The eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter introduced several fresh faces to the UFC and MMA. Fighters like George Roop, Tom Lawlor, Eliot Marshall, Krzysztof Soszynski, Efrain Escudero, Phillipe Nover, light heavyweight winner Ryan Bader and runner-up Vinny Magalhães. A first degree black belt in BJJ, Magalhães lost his second UFC bout against fellow TUF 8 contestant Eliot Marshall and was subsequently released from the promotion.
Since leaving the UFC Magalhães has gone 4-1 while bouncing around with multiple promotions and has an upcoming fight in March. Magalhães took some time away from training to talk with us about his MMA career and what the future holds.
It’s been a little over 2 years since we saw you as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8. What have you been up to inside and outside of the MMA world?
Well, I’ve been doing the same stuff that I was doing at that time, I’m not doing much, other than teaching and training. My first son was born in the last November, so I also have this new thing going for me called parenting, which I’m really enjoying it, this is definitely something that doubled my motivation to keep fighting, and better yet, to keep on winning fights. As for my MMA career, I had 2 fights in 2009 after got dropped by the UFC, winning both in the first round. In February of 2010, I had my first serious injury in 12 years, since I started training. I had a complete tear of my ACL and a tear on my Medial Meniscus while training for my fight for Shark fights in March of 2010. I still took the fight, because I didn’t have health insurance, so I took the fight hoping for the event to have an insurance to pay for it, and that type of injury that I had really required surgery. I ended up losing that fight by decision. I finally had my surgery done right after the fight, and had to take 6 months off training. In December of 2010 (7 months after my knee surgery), I had my first fight post surgery, and a month later I had another one, I won both by 2nd round submissions. I’m now signed with M-1 global, in an exclusive 6-fight deal contract. My next fight for them will be in Virginia, on March 25th (live on Showtime).
After parting ways with the UFC, you went on a 4-1 record and all those wins coming via submission. Who are you currently training with?
I’m currently doing my MMA training at Xtreme Couture, and training Muay Thai with Mark Beecher.
Your accolades for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are notorious. Have you been focusing more on your stand up since you’re that good on the ground?
I used to think that I should focus more on my stand up because I was that good on the ground, then I ended up not training what I was best at, and ended up losing fights like my 2 UFC fights and all the other fights that I lost. Then I realized that I definitely should train more stand up, but not more than I should train ground, because at this moment, nothing else will guarantee me a finish like my ground game would. That’s why I decided to train with Mark Beecher, because he’s training me to be a good enough striker where I can get on the clinch, take the fights to the ground and finish the fights with what I’m good at. The striking game for me now it’s a plus, eventually you will see me knocking someone out, but I won’t be looking for it, it will happen whenever it has to happen. I have 5 losses trying to prove a point, and 9 submission wins (Including the fights on TUF) where I just did what I needed to do.
Are you looking to climb your way back into the UFC again?
Currently my only goal is to fix my record. As I said, I have signed a 6 fight deal with M-1, they gave a great opportunity so I will most likely give them the priority whenever this first contract is over. They also just got a TV deal on Showtime, so there’s no need at this moment for me to go anywhere else.
What’s next for you?
I’m fighting on March 25th on the next M-1 Challenge card, with an opponent to be determined. I will probably be the co-main event, since they are having a title fight on that same card, that might be the main event.
Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
I’d like to thank my manager Juan Sanchez , for getting me this deal with M-1, which is going to be a great chance for me showcase my skills to the fans of grappling and MMA. I’d like to thank Mr. Evgeni Kogan and M-1, for believing me, and believe that do have the potential and the skills to be one of the best fighters in the world and my sponsors Xyience, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and The Gun Store Las Vegas. Once again, thanks for the opportunity to let me keep people posted on what has happened to me since TUF, and what’s happening at the moment.
Thanks again for your time Vinny, I wish you all the best on your journey way to the top.
Thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate it.
For those who want to stay updated on what’s going on with Vinny, you can find him on Twitter www.twitter.com/VinnyMMA and on Facebook www.facebook.com/VinnyMagalhaes.