Cristiano Marcello, 35, fights Joe Proctor, 28, at UFC Fight Night 36 on Feb. 15 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Joe Proctor is the new breed, the Lauzon MMA fighter did not start with BJJ, or wrestling, or Muay Thai. His base for mixed martial arts is mixed martial arts.
Marcello on the other hand started with BJJ, and then moved to bareknuckle, tournament Vale Tudo fights, before eventually arriving in modern MMA. Marcello won two four-man, bareknuckle tournaments in the 90s, and then went on to become a lead trainer at Chute Boxe, at a time when among the cognoscenti, Chute Boxe was quite possibly the best team on Earth.
“I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t fight for money,” Marcello told MMAjunkie. “Of course money is good, but I have my legacy in the sport. I fought with no gloves. I fought for free.
“In my debut, I fought two fights in one night for $500, and I gave half of my purse to my cousin, Fabricio Camoes. I might have ended up with $150 for two fights. You have to like the thing you do. Even now, I keep thinking that way.”
“I don’t see other guys having done what I’ve done. I was in PRIDE. I was on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ but I did the reality show, not just as a coach. Three months inside the house. Now I’m fighting in the UFC.”
“Most of the guys I fought, they know I’m not the kind of guy to try and pull guard. Everyone knows I have good jiu-jitsu, but I want to have a fight. If I was just looking to put someone down like a lot of people do, it wouldn’t make sense for the fans. I know people don’t want to go to the ground with me, so I have to dance with them. A lot of people said I won my last fight, but you never want to leave it in the judges’ hands. Sometimes they’ve helped me, too.
“I just want him to come to knock me out or submit me so we can put on a great show and have fun. Sam Sicilia was that kind of fighter. Reza Madadi. Don’t just put me down and try to hold me. Come after me, because that opens opportunities for you but also things I can do myself.”
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