30 Jun UFC & Pride veteran signs with Brave Combat Federation
Brave Combat Federation announced signing a veteran who had fought in Pride FC and UFC, Cristiano Marcello. Cristiano Marcello will be making his return to the cage after 2014. Marcello is the founder of CM System based in Curitiba, Brazil. A former UFC and PRIDE fighter, Marcello hung up his gloves in 2014 to focus on his gym in Curitiba, Brazil. Christiano Marcello has spent his career as a part-time fighter and full-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach at Chute Boxe Academy.
He enrolled in the Gracie Academy in 1989 in order to learn to defend himself. By 1995, he was offered a chance to come to the US in order to train with Rickson Gracie. He stayed there and trained until he returned to Brazil in 1998 for Vale Tudo competition. After he returned, he received his black belt under Royler Gracie. In 2001, he was invited to join the famous Chute Boxe Academy as a grappling coach. He stayed with the academy for 8 years and helped to train many well known Mixed Martial Artists. In 2009, he left Chute Boxe amicably and started his own gym named CM Systems. He still trains many Chute Boxe fighters out of his gym. He is currently a 4th-degree black belt. The latest prospect who trains at CM System includes former lightweight championship contender, Luan Santiago.
“I signed a three-fight contract with Brave and will probably debut in a November card in Bahrain or a December event,” announced Marcello. Marcello started his professional career in 1998 by winning a pair of one-night tournaments and was one of the Chute Boxe trainers during its glory years in PRIDE. The 40-year-old lightweight fought in the UFC between 2012 and 2014 after competing on TUF 15, going 1-3 in the Octagon with a win over Reza Madadi.
One of the incidents he is most known for is a confrontation in 2005 backstage at a Pride event. Charles “Crazy Horse” Bennett was speaking ill of Wanderlei Silva and the Chute Boxe academy. A fight ensued and in the end, Marcello had locked in a triangle choke and choked Bennett unconscious.
“My idea was to focus on CM System, and thank God I made it the best team in Brazil,” Marcello said. “We have athletes fighting all around the world. I’ve been training since I was eight years old, I fought with no gloves, I didn’t do it for money, and always had this itch to come back. I want my kids to watch me fight. I want the new generation of CM System fighters to watch me fight. I was always an athlete, and this fire is back,”, said the founder of CM System.