by Neil Rooke

Boasting impressive credentials as a world champion in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), Leandro Ataides is eager to achieve the same in mixed martial arts (MMA) when he fights in Singapore on 7 November at ONE FC: BATTLE OF LIONS. By far, this is the biggest test of the 28-year-old Brazilian’s career as a professional athlete and it’s an opportunity the Singapore-based Evolve MMA fighter plans to make the most of.“I am a BJJ world champion and it is my dream to be crowned world champion in MMA as well,” Ataidessaid. “I will keep training very hard and I will never give up till I become a world champion in ONE FC.”

 

Fast-Tracked To Superstardom

Boasting an impressive undefeated pro MMA record of seven wins and no losses since his debut in 2008, theicing on the cake would be to defeat Igor Svirid and become the first ONE FC Middleweight World Champion.The last time Ataides (7-0, ONE FC 2-0) saw the judge’s scorecards was on his MMA debut back in 2008.Since then, he has finished every opponent put before him, with his last five bouts finishing quickly in thefirst round.Heading into his next fight sporting back-to-back highlight-reel finishes, it was a fast track career for Ataideswho rose quickly to the top of the middleweight division to earn this title fight.It is however, something he never expected. “To be honest, I never thought my MMA career would progressthis quickly,” Ataides admitted.“Being undefeated definitely feels great and that motivates me to keep building on that record,” he added.“I’m truly honoured and excited to be fighting for the title. ONE FC is the biggest MMA organisation in Asia and being one of their world champions will undoubtedly be the pinnacle of my MMA career.”

 

Ready For Anything

Constantly looking to improve himself, Ataides is very excited to return to the ONE FC cage in his adopted home of Singapore. Helping him with his game are Muay Thai world champions Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn and Nonthachai Sit O, fellow BJJ world champions Leandro Issa and Herbert Burns and wrestlers such as Ben Askren, Jake Butler.

“I believe 100% in my abilities and being able to train alongside the various world champion team-mates at Evolve MMA helps me to improve every aspect of my game and prepare me for anything inside the ONE FC cage,” he said.

Ataides’ game plan is to end his fights fast, but he is also mentally and physically prepared to go the distance if it does.

“MMA is an educational journey and I never want to stop learning. I’ve been training really hard and every single day my team-mates are helping me to prepare for anything inside the cage. I’m ready for anything.”

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ONE FC 22: Battle Of The Lions takes place on 7th November 2014, 7pm at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Prices start from S$38. Visit ONE FC website for more details and upcoming events!

 

Good news: Team SM is giving out a pair of tickets to ONE FC 22: Battle Of The Lions! To find out how you can qualify, check out the SM Facebook for contest details!