CM System leader Cristiano Marcello is back from retirement.
A former UFC and PRIDE fighter, Marcello hung up his gloves in 2014 to focus on his gym in Curitiba, Brazil. Now, four years later, he is returning to the cage.
Combate first reported the news on Thursday.
“I signed a three-fight contract with Brave and will probably debut in a November card in Bahrain or a December event in Brazil,” Marcello told MMA Fighting. “Let’s go! I’m thrilled, man.”
Marcello (13-6) started his professional career in 1998 by winning a pair of one-night tournaments, and was one of the Chute Boxe trainers during its glory years in PRIDE. The 40-year-old lightweight fought in the UFC between 2012 and 2014 after competing on TUF 15, going 1-3 in the Octagon with a win over Reza Madadi.
“My idea was to focus on CM System, and thank God I made it the best team in Brazil,” Marcello said. “We have athletes fighting all around the world. I’ve been training since I was eight years old, I fought with no gloves, with headbutts, I didn’t do it for money, and always had this itch to come back.
”I want my kids to watch me fight. I want the new generation of CM System fighters to watch me fight. I was always an athlete, and this fire is back.”