Prospect Profile: Belfast’s Ciaran Mulholland – “I have always strived to make something of myself. I believe I can do that with this sport.”

Northern Ireland is quickly becoming the newest hotbed for European talent. With names such as ex-UFC lightweight “Stormin” Norman Parke (now signed to the Bellator ranks), undefeated prospect James Gallacher and BAMMA’s Rhys McKee, it most certainly confirms Northern Ireland is breeding a certain style of surging MMA stardom.

Continue reading “Prospect Profile: Belfast’s Ciaran Mulholland – “I have always strived to make something of myself. I believe I can do that with this sport.””

BRAVE 13: Andy Young Interview – “The mental area is the most important out of anything”

On the 9th of June, Brave Combat Federation makes its European debut when it arrives to the SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland. This is a landmark occasion for the fast-growing promotion as it branches out for the first time into the continent.

Fitting for such a historic occasion, the card is packed with exciting fights as well as fan favorite names. In the main event we see bantamweight champion Stephen Loman (9-2) defend his belt in a rematch against highly touted SBG man Frans Mlambo (5-2), who looks to avenge his loss against Loman, this time hoping to walk away with a championship. In the Co-Main event we see Northern Ireland’s own and former UFC contender Norman Parke (24-6-1) take on Irish man Myles Price (10-6) in a very exciting lightweight match up.

Also on the card, we see two extremely entertaining fighters come head to head when Liverpudlian Bryan Creighton (8-6) takes on Belfast’s own Andy Young (11-10). While Creighton is coming off a 3 fight finish streak, Young is coming off a loss. However, it was to former top 5 UFC flyweight Ali Bagautinov who has beaten top fighters such as Tim Elliott, John Lineker and has fought current UFC flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson. With 11 Finishes between both fighters, this fight will surely live up to expectation and deliver a barn burner.

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The mental area is the most important out of anything, I will beat him there and take whatever I see to get the finish in this fight.”

After fighting one of the very best flyweights in Ali Bagautinov in Russia, Andy will be looking to get back to winning ways with a victory over rising British prospect Creighton. Andy is a dangerous fighter, both on the feet and on the ground, which we seen in an impressive victory over Dominic Wooding, a very hot young prospect, with a record of    3-0 (3 TKO) at BAMMA 28. Andy is currently 5-3 in his last 8 bouts, with 3 finishes. These wins include impressive performances over fighters such as Alexander Barabash and Aaron Aby. I caught up with Andy Young to get his thoughts on his upcoming opponent and how he feels to be fighting on such a huge card in his home town of Belfast.

Eamonn Scott: Andy, this is your first fight under the Brave banner. When exactly did you get the call about fighting for them and was there anything in particular that interested you the most about fighting for brave?

Andy Young: “I was contacted back in March about their plans to run a show in Belfast and to have me on it, I was thrilled to hear that BRAVE was coming to my home town, I heard a lot of great things about the promotion and how it’s run.”

ES: You make your return to your hometown in Belfast, which you have an excellent record in. What is it that’s so special about Belfast which also always seems to bring the very best out of you.

AY: “The energy of the people here is unrivaled! Belfast knows how to make some noise!  I get so much support and feel a real uplift getting to represent and get the win for them.”

ES: Northern Ireland has a thriving MMA scene at the minute. With fighters such as James Gallagher, Rhys McKee and Norman Parke, do you believe that this will only improve and how do you see the MMA scene in Northern Ireland at the minute?

AY: “It is scary to see how good the local scene is getting. The sport is becoming more and more popular and gaining great traction. There is a plethora of  talent, ability and skills in the new breed of upcoming mixed martial artists here, and for sure will only improve.”

ES:  You’re fighting against a very tough opponent in Bryan Creighton who himself is coming off an impressive 3 fight win streak. When this fight was proposed to you, what were your first thoughts on fighting Bryan?

AY: “I was excited to get an opponent who i know brings a great fight, he’s very game. well-rounded and likes to trade, so i know this will be fun!”

ES: You’ve fought top quality fighters in your career such as the former top 5 UFC contender in Ali Bagautinov. Do you thrive off facing the biggest names you can get?

AY: “There are a number of reasons to be in this sport, and one of the main factors is to compete against and be best in the world. I love and jump on the opportunities to do this.”

ES: Bryan has multiple wins by TKO, Sub and Decision, showing that he has skills in all departments. However, is there a particular area that you believe you can exploit and get the best over him in?

AY: “The mental area is the most important out of anything, I will beat him there and take whatever I see to get the finish in this fight.”

ES: How has this training camp gone for you? Is there anything specific that you have focused on in this camp and do you think you have improved it as much as you aimed to?

AY: “It has went great, I have made a few changes and stepped things up. It’s all about getting the right formula, I’ve enjoyed working all areas and getting a bit creative with things, it will all be on show 9th June.”

ES: You’ve been in this game for a while now, do you believe that you still have a lot to accomplish?

AY: “Yes, I want to be the very best version of myself in there and fully realise my potential. In addition, that UFC title will be in my hands by the end of my career.”

ES: Finally, if there’s one message you have for Bryan, what would it be?

AY: “Let’s put on a show and bring your best.”

This fight is surely going to live up to every expectation. With Andy young being the home town fighter, he is certainly going to receive an incredible atmosphere. Bryan Creighton will also be defending the best win streak of career, both fighters have a lot to defend in this epic Flyweight battle. SEE YOU THERE!

The Rules Simply Do Not Apply To Marlon Moraes

Marlon “Magic” Moraes out boxes boxers, out grapples wrestlers, and submits Gracie level Jiu-jitsu practitioners. No matter where the fight takes place, Moraes is not only competent, but he is also confident he can emerge the better man and finish the fight regardless of his fighters skill set. Post the biggest win of his career, lets take a look back at the career of the Brazilian and see how he became the assassin that he his today.

Moraes started training in martial arts with Thai boxing at seven years of age, and began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 15. He found national success in Thai boxing in his native Brazil, earning two Muay Thai National Championships before transitioning to mixed martial arts full time. Moraes did not have the best start to his pro career in MMA, and switching through different Brazilian organisation Moraes achieved a 7-4-1 record before signing with World Series Of Fighting.

In just four years, Moraes set the WSOF a blaze as he won all 11 of his fights, including becoming the bantamweight champion, and successfully defending his belt six times. With five K.O/TKO wins, and two submission wins, Moraes got his call up for the UFC. Were we about to see Renan Barao 2.0?

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So on a 13 fight win streak Moraes got his debut in the UFC, it did not go to plan as he lost a tough split decision to Raphael Assuncao, but eager to return to action fast the Brazilian faught John Dodson just five months later. Moraes won that fight by decision and was back in the winning column. One month later the Brazilian was back in the octagon and where he knocked out Aljamain Sterling with one of the most brutal knee knockouts we have ever witnessed inside the UFC. The rest of the bantamweight division was on watch now, and if they were not, they should of been!

Moraes then got his toughest test yet, a fight with Jimmie Rivera, whom was on a 20 fight win streak and seemed destined for a title shot. But the Brazilian had other ideas. Despite being the underdog, Moraes was calm and collective as he became the first man to ever knock out Rivera in mixed martial arts. It took the 30-year-old only 33 seconds to record the biggest win of his career. And now it seems that Moraes will surely be the next opponent to face the winner of TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt for the UFC’s bantamweight strap!

Ryan Cambridge

 

A Look Back At The Career Of Michael Bisping

Since coming off the back of two straight losses, Michael “The Count” Bisping has toyed with the idea of one final fight in front of his home fans. However, yesterday on his Believe You Me podcast, the former UFC middleweight champion announced that he has officially retired from the sport following more complications with his eye.

“So obviously I’ve teased this for a long time now, I might fight again, I might not. And unfortunately, it’s not a fight that I’m announcing. I am going to announce my official retirement from mixed martial arts,” Bisping said.

In light of this latest news lets take a look back at the career of the 39-year old Englishman.

Bisping grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire. He began training Ju-jitsu at the age of eight, and at the age of 15 he competed as an amateur in Britains first “no holds barred” competition, a precursor to modern MMA, called Knock Down Sport Budo. But at the age of 18, Bisping quit martial arts in order to pursue a normal life and tried to hold down a regular job.

As you probably guessed this did not last long, not even a year after quitting martial arts the Englishman took up boxing, kickboxing, and karate, on the advice of Allan Clarkin – owner of Black Knights Kickboxing gym, who saw the bags of potential that Bisping possessed. “The count” endured a short but successful career in kickboxing, winning the North West Area title then the Pro British light heavyweight kickboxing title. After again, briefly quitting competition in 1998, Bisping made another return to kickboxing to take the Pro British light heavyweight title for a second spell. But all pressures of family and no financial gain from fighting, “The Count” once again stepped away from fighting full time and began regular jobs as an upholsterer, postman, tiler, plasterer, salesman and multiple factory jobs. But none of these jobs felt right for Bisping who then searched for greener pastures in fighting.

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Bisping started his pro mixed martial arts in style and in just 18 months he gained a 10-0 pro record, became the Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion, and successfully defended his belt five times. In his 10 fight win streak, Bisping won six fights by knockout and four by submission. No other Englishman was surrounded with so much hype in mixed martial arts, and everybody was excited to see what was next for “The Count”.

Bisping got called up to take part in season three of The Ultimate Fighter, three straight finishes and the Englishman was crowned the winner of the series in the light heavyweight division. Bisping was now in the UFC, the dream was becoming real. “The Count” won his next three fights before losing a controversial split decision to Rashad Evans. Many MMA experts said they thought Bisping was too small to fight in the 205lb division, so with the support of Dana White, the Brit moved down to the middleweight division.

Bisping started off strong at 185lbs and won three straight fights – defeating Charles McCarthy, Jason Day and Chris Leben before losing to Dan Henderson in a title eliminator fight. Bisping followed this up with a fight of the night performance over Denis Kang before fighting and losing to Wanderlei Silva. Bisping then won four straight wins over Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera and Jason Miller but then lost to Chael Sonnen in another title eliminator. Bisping kept getting so close to a title shot, so close to his dream coming true, but losing the key fight before a title shot it seemed this would be the story of Bisping’s career. Bisping went 3-3 on his next 6 fights, beating Brian Stann, Alan Belcher and Cung Le and losing to Vitor Belfort (where Bisping sustained his initial eye injury) Tim Kennedy and Luke Rockhold.

Bisping sitting on a 25-7 record and struggling to procure any sort of win streak knew he had to change something if he was going to fulfil his destiny of lifting the UFC belt he so heavily desired. “The Count” fought C.B Dollaway and beat him convincingly, then he went on to beat Thales Leites. Bisping then fought former UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva. Bisping was hungry for this fight and dreamed of fighting the Brazilian mastermind for many years and the Brit beat him too on English Soil despite a flying knee which exploded Bispings face at the end of the third round. Then while on set filming a movie, Bisping got the call he had always dreamt of, Chris Weidman was injured and was unable to fight the champion, Luke Rockhold. So without a second thought, Bisping accepted the fight on only 17 days notice. He immediately flew home and began training and cutting the necessary weight to meet the 185lb weight limit for title contention.

At UFC 199, Bisping got his shot at the belt and revenge over Luke Rockhold who had beaten him just 14 months prior. Rockhold seemed arrogant and did not respect the presence and power that Bisping possessed. In the first round “The Count” landed a hook over Rockhold’s shoulder which dropped him, every Brit that stayed up past 4AM was up off their seat as Rockhold scrambled back to his feet, but Bisping landed yet another hook before landing three final strikes to the face of the American and the ref stopped the fight. Bisping had done it, all the blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. Michael Bisping was the UFC middleweight champion of the world!

Bisping defended his belt and got a rematch with Dan Henderson at UFC 204 in Manchester and Bisping emerged victorious from that fight, but later lost the belt to Georges Saint Pierre at UFC 217. Just three weeks later Bisping stepped in at short notice to fight the young and hungry Kelvin Gastelum but Bisping didn’t seem himself as he gained another loss.

But now Bisping has retired we can all look back and admire the career he has had. Bisping will always be remembered as a warrior and his legacy will always be talked about around the UFC. A place on the Hall of Fame surely awaits the 39-year-old, but this is not the last we will see of “The Count”. He is still ever present on the UFC shows and his face will pop up more and more in Hollywood movies as time goes on.

Thanks for the funny lines, rivalries and great fights Michael!

Ryan Cambridge

A Closer Look At UFC 224 Challenger, Raquel Pennington

At UFC 224 in Brazil, Amanda Nunes will have a new challenger for her crown in Raquel Pennington. Prior to the event, we’re going to dive in and look at the lady we know as Raquel “Rocky” Pennington.

Pennington grew up in Colorado Springs playing sports such as basketball and volleyball but felt as if she always wanted to box. She graduated from Harrison High School in 2007 as secretary of the National Honors Society, with loads of athletic and academic scholarships. But she never got to take part in any sports on a collegiate level due to a broken back.

At the age of 19, Pennington began training in martial arts, and despite her family not wanting her to fight, “Rocky” started fighting as an amateur in 2009. In just two years Pennington fought eight times and winning seven, with five of them victories coming by decision. She turned pro and won her first fight by TKO in 2012, but just three months later lost a split decision to Tori Adams before being signed by Invicta FC.

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Rocky” started off well at Invicta FC, gaining two straight victories over Sarah Moras and Raquel Pa’aluhi before losing her next two fights to Cat Zingano and Leslie Smith. What was next for Pennington was unclear, but she was adamant in her desires to one day conquer women’s MMA. The Ultimate Fighter was to be the next journey for Pennington.

Rocky” defeated Tonya Evinger and Jessamyn Duke before damaging her hand. She still fought with her injury but lost a unanimous decision to former boxing champion Jessica Rakoczy. Despite being injured, the semi-final fight was made the fight of the season, so both “Rocky” and Rakoczy enjoyed the bonus given for their outstanding performance.

Pennington made her UFC debut in The Ultimate Fighter finale against teammate Roxanne Modafferi which she won by decision. She then lost by decision to Jessica Andrade. Pennington then choked out Ashlee Evans-Smith before losing to former champion Holly Holm by decision. But then something clicked for “Rocky“, she would go on the biggest win streak of her career which would lead to her title shot.

Pennington got a rematch with Jessica Andrade and she submitted her with ease, then followed that up with impressive decision victories over Bethe Correira and Elizabeth Phillips. But “Rocky” was not done there, she beat former champion Meisha Tate by decision and this really stamped her authority in the women’s bantamweight division and now she faces her toughest test yet.

After being away for a year and a half with injuries including a broken leg, Pennington will return to face the champion, Amanda Nunes. Both fighters are known for their boxing and Pennington can keep up with anyone on the feet earning her nickname “Rocky“. But don’t sleep on her ability to take the fight to the floor, she can tap out anyone on her day which makes her a formidable opponent for anyone and a very tough challenge for the Brazilian champion Nunes.

Ryan Cambridge

Heinrich Wassmer, One To Watch At Combate Americas

On April 13th, Heinrich “Ricky Scraps” Wassmer faces his toughest opponent yet in Michael Reyes at Combate Americas – Combate Estrellas 1 card. Prior to the fight, I decided to take a look at the life of Wassmer and see what made him the fighter he is today.

Growing up, Wassmer always found himself in trouble, getting into constant fights and moving from school to school. His parents were growing concerned, they moved around the united states and Wassmer never felt at home anywhere, as trouble seemed to follow him regardless of where he was living. When “Ricky Scraps” was 15, he was living in the Bronx, a fun party with his Uncle turned into hell when they both got shot. Staring down the barrel of a gun which could have ended his life ironically was the beginning of Wassmer’s life.

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After the traumatic experience, Wassmer moved back to California, got himself a little job and got back into school. A roommate convinced him to join a gym and “Ricky Scraps” was born. He became addicted to training and improving. After a little while of training, Wassmer had his first amateur fight, which went against him, but it fueled the fire to improve and become a more complete fighter. After a rollercoaster of ups and downs in an amateur career, Wassmer and his coach sat down and made the decision to go pro, and to completely dedicate his life to mixed martial arts.

Wassmer had his first pro fight for Gladiator challenge, he won that fight by knockout and won his next two fights by submission, before being signed by Combate Americas. A first-round submission victory in his debut against Ramon Cruz woke up the division, there was a new guy in town and he was here to stay.

“Ricky Scraps” lost his next fight in a tight split decision, but followed that up with two successive victories over Heber Castillo and Freddy Arteaga. In his last fight, Wassmer got caught in a submission and lost, but he is back more hungry and more improved than ever to take over the flyweight division at Combate Americas.

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So there you have it, the transition from looking down the barrel of a gun to fighting professional mixed martial arts. Its cliche but in this case very true, MMA saved “Ricky Scraps” life. Make sure wherever you are on April 13th you’re watching this warrior lay down the law inside the cage!

Ryan Cambridge

Chase Gibson, Road To Combate Americas

Combate Americas has gained a great fighter in Chase “El Guero” Gibson. On April 13th in his hometown Los Angeles, Gibson faces his toughest opponent yet in Rafa Garcia (5-0 pro. record) , at Combate Americas Combate Estrellas 1. Prior to the fight I caught up with “El Guero” to find out about his life before MMA, and to give you an insight on the life and mindset of one of L.A’s hottest prospects.

Born and raised in L.A, life was never easy for Gibson. His parents split when he was only a toddler, which must have been a struggle for his mum bringing up Chase, his older brother, his twin brother and two half-brothers. Gibson and his twin would fight on a daily basis and he started to seek the thrill of adrenaline he found in being mischievous – stealing cigarettes and beers, fighting, breaking windows and causing havoc, all fed the craving for adrenaline for Chase. At around 12-years-old, curious Gibson started developing problems with drugs and alcohol. Losing interest in all things good in his life and solely focused on how and when he would next get high. This led to Gibson getting arrested multiple times for theft, getting kicked out school and the young boy found himself in juvenile prison. Between the ages of 13 and 20, Gibson was in and out of jail, rehabs, group housing and mental hospitals but he was an addict unwilling to change, so the system was a waste of time on the youngster who was relapsing, committing crimes and still getting high at every opportunity. Life was bleak for Gibson, but there was only one person who could change all this, himself.

Gibson found inspiration in his twin brother, who was sober and training muay thai and was fighting as an amateur. So “El Guero” started training too and become sober and maintained his focus solely on muay thai and becoming a better fighter. Finally his addictive personality was being drawn into something productive. After three months of training, he took his first amateur muay thai fight, which Gibson won, although he gassed himself out in the first round which left him hungry to improve. Only three months later Gibson entered an eight-man tournament out of his weight class. This ended badly as an overhand fight sent the American out cold, not the birthday present his Mother had hoped for, seeing her son flat out on the canvass. Gibson was then put in a fight to lose against a tough undefeated fighter, once again he got knocked out, this lead to him doubting himself and another drug relapse wasn’t far after, but this time it was heroin.

Gibson pulled himself sober again after seeing his brother turn pro. as a fighter in muay thai. He saw what his life could be like if he dedicated his time to training rather than chasing the dragon. So that’s what he did, he dedicated his life to his girlfriend, becoming a better fighter – losing another fight was “a test from God” to see just how dedicated Gibson was. Persistence paid off as he won his next fight and then started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu to become a mixed martial artist. Not long after starting to train, Gibson wins his first amateur MMA fight in dominant fashion and went on a seven-fight win streak in MMA and muay thai. Everything was beginning to click into place for the American who was having the best time of his life. He won a couple more of fights before turning pro. in 2014.

KOTC was the first organisation to sign Gibson up as a pro. and after winning his first fight with a great submission over David Hernandez, he lost his next two fights by decision. This made “El Guero” question everything including his team and his training, but his commitment to becoming a great MMA fighter was never in doubt. Gibson then signed for CFX. A quick first-round submission win over AJ Bryant gave Gibson the kickstart he needed. Next fight, boom! a head kick KO over Fard Muhammad. Then, Gibson got married to the lady who had been by his side throughout everything, and then won his next fight over Adam Calderon.

“El Guero” had earnt his title shot against a tough Russian featherweight in Serob Minasyan. Gibson managed to utilise his slick ground game to emerge victorious over the Russian powerhouse, and the American had won his first belt. Gibson defended his belt against Jeff Martin and won via knockout in the first round due to his superior ground and pound. Since then, Gibson and his Wife have had their first child, a baby girl called Sofia. The birth of his first child has only spurred Gibson on more to improve and provide for his family.

So now with a five-fight win streak, Gibson is eager to get back in the cage and continue his mixed martial arts journey. All eyes will be on Gibson making his Combate Americas debut in search of his sixth straight win. If you enjoy flashing K.Os, suffocating Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Gracie standard submissions there’s only one place you will be on April 13th, and that’s watching Chase Gibson bounce his next victims head off of the canvass in spectacular fashion!

Ryan Cambridge

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A Closer Look At Junior Albini

Ryan Cambridge takes a look at the career of Junior Albini and what the future could hold for Brazil’s hottest heavyweight prospect.

Junior “Baby” Albini was born in Paranagua, Brazil on March 15th, 1991. Not coming from a wealthy background, Albini and his family did not have an easy life. Albini began boxing training at the age of 13 to lose weight as he was 350lbs (25 stone) and as they say, the rest is history. Also, in this time, Albini was training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, all things that have helped the 26-year-old become the cultivated fighter he is today. In an interview with MMAJunkie, Albini said: ““I started boxing at age 13. I took up boxing because I weighed 165 kilograms (364 pounds). I had morbid obesity. I needed physical activity to lose weight and improve my health. I boxed for about a year. At 14 years old, I started jiu-jitsu, and I stayed active in both while still going to school. At age 18, I (turned pro). Now, after eight years, I’m in the UFC. My initial goal was just to lose weight, but I ended up enjoying fighting, and I stuck with it. There was no long-term plan.”

Making his professional debut in 2009 against the wishes of his family, Baby proved his boxing training had paid off with a knockout victory over Bruno Alboitt. Albini then showed his Jiu-Jitsu off with his second victory over Marcos Vinicius where it was a triangle choke that gifted the win to the Brazilian. Albini won his next two fights against Everton Panda and Fernando Tressino. Sitting pretty on a 4-0 record the BJJ brown belt lost two fights on the bounce, both by submission to Nelson Jaca and Alberto Emiliano. Albini found his fire again and won his next two fights, another triangle choke victory and a decision victory over Julio Bizzarri and Alison Vicente. With a 6-2 record, Albini found his home with Aspera FC. Albini stockpiled a nine-fight win streak and became the heavyweight champion before being signed with the UFC and giving in his Aspera FC strap.

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Fighting for free was now over for Albini, 15 fights without earning a penny was a struggle for the Brazilian and his family. In an interview with A.G Fight, he said: “It was all a big sacrifice”. Albini spoke about the last few years when he worked as a waiter on the weekends, earning just enough money to scrape by. “I would say ‘one more year.’ I borrowed [money] and believed in the dream. My wife always supported me and believed that I would get [to the UFC]. It went like this for four years, I was cutting back everything in order to be able to live under the minimum conditions that allowed me to eat well. When my wife became pregnant, the situation became more difficult. But then when [my daughter] started walking and she was ten months old, that was when it became even more difficult. It was rough for [my wife] because she feared to be harming her childhood and never be able to get her things she could have had. This last year was more difficult when [my daughter] started talking and I thought about quitting almost every day.”

Slick submissions, a legit wrestling game and merciless knockout power were all tools Albini had in his arsenal. But for his first opponent Tim Johnson, Albini’s abilities were a complete mystery as there is virtually no videos of the Brazilian’s aforementioned fights. This bowed well for the hard hitter as it only took three minutes for Johnson to feel the wrath from Albini as he won his first fight in MMA’s greatest proving ground via TKO. A 50k bonus changed Albini’s life “With this financial part [fixed for now], I can focus on the training.” Albini said, “I will try to keep the same pattern as before, but with more quality of life and tranquillity, both for my daughter and my wife.” Even during the week before he banked the bonus though, Albini had to make things work with the money the UFC gave him for fight week. Instead of only food, the 26-year-old decided to also spend the money on toys for his daughter for the first time. “Actually, I bought dolls with the food money that the UFC gives us to spend on groceries during the week”, said Albini. “I went out to buy things and I ended up seeing the dolls, because here in Brazil it’s very expensive, and I bought it for my daughter with that money. I want to give the best for them, but I also don’t want to exaggerate it. I want to try to keep a good standard but save as much as I can. I’m new and I believe I can get some things done [in the UFC]. I don’t want to touch a big part of the money, I want to save it.”

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Just four months later, Albini faced his toughest test yet in former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Albini gave it his all, he fell into the trap of head hunting and was trying to knock out the former champ in the first round. When this failed, Albini did not seem to have a plan b. The fight went to the judges and the Brazilian saved Arlovski the embarrassment of a sixth straight loss with a poor performance. “I believe that I believed too much in his recent history and what people was telling me,” he told MMA Fighting. “People said I would knock him out easily, that he would go down with the power of my hands, and that didn’t happen. I fought to knock him out and he fought to win, and his plan worked.” Looking back, Albini says that taking this fight less than four months after his debut wasn’t the smart thing to do. He said “yes” when offered this fight by the UFC because “Arlovski was at the end of his career, so I felt it was an obligation take the fight because it was a good opportunity, but taking fights back-to-back was mentally tiring.”

Following this defeat, Albini has expressed his desire to join American Top Team and become a much greater mixed martial artist. At the age of 26, the BJJ brown belt really does have the ambition and potential to go far in the UFC and ATT will be able to help him achieve just that. With Fabricio Werdum, Jose Aldo and Renan Barao all coming to the back end of their careers Brazil is looking for someone to carry the torch for the country. I think Albini could do just that on his path to becoming the baddest man on the planet!

Ryan Cambridge