Godofredo Pepey Talks UFC on FUEL TV 10, Brazilian MMA and Felipe Arantes
By Christopher Jester
The runner-up on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil, Godofredo “Pepey” Castro is set to fight Felipe Arantes on the UFC On Fuel TV 10 card. Godofredo took some time before his fight this weekend to talk to PunchDrunkGamer about the growth of MMA in Brazil, what his experiences were like on the show, what he’s looking forward to in his fight against Felipe Arantes, and more!
PDG: What did you take from your experience on The Ultimate Fighter Brasil that has helped you as a fighter?
Godofredo Pepey: How to deal with pressure, for sure, to be in a house with so many guys wanting the same opportunity is a great chance to deal with your emotions. I believe that you must be very focused and fight for your dreams, the TUF house helped me a lot to become a better fighter.
PDG: You received advice and tutelage from two Brazilian UFC veterans and superstars in Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva. What do you think you learned from each of them?
Godofredo Pepey: Uhau, these guys have a lot of experience. What a great road they have ran for the last few years. It was a pleasure and an honor to spend time with them. The main thing that I learned was that in this sport you must be very strong mentally, what you got yesterday is not enough, tomorrow you must prove everything again!
PDG: How did your experience on TUF Brasil help you in the UFC specifically?
Godofredo Pepey: Being on the show was a great chance for sure, it is the opportunity that everyone is waiting and working for. I was able to get great exposure in the media here in Brasil and that has helped me in the UFC. It also added to my background as a fighter and increased my overall skills too.
PDG: What is the feeling like walking around Brasil and being recognized by fans of the show and the UFC?
Godofredo Pepey: A dream that come true!
PDG: You’ve only lost once in your professional career. What does that loss mean to you and how does it motivate you?
Godofredo Pepey: Yes, it was against Jason (Rony Mariano Bezerra), in the TUF Finals. It motivated me to look for new challenges, a new team, a new coach, Andre Dida and a new manager, Julio Heller. Is very important to have a good support system outside of the cage. I knew that I needed to improve my overall MMA skills, like Muay Thai and boxing, so I decide to move to Curitiba.
PDG: Some people work their whole lives and careers to reach the UFC. You have gotten there at the age of 25. Explain what this means to you.
Godofredo Pepey: A great responsibility, but I Know that the journey has just begun.
PDG: Your next fight takes place in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil where you fight out of. As the hometown hero, does this add more pressure to you and how do you handle it?
Godofredo Pepey: It will be amazing, I already fought in this arena and now to be back as a UFC fighter in front of my family, friends and fans it will be a great emotional ride. But I have been preparing for this, a movie of my life that will pass in my mind when I arrive there…
PDG: What is your assessment of Felipe Arantes? What does he bring into this fight that gives him an advantage? and What gives you an advantage?
Godofredo Pepey: He is a Pro like me, has my respect and both of us are looking to capitalize on our respective chances in the UFC. I will be ready to fight whether it happens standing or on the ground. This a great chance to move up to another level in the UFC, this is my time now!
PDG: Arantes has fought two of your recent opponents, Rony Bezerra and Milton Vieira. Did how you fight them compared to how he fought them, give you an advantage or any idea how to counter what you think will be his gameplan?
Godofredo Pepey: No, I already had my game plan set in motion and you will see this Saturday, sorry but that is all I can disclose to the public.
PDG: Outside of the cage and gym during your off time, do you play any video games?
Godofredo Pepey: GOD of WAR!
PDG: Back to fighting, what are your thoughts on Shogun and Ninja Rua?
Shogun Rua: Great fighter, MMA legend, great heart.
Ninja Rua: PRIDE legend, faced so many challenges in his life, has my respect.
PDG: You’re still young and fresh in your pro career. How do you keep your composure when fighting?
Godofredo Pepey: My family and having the right people around me, including good coaches and focus on my goals.
PDG: Since UFC Rio (UFC 134) in 2011, how much has the UFC and MMA grown in popularity in Brazil?
Godofredo Pepey: A lot, the fans are everywhere and it is amazing. The media have helped a lot too with increased coverage and exposure for the fighters.
PDG: Does this newfound popularity affect you as a fighter in any way?
Godofredo Pepey: In my case NO.
PDG: In the next two years, what do you hope to achieve as a fighter and as a person?
Godofredo Pepey: I don’t know, right now I’m just thinking of this Saturday’s fight. I think it is best to move step by step and not get ahead of yourself.
PDG: Good luck Saturday night against Felipe Arantes. We’re looking forward to seeing your next performance. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Godofredo Pepey: Thanks a lot for the interview and to fans, thanks for the support. I have just started my journey down this road called the UFC, I still have a lot to accomplish.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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