Former UFC and Pride FC champion Rodrigo Minotauro will face another challenge: showing his twinkle toes dancing samba. The MMA fighter will make his debut at the carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, when tribute will be paid to him by Grande Rio samba school, which has chosen overcoming hardship as its theme for its carnival song.
This Wednesday at 5pm the official invitation will be made. The Brazilian heavyweight will be one of the five current or former athletes with a touching life story of overcoming hardships to feature. At 11 years of age he suffered a life-threatening accident in his hometown of Vitório da Conquista, Bahia state, when he was run over by a truck.
Rodrigo says he is honored to be invited. “And the song by Grande Rio about overcoming hardship has everything to do with the history of the Brazilian people,” said Mino, who has been to the Sapucaí parade venue three times in the past but never left the VIP box. “I don’t know how to dance samba (lauhgs). But I’ll take some lessons after my fight in December. I can’t make a fool of myself – but it’ll be hard.”
While he mulls over learning some steps from training partner Anderson Silva, Rodrigo is already acquainted with some of the others to accompany him on the parade float. Soccer star Ronaldo “Phenomenon”, sail boat racer Lars Grael, gymnast Georgete Vidor, and paraolympic swimmer Clodoaldo Silva will be there too.