Sometimes for a fighter to get their opportunity on the big stage, it's not just their performances that can get them there, it could be the verbal voucher of a teammate or coach. For former LFA welterweight champion Maycon Mendonca, it was his teammate, Neiman Gracie vouching for him, added in with his recent performances that made him the LFA champion and led him to get the call to make the jump to Bellator MMA.
Neiman Gracie states his case for his teammate
Although his return to action did not go his way back at Bellator 255 earlier this month, following his fight against Jason Jackson, Gracie called for a promotion to give his teammate a bigger chance saying "This guy's a beast, man. I want to see this guy on a bigger show." While things didn't go Gracie's way in the cage, his promotion was listening and officially announced the signing of Mendonca this week, which was first reported by Brian Hill of OC Register.
Five-fight winning streak and a title
After suffering a first-round knockout loss to Christian Aguilera in 2018, Mendonca would string together five consecutive wins over Joshua Moreno, Bobby Lee, Kassius Kayne, Devin Smyth, and Batsumberel Dagvadorj and capture the LFA welterweight title. At LFA 90 Mendonca had a highlight-reel second-round knockout of Smyth which elevated him to a title fight against Dagvadorj which he would go on to win by unanimous decision.
Future outlook in Bellator for Mendonca
While there is no official opponent or date announced, according to the report by OC Register, a fight is expected to be scheduled for Mendonca's promotional debut next month. There is plenty of talent throughout Bellator's official welterweight rankings and so while Mendonca made need to continue to add to his win streak, if he starts on an early run with Bellator, he could find himself slotted into the rankings of one Bellator's deepest and most talented divisions
It's not always that a teammate's promotional push lands a fighter onto a bigger stage at the next level of their career, but thanks to Neiman Gracie and his impressive five-fight winning streak, Maycon Mendonca is bringing new blood inside Bellator's welterweight division.