Karate Champ Ewerton Teixeira

Ewerton TeixeiraEwerton Teixeira seems way too nice to be involved in the bone-breaking world of martial arts. But don't be fooled because underneath that relaxed, friendly exterior, the 190-centimeter, 110-kilogram Brazilian karate king is the real deal, to be sure.

Teixeira, 28, is the reigning Kyokushin-kaikan World Open karate champion, a title he won in 2007 by going 8-0 in the tournament sometimes billed as the "Olympics of karate."


The following year, the third-degree black belt picked up his first K-1 title, winning the World Grand Prix event in Fukuoka.

Teixeira has fought some of the top fighters in K-1 over the years, including the legendary Peter Aerts of Holland and French warrior Jerome Le Banner. Last weekend, he scored a unanimous decision over Errol "The Bonecrusher" Zimmerman in a reserve fight at the elite K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final at Ariake Colosseum to run his career record in the discipline to 11-3.

In a interview with local newspapper Asahi ,  Teixeira answered a few questions .


* * *

Question: Congratulations on your recent K-1 win over Errol Zimmerman. How did the fight go?

Answer: The fight went just as I'd planned. Everything was good, I have no injuries and I got the win so about all that I am happy.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get into the main draw. My goal was to be the overall champion, but I didn't have an opportunity to enter (the main draw).

* * *

Q: How and when did you first get interested in karate?

A: I started when I was 9 years old. My father was into karate and he invited me to train with him when I was 9.

When I was 11, I stopped for a while, and when I was 16 I started again. From then until now I have been training.

* * *

Q: Why is Brazil producing so many good mixed martial arts fighters these days?

A: In karate, we have a very good master (in Brazil), Seiji Isobe.

He starts your training at the beginning, with the roots of Kyokushin (Ultimate Truth), which is really important to make strong fighters.

* * *

Q: Is fighting, in its various forms, quite popular among kids growing up in Brazil?

A: In Rio de Janeiro, jiu-jitsu is very popular, but the other martial arts, not so popular.

Soccer comes first, second and third (to most kids in Brazil).

* * *

Q: Out of the ring, you seem like a gentle giant, very laid-back and relaxed. When you enter the ring, do you have to flip a switch, turn on the aggression?

A: Yes, we need to change. To be too nice in the ring would be very dangerous (laughing).

* * *

Q: When you fight in K-1 do you feel extra pressure because you are representing Kyokushin karate?

A: Of course there is pressure, but I try to think about that when I train. I push hard in my training. But when I step into the ring, I just concentrate on doing my best. If I put too much pressure on myself, it would be too heavy to carry into the ring, I can't fight well.

* * *

Q: Is it a big transition going from karate and then switching to K-1-style kickboxing?

A: It is very different. The way you stand, the way you move your body, is completely different. It looks similar but it's very different.

* * *

Q: Some K-1 fans on various websites have claimed that you had some "lucky" wins in the sport, maybe got some wins you didn't deserve. Does stuff like that make you angry or serve to motivate you?

A: Sometimes I feel a little bit sad (when I see that stuff), but I try to turn that around and use it for motivation to improve myself.

* * *

Q: You've been a karate champion and a K-1 champion. What other goals have you set for yourself?

A: Now I'm concentrating on the World (Open Karate) Tournament next year in November in Tokyo. In Kyokushin karate, only one man has ever been the champion twice (Makoto Nakamura), so I want to be a two-time world champion, too.

* * *

Q: Who is the toughest man on the planet right now, in your opinion?

A: I like to watch UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). For me, (fellow-Brazilian) Anderson Silva is No. 1.

* * *

Q: Can you see yourself entering UFC one day?

A: Right now, I just fought K-1, I'm concentrating on the (karate) World Tournament, but after that, maybe I will think about other options.

* * *

Q: What are your hobbies and interests when you're not fighting or training for a fight?

A: Before coming to Japan, my hobby was reading. Since I've been coming to Japan, I have learned to like karaoke (laughing). Usually I sing American music. I'm not so good at singing, but I have a lot of fun with it.

VIDEO Ewerton Teixeira vs Errol Zimmerman