Interview: Brave 11 lightweight title challenger Luan Santiago

In just two days time, Luan “Miau” Santiago (12-2-0) will be putting his seven fight win streak on the line Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (19-3-0) in the main event at Brave 11 in his home town of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. With the Brave interim lightweight championship on the line and the winner expected to face reigning champion Ottman Azaitar later this year, the stakes are high.

Earlier this week, I caught up with Santiago to discuss how it feels to be given an opportunity to capture the gold in his home town and how preparations are going heading into the biggest fight of his career to date.

Luan Santiago 1 - Brave 11 Brazil MMAMotion

Tom Mulligan – After impressive KO finishes in your first two fights for Brave CF, how does it feel to be given a shot at the interim belt?
Luan Santiago – I’ve been enjoying the fruits of my labor. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am so I feel this is time to get back what I invested in this sport.
 
TM – How has camp been going so far?
LS – My training camp was amazing. I worked really hard on my jiu-jitsu and wrestling and every other area. I really enjoyed getting ready for this fight.
 
TM – Does being included in Fighters Only’s top prospects for the year add any pressure to deliver going into the bout with Martins?
LS – There’s no additional pressure. I don’t think so. When we get in there it’s just time to work. This doesn’t change anything in my mindset going into this fight. 
 
TM – Having won your last six fights by KO/TKO, are you expecting your naturally aggressive approach to be on Martins’ mind heading into the fight?
LS – I hope for the KO, of course, but I’m ready to roll wherever the fight goes. I can take him down and submit him, and I can knock him out.
 
TM – Martins has won his last two fights via submission. Is that something you are concerned about heading into the fight?
LS – His submission game doesn’t worry me at all. First of all, I don’t think he can take me down. If the fight goes to the ground I’ll be on top and it’s not gonna be good for him.
 
TM – How does it feel to be fighting for the title in Brazil and how important is it to you that you put on an entertaining fight in front of the Brazilian fans?
LS – It’s an amazing feeling to be fighting for the Brave belt in my home country. Even though Belo Horizonte is my opponent’s hometown, I’m Brazilian and he’s Brazilian. This is very important to me and it’s so cool that Brave is giving the Brazilian fans an opportunity to witness one of their own becoming world champion.
 
TM – What do you picture being the key to winning this fight and walking away with the championship?
LS – The key is what I do in every fight. Train really hard and be prepared to succeed in every single scenario.
 
TM – If you had one message for Martins ahead of your fight what would it be?
LS – A message to my opponent? Good luck! 

Brave 11 is set to take place on Friday 13th April at Mineirao Stadium’s Terrace, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil and will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Lucas Martins and Luan Santiago. The full fight card for the event is below.

Brave 11: Baker vs Farias, Light Heavyweight Title On The Line

April 13th at Brave 11 – Canada and Brazil go head to head as two top light heavyweight contenders go to war for Brave’s light heavyweight strap in a fight between Matt “The Riotmaker” Baker, and Klidson Farias in the co-main event.

Baker is making his debut for Brave and must be delighted to be walking straight into a title fight. Baker has a pro record of 14-9 and 13 of these wins have come by finish, making “The Riotmaker” a fun fighter to watch. He possesses a kill or be killed mentality and would prefer to go down swinging rather than settling for a boring decision. Six clean knockouts and seven submissions in organisations such as King Of The Cage and the World Series Of Fighting, proves that Baker is more than experienced enough to carry the torch for Brave’s light heavyweight division

Matt Baker

Farias will step into Brave’s cage for the third time on April 13th. The Brazilian holds a pro record of 11-2 and like Baker, the majority of his wins have come by finish. Farias is on a three-fight win streak and won the vacant belt in his last fight against a tough German in Timo Feucht. Farias will be hoping to grow his impressive record on his journey to becoming one of the greatest 205’ers on the planet.

So will Baker come straight into Brave and take the belt? Or, will Farias retain his champion status? Nobody knows. But one thing is certain, the judges can have a break as they are not going to be needed!

Ryan Cambridge

Interview: Brave 11 lightweight title challenger Lucas Martins

29-year-old veteran Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (19-3-0) is on the brink of achieving his dream of capturing a Brave CF championship. This isn’t the first time that Martins has found himself preparing for a shot at a Brave championship. After falling ill prior to his scheduled featherweight title fight against Elias Boudegzdame at Brave 9, he could be forgiven for thinking that his opportunity to be a champion had slipped away. Just five months later, Martins has been grated a second opportunity at the gold, this time at lightweight and in his home nation of Brazil.

Just days away from his planned meeting Luan Santiago at Brave 11 for the interim lightweight championship, I caught up with Martins to discuss the events which led to the cancellation of his last title shot and how he thinks Friday’s fight will play out.

Lucas Martins - Brave 11 Brazil MMAMotion

Tom Mulligan – Can you talk me through what happened during your preparation for your title fight against Elias Boudegzdame at Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions?
Lucas Martins – Everything was going good, but when there was 1kg to go I started feeling ill. I’ve always made weight, even in a weight class below, but I ended up feeling ill, started feeling dizzy, and we decided to stop the weight cut, because health comes first. I think it was a mistake during my diet leading up to the cut, but it was a learning experience, so I’m making sure it doesn’t happen again.

TM – It must have been disappointing to lose out on your opportunity to fight for the title. How does it feel to be given a chance at the interim belt so soon after Brave 9
LM – It was frustrating for me to not be able to fight for the Brave title at Featherweight. We decided to go up in weight to test myself. Being able to fight for the title is very satisfying. I don’t mean no disrespect to any Brave athlete, but I know that there aren’t any athletes on my level in the roster, so that’s why they gave me the title shot.

TM – Moving on to your preparation for the fight against Luan Santiago. How has camp been going so far?
LM – My preparation for this fight has been going very well, I’ve been training in all disciplines and my strategy is to win this fight.

TM – Prior to the complications at Brave 9 you had always achieved weight. Have you made any changes to your plans for this weight cut?
LM – I basically did the same things, since it was a cut to Lightweight I could eat a little more and push through a little more in my physical training. I think that was a mistake, but it’s in the past. Every athlete must go through these types of situations so I’ve gained a lot of experience from that. And after this fight as a Lightweight, I’ll fight one more time and then come back down to Featherweight.

Lucas Martins1 Brave 11 Brazil MMAMotion

TM – Santiago has won 10 of his 12 wins via KO with 8 of those coming in the first round. Have you made any changes to your preparation to take this into account
LM – Like I said, the strategy for this fight is to win. After this, I’ll go back to the gym and train more.

TM –  What do you picture being the key to winning this fight and walking away with the championship?
LM – There’s no key, no moment to win this fight. Like I said, wherever the fight goes I’ll fight, win and become champion.

TM – Looking ahead, how important is it to you to win this interim belt to get a second chance at facing Boudegzdame for the undisputed featherweight championship?
LM – For sure. I’ll win the Brave Lightweight title and settle my differences with Elias. I’ll go back down to my weight and fight him, for sure. 

TM – If you had one message for Santiago ahead of your fight what would it be?
LM – My message to my opponent: I send him a hug. 

Brave 11 is set to take place on Friday 13th April at Mineirao Stadium’s Terrace, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil and will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Lucas Martins and Luan Santiago. The full fight card for the event is below.

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News: Amir sends epic response to Cleiton Silva ahead of Brave CF 11

Things are certainly heating up ahead of the Brave 11, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on April 13th. In a proverbial clash of prospects, SBG standout Ahmed Amir  (8-1-0) will be attempting to push on with his seven fight win streak by imposing his will against hard-hitter Cleiton Silva (12-2-0).

However Silva, who will be debuting for the promotion, has recently sent a message advising Amir of his intentions when they stand toe to toe:

“Every opponent has strengths and weaknesses. I feel good going into this fight and I expect the best. There is no easy fight, but I am not going in there to make it nice, I am going to run through him. My message to Amir is – you have never faced The Predator. I will go in there to hunt and take the head off the Butcher. I am taking your head off. You are done”

Amir has now responded, giving an insight in to how much pride and professionalism is on his shoulders whilst representing Egypt:

“I am focused on my training and martial arts is about respect. In Brazil, I will represent not just Egypt but the fighting heritage and pride of every Arab fighter. It is a responsibility and I will be victorious. Regarding the comments of my opponent, it was weird and didn’t make any sense. How can a person run through other people? This has nothing to do with MMA. May be he meant to say that he will run away from me. In the history of Mixed Martial Arts, nobody had taken the head off an opponent in the cage. I have no idea what is wrong with my opponent.”

The fight is certainly shaping to be a fun one. Cleiton has more fight experience than Amir and has won twelve of his fourteen fights. The 32-year-old Brazilian is looking for a strong return from a loss that ended his eight fight winning streak. Also the strong ground game of Clieton has enabled him to never be submitted in his entire fight career.

However, Amir has looked outstanding in his last bouts, taking a close decision (and fight of the night) against Erik Carlsson which subsequently gained the attention of SBG legend John Kavanagh. Amir is now in Ireland and having a full camp at SBG, who have produced stars such as Conor McGregor and UFC welterweight challenger Gunnar Nelson.