Ildemar “Marajó” Alcantara’s dream has come true.
On Jan. 19, the native of the Brazilian state of Amazonas will be making his UFC debut, fighting on the UFC on FX 7 card at São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Gymnasium.
To get his big breakthrough, though, the athlete had to accept the painful task of taking Roger Hollet’s place in the fight just ten days out from the event. Furthermore, Ildemar had to leave his comfort zone and beef up to light heavyweight from his usual middleweight division.
Ildemar’s manager, former fighter and current Jungle Fight promoter Wallid Ismail, spoke with GRACIEMAG.com about the joy of putting yet another of his athletes in the UFC. When asked about the unfavorable conditions, Ismail said his fighter was ready at the drop of a dime.
“Marajó has always been prepared,” the manager said. “Ildemar is a fighter brought up the old way. When I called to tell him the news, he agreed right then and there. He never stops training between fights.”
By Ismail’s count, around 60 athletes have left the Jungle Fight promotion for the UFC. And he sees Marajó as being sure to bring him even more pride.
“He won’t be fighting at his weight, nor has he had time to prepare,” he said. “What you’ve got to understand is this: the one with the greater will and experience as an athlete will prevail. The one who’s been through tougher fights on the way to the UFC will always have the advantage. And you can just look at Marajó’s record to see that he’s experienced.”
UFC on FX 7
Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, SP
January 19, 2013
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