(Readers should be advised that the following interview has been translated from Brazilian Portuguese to English.)
Hi Antonio. You contacted MMA Universe this morning. It seems like there is something that you would like to get off your chest?
Yes, I wanted to tell you my side of the story about my time in Liverpool.
You have claimed that Wolfslair Gym’s management owe you Â£6,000 in unpaid fight purses. It is not our place to delve in to your financial dealings with Wolfslair. But why would Wolfslair Gym say that it was actually you who owe them money, quote "Â£20K+"?
I don’t know why they would say this. These are lies! They do not have the courage to tell the truth about what really happened. I was promised payment of Â£3,000 for a fight. That never appeared. Then again, I was owed another Â£3,000 for a fight and that was not given to me either!
Wolfslair also said on the Cage Warriors forum:“Mario Sukata took Junior Silva under his wing at a very young age when the young lad had nothing, not even shoes on his feet or food on the table. Now, Anthony & Lee the management team of the Wolfslair, brought Junior da Silva to England where he made a lot of money, was treated like a pop star, built his profile to such a global extent, and in fact his behaviour was nothing short of child-like and spoilt. Obviously forgetting where he came from and how much people had bent over backwards to support him and bring him up to his current standard in MMA.” How do you respond to that?
I was a student of Mario Sukata for only one year. I am originally a student of Eli Wanderlei. It was he that I started to train with.
Those that know me will say that I never pretended to be the star of Wolfslair. I only asked for the things that were promised to me, but which were never delivered. I would fight but never see the money for my fights.
Did you decide to leave Wolfslair or were you asked to leave?
I was asked to leave soon after my Cage Warriors fight against Tadas Rinkevicius. I was told that Anthony had told my instructor Mario "Sukata" Neto that I and my family had to return to Brazil.
What is life like in Brazil compared to Liverpool?
Life is good now. I am working with a manager who is honest and does not try to deceive me. But about Liverpool, I love the city and the English People. Myself and my family were very sad to leave Liverpool as we loved living in England.
In 2005, you briefly represented The Brazilian Top Team. Was it a disagreement that made you leave BTT, or was it more amicable with them?
I was having problems with Wolfslair at that time, so I returned to Brazil. I passed the time training with the BTT. It was only training; I did not have a contract with BTT.
And are you are now with the American Top Team full time?
Yes, I am with the American Top Team. I am just waiting for the visa that will allow me to go to the USA.
During your stay in the UK, you built a huge following. Will we ever see you back representing at Cage Rage or defending your Super Heavyweight Title at Cage Warriors?
I have two titles in England. I hold the Cage Warriors and Cage Rage belts and I will defend them with enough aggression to beat anybody that tries to take them.
It would be a pleasure to fight James Thompson. I think he is a great fighter and I hope that fight happens one day.
It is widely rumoured that you will be fighting Alexander Emelianenko at 2 Hot 2 Handle later on in the year. Is this true?
Yes, it is true! I will fight him in November and I am going to do my utmost to win the fight
Without giving too much away. Do you have a plan on how you will fight Alexander? What do you perceive as his strengths and weaknesses?
I am working very hard on my Boxing and Thai Boxing, as I know that Aleksander is very good on his feet. I am also working on takedowns because, if I get the chance, I would like to take it to the ground as my speciality is Jiu-Jitsu.
Thank you for your time Antonio. We wish you the best of luck for your future. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I would like to say thank you to MMA Universe for letting me have my say. I would also like to say to any athletes thinking about going to Wolfslair… Take care not to be deceived as I was.
Finally, I would like to send one big hug to all the English fans and I hope that they continue to support me.
Disclaimer: The above is an opinion of the individual. This in no way reflects the ideas or opinions of MMA Universe.