Jose “Pelé” Landi-Jons (28-15) is a name that should resonate with the long-time fans of the sport of MMA. The man really needs no introduction, Pelé has been fighting since 1993 beginning with Vale Tudo bouts in Brazil, he has fought and defeated some of the biggest names in the sport–including former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Pat Miletich. And most notably has two career victories in Muay Thai bouts over his former Chute Boxe teammate and long-time rival, Anderson Silva.
Pelé possess one of the most exciting and fan-friendly styles in MMA, while skilled on the ground as a black belt in BJJ, he prefers to stand and deliver punishment to his opponents by showcasing his electric Muay Thai striking–skills which he honed in the legendary Chute Boxe Academy–specifically his lethal kicks that earned him his nickname, Pelé.
Pelé recently signed a 7-fight contract with Titan Fighting Championships and is expected to make his debut in May. He was previously scheduled to reunite with the man he fought in two legendary vale tudo bouts against early in his career, and take on fellow Brazilian legend, Jorge Patino aka “Macaco” for a 3rd time to kick off the debut of WSOF Brazil. However that has since fell through after Macaco was knocked out by Luis Palomino at WSOF 8 in January.
I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the legendary Jose “Pelé” Landi-Jons. As Jose Landi-Jons put it himself, he’s only a blue belt in English, so I must thank his manager David Silva for translating his answers from Portuguese to English.
KT: You have fought and defeated some of the top and most well known fighters in MMA, of all the fights in your legendary career, which one has been your favourite?
JLJ: My favourite fights were against: Macaco, Pat Milletch, Matt Hughes, and Chuck Liddell
KT: Also you have a huge legendary resume of opponents, is there one fighter that you wish you could have fought in your career that you haven’t had the chance to fight yet?
JLJ: I don’t choose opponents! But many guys I’d like to fight. I want
who my fans, my friends say I fight.
KT: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about your famous feud with former Chute Boxe teammate Anderson Silva; do you still have those ill feelings towards Anderson? And how badly do you still want to fight him for a 3rd time?
JLJ: I want him to speak the truth in public, because his talk in the book lies on black samurai, you know like a code of Honor .We can fight over who speaks the truth. All guy from Chute Boxe knowing this truth.
KT: You suffered a horrific broken leg injury back in 2008, now ironically you and Anderson Silva share something in common.
A) How long did it take you to fully recover from that injury? And how long did it take for you to confidently throw kicks in training again?
B) Do you feel a bit of sympathy for Anderson, having gone through something similar?
JLJ: A) Seven months just to recover. I was throwing 1000 kicks per day in training. To then in fights only with 1 year and 4 months.
B) Anderson has always followed my steps, to be Pele is not easy. When he fell from his great throne, he now knows how I felt when this happened to me. But I kept my mouth shut, no crying. Because the samurai knows the price for war.
KT: You returned to your former gym, the legendary Chute Boxe Academy, back in 2011 after having a fall out with them earlier in your career, what was it that ultimately led you to return?
JLJ: Sometimes on Wednesday I train at Chute Boxe, in truth I asked my Master Rudimar Fedrigo if he accepted me our disciple. I train in many gyms in my city: Gracie Barra, Confiance, Proforma MMA, Chute Boxe. Many great
academies for training. Heeeyyy!!
KT: You were originally scheduled to fight “Macaco” Jorge Patino for a 3rd time in the debut of WSOF Brazil, are you disappointed that fight did not end up happening?
JLJ: I don’t have any interest in this fight, 2 wins is enough for me lol. More he got knockout and I look forward For future .
KT: It was announced a few weeks ago that you signed a contract with Titan FC, how did this come about? Did you contact them or did they contact you? And does that mean you are no longer under contract with WSOF?
JLJ: My manager David Silva, as a fighter saying better change because I’d be waiting too long without fighting because of the Macaco knockout. We don’t want to wait in the cold.
KT: Has Titan FC told you when you can expect to be making your debut?
JLJ: I will be fighting at TitanFC in May. This promotion has much respect and good to me for respecting what I have done for sport in the history.
KT: Having began your professional MMA career in 1993, competing in over 40 professional fights, now you are into your 22nd year in competing in the sport, and have just signed a 7-fight contract with Titan FC, how much longer do you expect you’ll be competing in MMA?
JLJ: My goal in this sport is to leave a legacy so strong and beautiful, that when I die my name will be immortalized.
KT: And finally, your nickname Pelé, I can already guess why, but does it come from the legendary Brazilian soccer player? What is the significance behind the nickname in relation to yourself?
JLJ: I think I’m special because I do everything I do in a special way 100 percent. When I had my first kick knockout people shouted ‘Pelé Pelé’!! But I did not know who Pelé was. You have the opportunity to see the Pelé fight you forever remember and speak to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren about me. The people yelling my name because I come for a fight, the great show. My heart my soul in the fight.
Once again, thank you very much to both Jose Landi-Jons and his manager David Silva for their time. And thank you to Jacob Cooper for getting me in contact with them.
You can follow Jose “Pelé” Landi-Jons on twitter @JosePeleLandi.