Brave Combat Federation have announced the signing of PRIDE FC and UFC veteran, Cristiano Marcello and he will be making his return to the cage after a 4 year lay-off since 2014.
Marcello is the founder of “CM System” based in Curitiba, Brazil. After a career in the UFC and PRIDE, Marcello hung up his gloves in 2014 to focus on his gym commitments. He has spent his career as a part time fighter and full time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach at Chute Boxe Academy.
Marcello enrolled in the Gracie academy in 1989 in order to learn to defend himself. By 1995, he was offered a chance to come to the US in order to train with Rickson Gracie. He stayed there and trained until he returned to Brazil in 1998 for Vale Tudo competition. After he returned, he received his black belt under Royler Gracie. In 2001, he was invited to join the famous Chute Boxe Academy as a grappling coach. Cristiano stayed with the academy for 8 years, and helped to train many well known Mixed Martial Artists that still compete today.
In 2009, he left Chute Boxe amicably, and started his own gym named CM Systems. He still trains many Chute Boxe fighters out of his gym. He is currently a 4th degree black belt and the latest prospect who saps his vast grappling knowledge includes former lightweight championship contender, Luan Santiago.
“I signed a three-fight contract with Brave and will probably debut in a November card in Bahrain or a December event,” confirmed Marcello.
Marcello started his professional career in 1998 by winning a pair of one-night tournaments, and was one of the Chute Boxe trainers during its glory years in PRIDE. The 40-year-old lightweight fought in the UFC between 2012 and 2014 after competing on TUF 15, going 1-3 in the Octagon with a win over Reza Madadi.
One of the incidents he is most known for is a confrontation in 2005 backstage at a Pride event. Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett was speaking ill of Wanderlei Silva and the Chute Boxe academy. A fight ensued and in the end, Marcello had locked in a triangle choke and choked Bennett unconscious.
“My idea was to focus on CM System, and thank God I made it the best team in Brazil. We have athletes fighting all around the world. I’ve been training since I was eight years old, I fought with no gloves, I didn’t do it for money, and always had this itch to come back. I want my kids to watch me fight. I want the new generation of CM System fighters to watch me fight. I was always an athlete, and this fire is back”
As of yet, there is no confirmed opponent or card for the veteran, but it is expected he will make his first walk under the Brave CF banner towards the back on of 2018.