9 Dec 2009 06:39:00 AM
(Lucio Linhares highlight reel courtesy of norja01.)
Tucked away on the preliminary card of UFC 107 this Saturday will be two promising Brazilian up-and-comers, trying to make their names on MMA’s greatest stage. Will they prove that they belong there, or will they just be more chum for the Octagon’s sharks? Let’s meet ‘em…
LUCIO LINHARES (MW)
Experience: 13-4 record, with multiple appearances in M-1 Challenge and Finland’s Fight Festival organization. Is currently on a five-fight win streak, with all wins by stoppage and notable victories over Karl Amoussou and Sean Salmon.
Will be facing: Rousimar Palhares (9-2, 2-1 UFC)
Lowdown: A native of Ipatinga, Brazil, the 36-year-old Linhares grew up studying a variety of martial arts including kung fu and capoeira before discovering jiu-jitsu. Now, "the gentle art" is how Spartan makes his living. Linhares is highly-regarded as a BJJ instructor, and his annual seminars in Finland have garnered him the unofficial title of "Godfather of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Finland." (He also competed in the M-1 Challenge as a ringer for Team Finland.) Though Linhares’s start in MMA came relatively late in life, he’s enjoyed great success recently thanks to an improving stand-up game. He describes Palhares as "my hardest opponent to date." However: "I know I have a good Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I am confident to face anyone in the UFC because this is the moment of truth for me."