I came to Brazil to see my family, my friends. I’m continuing my physical therapy here, continuing my conditioning training. My intention is to stay here for a while, but I want to go back to the United States and continue recovering my knee there. – How long do you plan on staying here before going back there?
– Two months. You’re going back there for the final stage of your recovery? I’ll stay here for two months and then I’ll go back there and continue my treatment. I’m sure that my recovery will be faster there. I really just came here to see my family, get a few things done, and then I’ll go back there. What’s current the state of your knee today? How is it? Man, the only thing I can’t do is kick, but I can box, I can work on my hands and do conditioning training as well. I can even ride a bike. I’m not able to run yet. That’s it. I can do a bunch of things, actually. What’s your routine today? I have physical therapy every morning, from 7 to 9, and then I go do some conditioning training at 11. The rest of the day, I usually do some boxing in the afternoon, something like that, and that’s it. Which things can you actually do in your conditioning training routine? I can do many things. I just can’t run. But I can do a squat, work the upper part of my body, ride a bicycle. There are a few restrictions regarding weightlifting. I can’t lift much weight with my legs, but I can do many things already. Is the recovery going faster than expected or just according to what the doctors initially predicted? It’s going faster, yes, so much that I was able to walk again with no crutches pretty quickly. It really is going faster than expected. We know that fighters always want to return as soon as possible. How bothered are you with those limitations, not being able to do what you love? It’s annoying. Not being able to kick is annoying. I like to kick, to train, to do the things I usually do. It really is annoying, but I’m using this time to do other things I had no time for before. Sometimes I didn’t give much importance to going out, enjoying my day more, having fun with my family. I had no time for that since I was always taking one fight after the other, so I’m using this time for that now. To go out, enjoy my family, and that’s been good. What are the things that you enjoy doing but didn’t have time for before due to your busy schedule in the UFC? To go out, enjoy the beach, travel, you know? To stay away from the gym. I couldn’t do it, but now I can. I can travel, I can hang out with my family. Even having lunch and dinner together during the week, things I couldn’t do because I was always in the gym and had no time. What’s your plan for your next fight? Given how fast your recovery is going, do you still plan on fighting early next year? If everything goes right, if it continues the way it’s going, I think it will be around the second quarter of the next year. It really depends on how I’m feeling when I get back to hard training. But I’m not in a hurry. I’m cool. I want to come back when I’m really 100 percent healed. If it’s up to you, would you rather come back against Jon Jones or take another one first instead of jumping right back into such an important fight? If it was only up to me I’d fight (him) right away, but I know it’s not only up to me. It’s up to the UFC, it depends on a lot of things. We don’t know. But if it was only up to me, being 100 percent, I don’t need a tune-up fight, I don’t need any of that. If I can train 100 percent, I’m sure I will get there ready to fight anyone. Do you want to come back in a title fight or against Jon Jones? Let’s say he loses to someone else along the way, would you rather fight him or fight for the belt? I’d rather fight for the belt. The belt is more important to me. It’s my goal, my focus. Jon Jones comes second. Do you think someone can take him from the top? I don’t think so. At least not until I come back, which won’t take that long. He might do one more fight, I don’t know, so I don’t think he loses the belt.