Bellator GP: black belt faces Emelianenko’s sambo bane

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Big Monster in action / Photo: Carlos Ozório

Thiago Santos, also known as Big Monster, has been around the block in gentle art competitions. At the last one, the Copa Carlson Gracie cup, he was the big winner on the day. In MMA, the black belt trained by Cesar Casquinha at Top Brother academy has eight wins and just one loss on his ledger; he is also a former champion of Rio Heroes, where he had three fights in one night, with no gloves or time limits.

Now, Thiago is getting ready to make his Bellator debut, on October 10 against Alexander Ivanov, who is best known for having beaten Fedor Emelianenko at a sambo competition.

“The fight is part of the Bellator heavyweight GP, which will take place in three stages. The champion will get a shot at the divisional title,” Big Monster told

Against the sambo specialist Thiago doesn’t want to break from the characteristics that have earned him wins over the likes of world champion Bernardo Faria and others in gentle art competition.

“I’m going to try and submit him, use my Jiu-Jitsu. He’s not good when his back is on the ground; I’m going to twist him up,” he forewarns.

Check out the video below, with Big Monster in action in Jiu-Jits against the absolute runner-up at the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals, Ricardo Capoeira.

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