of the people. Not as much from the media. They do interview me obviously, whenever I win is when there are more interviews. But once I had a media tour, people called me from Panama, Peru, Argentina, like 5 countries and that day there was no Ecuadorian media. That’s when I tweeted saying that and, magically, in an hour, all Ecuadorian media wanted to talk to me.
12. What are your goals this 2018?
Win my fights, have an undefeated 2018, be a better person, better fighter and enter the ranking.
13. What message do you have for those who support you?
Thanks from my heart, without them I would not be where I am, without the support of the people I would not have inspiration. They do not know how much it means to me that each person sends me a message of support and affection.
Chito Vera fights on February 3 in Brazil, let’s support the Ecuadorian in what will surely be a great 2018 for the fighter.
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