Stabile is in my humble opinion the best italian fighter
pound for pound.
extraordinary grappler, a black belt in Sambo, a purple
belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Robin Gracie, Filippo
is huge, about 190 cm and 105 kg of pure muscle and power.
At 29 he has reached important goals in his fighting career:
Gracie Copa Europa. Barcellona 2000 winner heavyweight
Grappling Challenge Germany 2001 runner up
Luta Livre Tourney Rome, Italia 2001 winner heavyweight
division and absolute class
Stabile with Robin Gracie
met Filippo Stabile for a training session here in Milano
a great instructor and a cool guy, very humble and down
to earth., after an hour and half of training in submission
we talk for about an hour and here is the interwiew
: Filippo tell me something about you and your background
Stabile : I started when I was a kid in free
style wrestling, then i discovered Sambo, i trained a
lot with an ukrainian master who worked in Torino. But
back in that days i was also doing boxing, thai boxing,
as you can see i cross-train a lot because my goal was
not to became a Black Belt in every martial arts, but
trying to improve my self defence skills.
about 7 or 8 years ago, i was travelling across Europe
and i heard something about Vale Tudo, i saw the UFC 1
and i discovered the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I was impressed
about this style and his effectivity.
So you started to train in BJJ ?
Stabile : Yes, at the beginning it was not
easy to find someone in Europe who could teach BJJ properly,
I trained with some brazilian guys from Recife who worked
here in Italia, they were great but not really teachers,
then ive met Robin and Rolker Gracie and i started
to train in Spain.
Did you train with other champions other than Robin Gracie
Stabile : Well i trained with many teachers
and many fighters from around the world, ive spent
many hours with other brazilians less famous then the
Gracie, Leo Nagao for example who is a legit black belt
in BJJ, and with several freestyle wrestling champions.
let me tell you something, today it seems to me that only
if you have a "great name" you are a great teacher,
but there are tons of really strong athletes and great
teachers who remains in the dark side. For example, my
first teacher of Sambo, the russian Ivan Karpov (also
a member of USSR freestyle wrestling national team), was
really great but almost unknown. He was the first (about
15 years ago) who told me the importance of grappling
and ground skills for self defence, far before the UFC
and the explosion of BJJ. At that time i was really a
kid but i should have spent more time training with him,
you know back in that days i was the only one among my
friends who didnt play soccer, my favourite sport
was Sambo but noone knew that martial art, and sometimes
they were kidding me, now they dont (laughs)
When did you start to fight in Vale Tudo?
Stabile : Well about 6 years ago, i think
that ive been the first italian to fight Vale Tudo
style. I fought in Holland and England in small events,
and ive made many shootfighting matches. Plus tons
of Submission fights with gi and no gi.
would like to fight in great events like Pride or UFC,
but i know that its nearly impossible, because here
in Italia we have few events and there is no money involved,
so italian fighters could not show their skills.
I heard that you have a strong desire to compete in Abu
Stabile : Yes because i think i deserve to
compete (SFUK note: hes not overconfident, he says
that in a humble way), but i dont have connections,
i was a bit disappointed last year when i saw that another
italian fighter was choosen to represent Italia at Abu
Dabhi (btw Morris Cilfoni). You know ive more fights
then him, and much more experience.
still hope to represent Italia at next edition (Carl Fisher
if you are reading, please contact him).
So its not true that you are a retired fighter?
Stabile : Well you know, i train every day
of the week, i teach submission and vale tudo in several
gyms, im an instructor for the italian special forces
(police), and im also a professional body guard
(He works for a big big company here in Italia) so i have
a full agenda, and i simply cant compete every time
that someone offers me a Vale Tudo fight or a Submission
Tourney. But im sure that it wont be a problem
to find the time to train and to compete in Abu Dabhi
Tell me something about your Stabile Rage Team, how good
are your guys?
Stabile : They are good, there is a guy Alessandro
LaStella, 64 kg, who took second place last year in the
Ultimate Grappling Challenge in Germany. In Italia he
has won several submission tourneys and i think hes
a great submission fighter. Another strong guy is Ariel
Colombo, he has tons of experience in kravmaga (the real
one, extremely tough and effective) and hes also
a good prospect.
they are not yet ready to fight in Vale Tudo at international
level, because they lack a bit of experience, but im
sure youre gonna hear something from them soon.
Stabile in training
What do you think about the future of MMA in Italia?
Stabile : I think that there are some problems.
In Italia MMA have a bad reputation, many events organized
in the past were badly organized with mismatches and with
fighters that showed very poor techniques, and the media
community has been negatively impressed. I hope things
will change in near future, but its the same old
problem: NO MONEY.
need a couple of big shows, people here seems to like
MMA, we also have a great number of kickboxing and thaiboxing
fans who could be involved.
if there is a lack of MMA events, theres an explosion
of submission events, maybe because here in Italia, we
have a good tradition in freestyle wrestling, we have
so many judokas who can compete in this kind of competition.
Maybe in the near future Submission Fighting could be
the way to educate the public and maybe the first step
into recognization of MMA as a sport.
Whos your favourite fighter?
Stabile : im biased about the brazilian
so Vitor Belfort, Minotauro Nogueira and Ricardo Arona
do you think Vitor could beat Tito Ortiz in the next UFC?
Stabile : It will be a war, i think Vitor
could beat Tito, hes a better striker, and people
seems to ignore how good is Vitor Belfort on the ground.
Tito is a great fighter and it seems to me that hes
improving his skills every fight, but again im biased,
so i say Vitor Belfort.
Something that you want to say at MMA fans around Europe?
Stabile : Just a message to everyone who wants
to train in submission, grappling, vale tudo, bjj,they
are all good styles but ask your teacher for credentials.
Especially here in Italia you could find organizations
that release instructor-degrees after a couple of week
ends they are bad for the growth of the sport and could
teach you nothing. There are many teachers who are legit
and could make you improve a lot, generally speaking your
goal is not a belt but to improve your skills. Keep it
Stabile : Thank you, www.sfuk.net
and all the MMA fans across Europe.
Freschi - SFUK Italia, 31 January 2002
is available for seminars and competitions
Filippo Stabile at firstname.lastname@example.org
Freschi at email@example.com