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WSOF heavyweight Caio Alencar explains how Chael Sonnen convinced him against retirement

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Caio Alencar will make his World Series of Fighting debut in New York on Dec. 31, facing UFC veteran Jared Rosholt, and he’s only getting this opportunity thanks to Chael Sonnen.

The 38-year-old Brazilian heavyweight was close to announcing his retirement from the sport this year. More than a year after winning the Shooto Brazil heavyweight championship, the opportunities wouldn’t come. “Caiao” took another fight in his native country, winning via first-round submission, and decided to move to the United States for one last shot.

“I was a manager in the past,” Alencar told MMA Fighting. “I started Bitetti Combat with Amaury (Bitetti), I did the first three editions of the show with him, so I know what an athlete needs. But nobody helped me get an opportunity.

“I thought ‘brother, I’m almost 40 and I’m not fighting?’ I went to law school, I have other paths I can follow, so I decided to come to the United States to see if I could find an opportunity.”

Alencar planned on moving to Miami with his wife, and considered opening a jiu-jitsu gym, but his friends Ronny Markes and Fabiano Sherner invited him to visit Oregon, where they trained with MMA star Chael Sonnen. After meeting the three-time UFC title contender, his life changed.

“I was truly happy when I got this offer, because I was actually going to end my career,” Alencar said. “I’m 38 years old. I talked to Fabiano ‘Pega-Leve’ and Ronny if I could come train with them, see if there were any opportunities. And then Chael contacted (WSOF president) Ray Sefo. He saw my record, watched my last fight, and made me an offer.”

Not only Sonnen helped him resume his MMA career, he’s also helping the Brazilian heavyweight evolve as a mixed martial artist.

“There are a lot of big guys here,” Alencar said. “I help Sonnen with his jiu-jitsu and he helps me with wrestling. He also put his boxing coach to help me train, too.”

Alencar will face a fellow WSOF newcomer on Dec. 31, but his opponent has more experience than him inside the cage. Rosholt is eight years younger than him, and is competing for the first time since building a 6-2 record in the Octagon.

“It’s fantastic,” Alencar said of facing a UFC veteran. “But I think he has an obvious game. He does the same thing all the time. It’s a good match-up for me. If we go to the ground, I’ll try to finish him the entire time. I’m going there to catch him. But my idea is to stand and brawl with him. I like a good brawl.

“I’m 38, but I have no injuries. I started competing in MMA five years ago. I feel fresh, despite the age [laughs].”

More than improving to 11-1 in MMA, Alencar says that a win in New York will get him a shot at the heavyweight championship.

“The talk is that I’m getting a title shot if I win,” “Caiao” said. “Shawn Jordan won his WSOF debut, and I think he’s the next in line (against Blagoy Ivanov). If I win, I’m fighting the winner of that fight.”

 Courtesy of Caio Alencar

Source:: mma fighting