Featherweight fury: MMAmania.com Bellator 14 interview exclusive with Wilson Reis


After a disappointing loss in the semi-finals of the inaugural Bellator Featherweight Tournament, Wilson Reis gladly accepted an opportunity at redemption.

He was invited back to participate in the season two tournament that kicks off on April 15 at the Chicago Theatre in downtown Chicago. Shad Lierley will be his opponent on Thursday evening in the quarterfinal round.

The man left standing after the tournament's conclusion will face season one champion Joe Soto at a later time and place. Soto is also the same man who delivered the aforementioned loss to Reis last year.

In addition to Lierley, Reis took some time out of his training schedule to discuss coming off the loss, the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA, and possibly fighting in Japan before year's end.

Check it out:

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You lost a unanimous decision to the eventual champion Joe Soto last year in the semi-finals of the Bellator Season 1 featherweight tournament. Looking back on the fight, what went wrong for you that night?

Wilson Reis: What went wrong was that I didn't have a game plan and he had one.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): What would you do differently if given the opportunity to fight Soto again?

Wilson Reis: I would study him better and do things differently from the first fight.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): How disappointing of a loss was it for you and have you gotten over it mentally yet?

Wilson Reis: Was very disappointing but I knew what I did wrong so it taught me a big lesson. Yes, I am over it.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Has the loss to Soto been extra motivation for you as you go into the gym day each day to try to improve as a fighter?

Wilson Reis: Not just the loss, but the way I performed that night. I knew I had a lot to get better on. It made to work a lot harder to do better and be a better fighter.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You're facing Shad Lierley on April 15 in the first round of the Season 2 featherweight tournament. Where have you been doing your training camp at for this fight and who are some of your training partners and coaches you have been working with?

Wilson Reis: Yes, I am fighting Shad and I am very excited about this fight. I am training in San Diego at Alliance MMA. My coaches is Eric Del Fierro, Lloyd Irvin, and Roberto. My training partners here in San Diego is Dominick Cruz, Rolando Perez, Danny Martinez, and everybody else.

In Philadelphia I training at Daddis Fight Camp and BJJ United. There I work with Brad Daddis and Jared Weiner. My training partners is Matt Makoscky, Matt Nice, Mike DiPiero and a lot other guys. I am part of a huge family here plus all my teammates back in Brazil at Godoi Camp under coach Roberto Godoi, who is my always BJJ master.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Tell me a little bit about Shad and what you think his strengths and weaknesses are.

Wilson Reis: What I think about him is he is a well-rounded fighter. He's pretty good everywhere.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Do you have an official prediction for the fight?

Wilson Reis: Be the winner and do everything I have been planning to do.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Is it true that you will pursue a fight in Japan under the Sengoku banner sometime during the second half of 2010?

Wilson Reis: I am a Bellator fighter, but I would really like to fight in Japan for Sengoku sometime this year if Bellator allows me to.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Why sign with Sengoku and not the WEC? Would you consider signing with the WEC instead?

Wilson Reis: Because in the States I am under Bellator and Sengoku is in Japan, so I can fight over there for them whenever I don't fight for Bellator.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Who is the best 145-pound fighter in the world in your opinion?

Wilson Reis: For me is definitely Jose Aldo, who I like a lot and wish the best for him, We used to compete BJJ in Brazil and I saw how hard he had to work to be where is at right now.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You're known for your phenomenal Brazilian jiu-jitsu skill first and foremost. Who are some of the guys that you feel have the best jiu-jitsu in all of MMA?

Wilson Reis: Myself, Rodrigo Nogueira, Kenny Florian, BJ Penn, Rani Yahya, Demian Maia, and few other ones.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): What is the toughest thing to learn or adjust to when a jiu-jitsu competitor decides to make the transition to MMA?

Wilson Reis: I think is the striking, boxing, and Muay Thai, plus cage work.

Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Any shout outs or sponsors you would like to thank at this time?

Wilson Reis: P90X, who has been supporting me for years. And all my coaches and teammates who I train with everywhere I go. And the follow gyms you will see me training at: BJJ United, Tri State Martial Arts, Daddis Fight Camp, Alliance MMA, Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts, Godoi Jiu-Jitsu Club, Body Solutions. And for everyone and my family for supporting me.

Derek Bolender is a frequent contributor to MMAmania.com. He is also a freelance writer who has contributed to outlets such as CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, and SI.com in the past. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekMMAWriter.

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