It seems that the US National soccer team lost a potential great talent as Brazilian born Ricardo "The Golden Boy" Funch - who is going to make his UFC debut against Johny Hendricks this weekend at UFC 107 - instead discovered MMA.
Living in Springfield, Massachusetts for last nine years, Funch, a native of Bahia, Brazil who possesses dual citizenship, as his father is American, got a scholarship to play soccer at American International College, where he got a bachelors degree in Biology. He even could have been an excellent biologist, but the excitement he encountered in MMA only four years ago spoke louder to him.
"A friend of mine in University was a wrestler, and once he knew I was Brazilian, he asked me if I was a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner," he says. "I wasn’t and then he showed me a few Royce Gracie videos in the UFC and I got fascinated. After that we looked for an academy to train in and I ended up in Marco Alvan's school, where I am still today."
The intention was to become an MMA fighter, and as soon as the first training session was over, he made that clear to Alvan.
"I told him I wanted to fight," he says of his first contact with the Team Link head coach. "Alvan told me to start training first and within six months he would evaluate me. He liked my dedication and after one year I fought MMA for the first time."
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