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Q&A WITH WANDERLEI

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By Patrick Lujan

Wanderlei and Tea take a picture after passing through the arrival gate. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

It was an honor to host humble superstar Wanderlei Silva and his wife Tea for six days on our island. Guam made a huge impression on the Silva’s that they couldn’t stop praising the people and the island.

“I will never forget Guam,” Wanderlei said. “The people here are the most respectful people I’ve ever come across.”

That says something considering his years of travelling the world to fight or make guest appearances.

His main focus on the trip was to promote the ever-growing sport of jiu jitsu on Guam, but this bigger-than-life figure took away more than just memories of the GSPN Jiu Jitsu Open on Dec. 1.

GSPN sat down with ‘The Axe Murderer” as he readied to head back to Las Vegas and start preparing to train for his next UFC fight in the early part of 2013.

GSPN: Your visit created a certain buzz around the island. Wanderlei on Guam was pretty exciting. How would you describe your first trip to Guam?

WS: It’s such a beautiful place and the people are so amazing here. I’m so happy I came and participate in the GSPN tournament.

GSPN: What did you think of the tournament and the talent you were able to watch?

WS: The level of the students over here is very high. The location looked good. Congratulations to you for making it happen. It’s important to have tournaments like that on the island to grow the level of the students and build them and maybe soon you will have a world champion from the island.

GSPN: What kind of fun stuff did you do on Guam?

WS: I visited the National Guard. The guys here from the Army are really cool guys. I had a big reception with the Dydasco Family with my friend Vince Gumataotao who trains me and other UFC fighters in Vegas. I’m so happy for the great reception his family gave to me on (Sunday).

Tea and Vince take a seat while Wanderlei entertains fans at the press conference at AK. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

GSPN: You have a lot of fight fans here on Guam and you signed a lot of Pride memorabilia. What does that say about how deep your fan base is?

WS: I love to receive support from the guys from the island. This is the first time (to Guam) but definitely not the last. The reception from the fans was unbelievable. Everyone was respectful. I definitely want to come back for the next GSPN Open.

GSPN: You mentioned that you will be training for your next fight when you get back home. Tell us about the training?

WS: I have a fight coming up maybe in March. I don’t know my opponent yet but I’m going to start training now.

GSPN: You have a lot of fans on Guam and I think you gained a bunch more with your humbleness and the big heart you have.

WS: It’s all the respect that the people have given me and I give the respect back. There’s a lot of fun guys on this island, a lot of good guys. I’m so glad for you and the tournament, the Guard guys were great….all my new friends on the island. If anybody (from Guam) comes to Vegas and meets me, I hope I give the same reception to you as you did to me.

NOTES: During the autograph session at the GSPN Open, Wanderlei met a baby named Wanderlei, asked about it, he said, “Wow!”…..when eating Chamoru food at Meskla, the quote of the night from Wanderlei was, “This is Guam style, baby!”…..autograph/photo seekers walked out to him in the waters of Tumon Bay to take a picture…..Both Wanderlei and Tea Silva were impressed with the interest of jiu jitsu on island by the amount of people at the GSPN Open…his first 10 fights were bare knuckle fights in which he won nine of those…during his party with the Dydasco Family, Wanderlei attempted the fire dance with the cultural dance group. His twirling skills do not match his MMA skills. 🙂

 

Wanderlei gives a speech to the hundreds of fans in attendance at the GSPN Open at the UOG Field House. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Vince, Wanderlei, and Tea are all smiles at the GSPN Open. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Throughout the six days that Wanderlei was on island, he gave out many autographs and took many pictures with fans. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Wanderlei gave a three hour MMA seminar at the International Sports Center. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Wanderlei and Clark Gracie take a picture with members of the National Guard, a major sponsor for the GSPN Open. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

1, 2, 3….AK!!!!! The off-island guests take a picture with members of Atkins Kroll. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Meskla hosted Wanderlei and many other guests for a delicious dinner at the Hagatna restaurant. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Foremost provided participants with Powerade and water at the GSPN Open event. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Lunch at Simply Food after the press conference. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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