A Brazilian senator and former boxer, Acelino “Popó” Freitas picked up and left carnival closing day in Salvador and arrived in Brasilia on Wednesday to train his pupil, Lúcio Curado, for a lightweight title fight.
Popó and Curado stepped into the ring for a grueling sparring session where Freitas pushed the pace in helping to get the young fighter ready to take on Sean “Cubby” Peters in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 22.
“I like Lúcio and can tell that he has the MMA fighter profile,” said Popó. “Whenever I can, I do some sparring with him. I try focusing on the standup game, though I know he’s really good at Jiu-Jitsu. I’ll be in Rio to watch him win.”
Enthusiastic about his performances, Popó hired the fighter to teach MMA and Jiu-Jitsu classes at Popó Fight Club in Brasília. The athlete has been using the academy’s facilities to prepare for competition since early 2012.
Boxing coach and cornerman Dhoy Santiago is adamant that Popó’s understudy is all set for combat.
“We’re training hard, and Lúcio’s been living up to expectations,” said Santiago. “He’s got will power and will win this fight.”
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