GRACIEMAG.com has its eyes on Brazil’s domestic MMA scene, paying close attention to the athletes with the potential to shine on the grand international stage. And the last installment of Shooto Brazil, held in the nation’s capital of Brasilia, served as stage for a number of these fighters who have just what it takes to make noise abroad.
Ronys Torres (16w-4l), for example, has already featured in the UFC octagon. Following the worst phase of his career, suffering three losses in a row, the beast from Amazonas state has won back-to-back fights again: two first-round submissions, using his forte of Jiu-Jitsu.
“I make my living by fighting, so I have to keep busy. At times, life seems like a Ferris wheel, where sometimes we’re at the top, others at the bottom. But God knows what he’s doing. I’ve already had offers to fight abroad, but nothing set in stone. In the meantime, I really like fighting here in Brazil, I like this energy. I have two fights scheduled right now: one April 29 at IFC, the other May 6 in Manaus. I’m really enjoying getting back into the routine of fighting a lot,” says Ronys, who in 2007 alone fought seven times, five in 2008.
Another experienced fighter plying his trade in Brazilian rings and cages is Johnny Eduardo (25w-8l). The student off late Coach Luiz Alves is widely regarded as one of Brazil’s great strikers, but at last weekend’s Shooto, against José Wilson, it was his Jiu-Jitsu that was on display. He dominated his opponent on the ground and finished up with a rear-naked choke. “This isn’t muay thai, it’s MMA. That’s why this sport is a box of surprises,” he said in analysis. Johnny too has international experience, having fought in Japan and won in his only appearance at the USA’s Bellator promotion. He’s a guaranteed mouthful for any opponent.
They have the belts
Also in Brasilia, three athletes secured South American Shooto titles and now figure among the big revelations and standouts for the Brazilian domestic MMA scene. Hacran Dias (18w-1l-1d), cousin of former Sengoku champion Marlon Sandro, is riding a six-fight winning streak. All he’s missing is one international win to take off once and for all. On the two occasions he fought overseas, he drew one and lost one decision. Among the victims on his CV, the lightweight champion holds wins over Willamy Chiquerim, Alex Cobra, Rodrigo Ruiz, and Marcos Babuíno – all with plenty of experience.
In the under-83 kg division, Carlos Índio (22w-9l) has loads of baggage too. The title holder made quick work of Julio Beba with a knockout in their title fight. The hard-hitter has 13 knockouts on his record, while his ground skills have netted him four submissions.
One promising young up-and-comer is Ronny Marques (10w-1l), whose five-knockout-and-four-submission record points to a bright future. The Shooto South America champion’s next fight will be the litmus test: facing Paulo Filho in Recife.
A coincidence or not, all the aforementioned fighters belong to team Nova União.
There’s more Shooto coming up for Brasília
Riding the wave of success from the second installment of the event to be held in the nation’s capital by André Pederneiras and Edinho Bittencourt, there are two more planned for the city this year. The next will likely be in August and the other towards the end of the year.