The 18th Juiz de Fora Fight, held this Saturday in Brazil, was nothing if not eventful. A spectator who had never fought MMA got up from the stands and went right into the cage to replace one of the headliners. He proceeded to win the main fight by submission in round one, winning the belt, and then decided to take the chance to propose to his girlfriend. His name is Luís Felipe Alvim, the new JF Fight welterweight champion.
The story began the previous day, when Carlos Eduardo Blade weighed in 400 grams heavier than the limit. His opponent, Claudinei Kall, was miffed, but initially agreed to fight anyway. On Saturday, however, Kall told the organization he would not fight, jeopardizing the main event that was supposed to be enjoyed by the 1,500 attendees at the Gran Victory Hotel.
Twenty-two-year-old Luís Felipe Alvim had bought a ticket to watch the show. One hour prior to the main fight, he heard of what had happened. A black-degree Muay Thai fighter and student under Felipe Silva, as well as a BJJ blue-belt, he said he wanted to fight Carlos Eduardo Blade, a heavier fighter with an MMA record of five wins and one loss. JF Fight President Vagner Araújo and Blade accepted, and the new fight was on.
After Blade brought the fight to the ground to try and ground-and-pound, Alvim first applied an armbar from the guard, which Blade defended well against. Alvim then sank a textbook triangle, forcing the tap-out and causing some fans to break into the cage to carry him on their shoulders. Now in possession of the welterweight belt and the microphone, Alvim figured that was as good a time as any to propose to his girlfriend. She said yes.
“I came in, paid for the ticket like normal,” Alvim said later. “My girlfriend and I spent 80 reais, because a friend gave us a discount.”
He added: “To me, I was at home sleeping. It didn’t feel like I was here — it felt like a dream. Earlier I showed a video to my fiancée, from the movie Troy, where a kid tells Achilles he would never fight a giant like Achilles did, and Achilles said that, because of that, this kid’s name would never be remembered. I kept that on my mind — it felt like an omen.”