Marcos “Santa Cruz” Oliveira is the standard for the hard-nosed Brazilian fighter. It wasn’t technical frills that set him apart from the rest, it was obstinacy.
Obstinacy is what drove Marcão to hop a bus from Santa Cruz, at the far extreme of Rio de Janeiro, to the big town every day. He spent five hours per day facing the course connecting his home with the mat. He’d leave at 7 am, returning at 11 pm.
It was Marcos’s obstinacy that made him brave the winter of Seattle and live on the isolated island of Guam to try and make a living in the USA, far from his family and friends.
It was this same obstinacy that made him forge ahead in training even while dealing with the sudden death of his little niece, even having to train on the patio of the school during the break between the classes he teaches in Abu Dhabi. Marcos lived and breathed determination.
It is with this very same and enormous desire to win, which could only fit in the heart of someone like him, that Marcão goes for “all or all,” as he puts it, in the ADFC final, this Friday in Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, “Santa Cruz” knows his around 300 little students, most of them immigrants from Sudan and Yemen, will have their eyes glued to the television set and that that’s the best example he can be for them, being a great champion – even before the fight starts.
The ADFC Round 3
Friday, March 11, 2011
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
GP: Marcos Oliveira vs. Shamil Abdurahimov
Bob Sapp vs. Stav Economou
Nayeb Hezam vs. Shane Omer
Eduard Folayang vs. Lee Weiczorek
Titana Van Polanen vs. Outi Louhimo
Simeon Thorensen vs. Seydina Seck
Beslan Isaev vs. Valentino Petrescu
Aymen Ben Ali vs. Abbas Zahiri