With over a decade’s experience stepping into rings and cages to face opponents from the most diverse corners of the world, Jiu-Jitsu black belt Milton Vieira has taken part in some of the biggest fighting shows on earth, including: Pride, Strikeforce, Shooto, Meca and Bitetti Combat. With more than his fair share of submission wins on his ledger, the BTT representative admits that making the first entrance into the octagon of his career next Saturday will be something special for him.
“Every athlete wants to compete at the best event there is, so making it to the UFC at this moment is really important to me. I’ve been working hard at Brazilian Top Team since 2003, when I joined the team, and I spared no sweat, blood or determination in getting to the UFC,” he said, as he gears up to face Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes in the first fight on the card for the UFC to take place Saturday night in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.
While his original background is in the luta livre style of grappling, Milton has faith his Jiu-Jitsu will lead him to triumph at Mineirinho Stadium. But anyone thinking the Rio de Janeiro native will do everything in his power to win via submission would be wrong.
“I’m not planning to only show what I can do on the ground. I like punching, kicking, flying knees, elaborate moves. I like getting the crowd going. I always fight to win. It’s something important to me, to my family, but I fight to put on a show. I want to always put on fun fights,” he points out.
Aiming not just to be part of the UFC but to make it to the top of the featherweight ranks, Milton is making his debut on the big stage at 33, an age when, according to his coach Murilo Bustamante, is when MMA fighters are just reaching their prime.
“In my view MMA fighters reach their peak at around 35, 36 years of age. Anderson Silva and myself, for example, won titles when we were over 30,” said Bustamante. “Milton is a talent just awaiting opportunities, and he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The BTT is now celebrating a new partnership with the marketing firm Garra.
What do you think, gentle reader, are you in agreement with Murilo? What’s the perfect age for an MMA fighter? What about for Jiu-Jitsu athletes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments field below.
Check out the card for the June 23 UFC show:
Mineirinho Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
June 23, 2012
Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin
Fabricio Werdum vs Mike Russow
Cezar Mutante vs Serginho Moraes
Godofredo Pepey vs Rony Jason
Yuri Alcântara vs Hacran Dias
Milton Vieira vs Felipe Arantes
Francisco Massaranduba vs Delson Pé de Chumbo
Rodrigo Damm vs Anistávio Gasparzinho
Hugo Wolverine vs John Macapá
Leonardo Macarrão vs Thiago Bodão
Wagner Galeto vs Vinicius Vina