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Evangelista Santos: From cockfighting to Bellator

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Almost 20 years after entering a vale tudo ring for the first time in Brazil, Evangelista Santos is still fueled by his cockfighting spirit.

“Cyborg” competed in some of the biggest mixed martial arts promotions in the world throughout his career, from Pride to Strikeforce, and is excited to make his Bellator debut Friday against rising welterweight Brennan Ward.

“I’m very confident,” Santos told MMA Fighting. “I did a great camp. I fought three months ago at Legacy and kept training hard as soon as I got this offer from Bellator. It’s a great opportunity to show my work to the entire world. He’s the type of fighter I like to compete against. I like to fight the toughest ones. I always fought the toughest ones, I never had easy opponents. I was tested against the best. The toughest the fight, more motivated I get. He comes to fight, and that’s the way it should be.”

Santos’ Bellator debut comes two years after the night he decided to retire from the sport. Fighting Melvin Manhoef in Brazil, a rematch from their classic war at Cage Rage in 2006, “Cyborg” lost via TKO in 46 seconds, but complained that referee missed an illegal knee. He failed to get the result overturned to a no contest, and decided to leave the sport.

“Cyborg” stayed retired for over a year, but not fighting was driving him crazy. Stepping away from mixed martial arts was against everything he believed since he was a young kid in Rondonopolis.

“When I was 12, I started working with cockfighting. I took care of the roosters,” Santos said. “When I became a fighter, I had this spirit. You have to die fighting, never run away from a fight. The rooster that runs from a fight doesn’t come back to the stable. A fighter ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting