L+T: MMA is still a controversial sport in this country. Do you think this documentary will improve people’s perceptions of it?
AS: I think this documentary serves not only for myself but also for all fighters out there. After seeing the film, a lot of people have to come up to me and said that they weren’t aware that fighters have a life outside the ring. They didn’t realize how much we sacrifice to do what we do. Like me, other fighters are normal people—they have kids, they have problems. The message I want to send is that this sport can change a lot of people’s lives like it has changed mine. I want to pass on the message that this is a very noble sport that should be respected like any other sport.
L+T: The movie opens with a clip from an old Bruce Lee interview. Has he been a crucial influence in your life?
AS: Of course, he’s a total influence in my life. Who hasn’t watched a Bruce Lee film and tried to imitate him? Growing up in Brazil, people related to Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson. They are immortal in our eyes. We all have a little Bruce and Michael in us.
L+T: What’s your favorite Bruce Lee movie?
AS: Enter the Dragon, definitely.
L+T: What do you do when you’re not training?
AS: I play paintball and video games. I don’t really like the fight games—I play soccer, Mario and Call of Duty-type games.
PC: My biggest surprise in making the movie was Anderson’s commitment to training. He does it for six to eight hours a day and it’s brutal what he and his team put themselves through. That’s why he’s the champ!
L+T: The movie ends with the brutal title bout between you and Sonnen, where he seems to dominate you for much of the fight. Were you ever concerned that you might actually lose the match?
PC: I know that I was really stressed out and worried for him during that whole match. I couldn’t help it—I had spent three months with him by then and I couldn’t help but get involved. It was an incredible experience.
AS: Never at any moment did I feel I was going to lose. A fight’s a fight and anything can happen but I was focused and focused on winning that fight. Nothing else entered my mind.
L+T: What do you think you’ll do after you finally retire from MMA?
AS: Who knows? Maybe I’ll become an actor! But I don’t think I’ll go into politics like Manny Pacquiao. In Brazil, politicians aren’t very well respected. (Like Water)