Having taken to Twitter to plead for a spot at UFC Rio, Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cristiano Marcello saw his request fulfilled in the form of a matchup against Sweden’s Reza Madadi at the HSBC Arena this October 13.
The Rio de Janeiro native was a participant on season 15 of the TUF reality show and ended up getting knocked out by Sam Sicilia on what was his octagon debut. Now, he’s seeking his first win in the UFC.
To do so, the former Chute Boxe rep is training balls to the wall in Curitiba, facing a daily rote he has dubbed “the room of terror”.
“I’m training with my physical conditioning coach, who’s turning out to be a great trainer. It truly is a room of terror. Truth is, we’ve been doing some precious work on improving my explosiveness and agility. I’m stoked. Functional training together with weights has been great,” said the Jiu-Jitsu professor.
“I’ve been practicing everything I can—lots of Thai boxing with Bruno Carvalho [an M-1 fighter], wrestling with Marcelo Zulu and grappling with my black belt Ocimar Costa,” added the brown belt bronze medalist at the 1999 and 2000 World Championships.
Always remembered for the triangle he used to subdue an enraged Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennet behind the scenes at Pride FC, Cristiano remains confident in his Jiu-Jitsu, which is useful in any danger situation he may find himself in.
“The truth is that in the dressing room at Pride I believed in my Jiu-Jitsu, and you have to believe you can do it. When you find yourself in an extreme situation, what works is what you trained; it’s your subconscious at work. My whole life I trained refined Jiu-Jitsu, and I managed to impose it in most of my fights; especially during that moment of danger,” he recalled, before explaining how he plans not to get caught off guard at the UFC event in Rio.
“You have to understand that in MMA the fight starts on the feet. Of course I plan to impose my game and take it to where I’m most confident, show my Jiu-Jitsu. Of course that’s what I want, but I’ll have to go through all kinds of turbulence to get there. I just hope I can put him through some turbulence first. He’s got sharp wrestling, doesn’t come from a striking background, but I know he’s going to want to keep it standing. Well I’m not going to avoid that. In the end, though, I want to impose my Jiu-Jitsu and welcome him with my triangle or armbar,” he revealed.
UFC 153 – ALDO VS EDGAR
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2012
HSBC ARENA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
José Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
Quinton Rampage vs Glover Teixeira
Jon Fitch vs Erick Silva
Phil Davis vs Wagner Caldeirão
Demian Maia vs Rick Story
Rony Jason vs Sam Sicilia
Gabriel Napão vs Geronimo Mondragon
Diego Brandão vs Joey Gambino
Gleison Tibau vs Francisco Massaranduba
Sergio Moraes vs Renee Forte
Luiz Banha vs Chris Camozzi
Cristiano Marcello vs Reza Madadi