Brazil’s Luan Santiago included in “Fighters Only” list of prospects for 2018
Lightweight Luan “Miau” Santiago has been on a tear since joining Brave Combat Federation and his two first-round Knockouts in as many outings haven’t gone unnoticed. Leading MMA magazine “Fighters Only” has included the Brazilian on its list of prospects to watch for 2018.
After winning the Brazilian MMA Award for Best Fighter in 2016, Santiago made his promotional debut back in March of 2017, when he knocked out Ivan Castillo in the first round of Brave 3: Battle In Brazil. A few months later, he survived a scare to TKO Igor Soares at Brave 8’s main card, opening his way for a possible title shot at Lightweight.
In an interview with the magazine, “Miau”, 23, talked about his humble beginnings and his career-changing encounter with legendary coach and former fighter Cristiano Marcello.
“It wasn’t easy for me. I had to cross the city of Salvador, Bahia, where I was born, to attend martial arts classes. Worse than that, sometimes I didn’t even have money for transportation (…) I was fighting at 170lbs until I suffered my first defeat which happened in my second professional fight. Right after it, I moved to Curitiba, through my great friend Léo Pateira who arranged everything with Cristiano Marcello. They saw I was a hungry young talent. They paid my ticket from Salvador to Curitiba, a 1500-mile journey. I came with only two clothes in the bag and started working hard under Cristiano Marcello, who I consider a father”, explains the Brazilian.
Talking about his aggressive approach to MMA, the Lightweight phenom said he was looking forward to tasting even more success in the next couple of years, promising to be “on top of the world” by 2019.
“My coach said I had something special, and this aggressiveness made me be where I am now. We all know that beyond the aggressiveness there’s also the calm and lots of thought invested in it. I am a predator, so I work with the coldness of one (…) I see myself on top in 2019, where I belong. This is the place God has for me. If it wasn’t for Him, I wouldn’t be anything”, says Luan.