A Year Later, Mutante Resumes His UFC Career

"My focus now has a name and he is called Thiago Marreta. This is the only thing that matters to me now." - Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira
UFC middleweight Cezar "Mutante" FerreiraFormer UFC light heavyweight champion and current middleweight contender Vitor Belfort isn’t just one of the top fighters in the world; he apparently has a keen eye for talent, which was evident when he met a teenager from Sao Paulo named Cezar Ferreira and took him under his wing.

11 years after that meeting, Ferreira, nicknamed “Mutante,” is an Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner, owner of six pro MMA victories, and a young man finally about to make his post-TUF UFC debut against Thiago “Marreta” Santos this Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

And if you ask the 28-year-old about “The Phenom,” it’s obvious the respect and admiration he has for his mentor.

“I’ve known Vitor since I was 17 years old and we’ve trained together ever since,” said Ferreira. “I have a lot of admiration for him in several ways; not only as an athlete but as the person that he is.”

Ferreira’s association with Belfort meant that when the UFC star coached season one of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil in 2012, “Mutante” was his first pick, and the middleweight prospect rewarded his coach’s faith with three consecutive finishes and a berth in the finals. And though he didn’t face the other finalist, Daniel Sarafian, due to injury, he was able to defeat replacement foe Sergio Moraes to take the season crown. Unfortunately, injuries have halted Ferreira’s progress as well, keeping him sidelined since June of 2012.

“It was a difficult period, but God knows everything for sure and he has better plans for my life,” he said. “The important thing is that now I'm back, stronger than an animal.”

Working with Belfort in South Florida with the Blackzilians team, Ferreira has not been idle once give the green light to resume training, and he promises to be even better than the last time UFC fans got a look at him.

“You will see a new Cezar ‘Mutante,’” he said. “I learned a lot here with the Blackzilians with Henri (Hooft), Kenny Monday, and all my coaches.”

Ferreira’s return doesn’t come without a glitch though, as an original UFC 163 matchup with TUF 17’s Clint Hester hit the skids after a Hester injury. In steps Ferreira’s countryman Thiago “Marreta” Santos, but he is unbothered by the late switch of opponents.

“Here I train in the best team with the best coaches and the best athletes, so it does not change anything for me. I'm ready for anyone. I've seen him fight, and he is strong and has good kicks, but he is predictable. I already know everything he will do.”

That kind of confidence is hard to beat, and when you throw talent into the mix, well, you know the rest. It makes you want to ask the question no fighter wants to hear about what’s next, with a possible name included, because I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see the real TUF Brazil 1 finale between Ferreira and Sarafian come to fruition.

“My focus now has a name and he is called Thiago Marreta,” said Ferreira, who promises a faster, stronger, and more technical fighter this Saturday. “This is the only thing that matters to me now. After that, I’ll think about who I would like to face.”

Lessons from a Phenom learned well.



Watch Past Fights

Sábado, Julho 30
19H15
BRST
Atlanta, Geórgia

Midia

Recente
Entre na vida Matt Brown, Jake Ellenberger, Rose Namajunas, Karoline Kowalkiewicz, Tyron Woodley e Robbie Lawler e nos camps de treinamentos do principais lutadores do UFC 201, evento que acontece nesse sábado (30).
26/07/2016
Lutadores ajustam os últimos detalhes na academia antes do evento desse sábado (30), e o campeão dos meio-médios Robbie Lawler revela gosto por um outro tipo de esporte. Confira o primeiro episódio da série Embedded UFC 201.
26/07/2016
Robbie Lawler e Rory MacDonald fizeram duelo épico no UFC 189, que terminou com vitória por nocaute do campeão no quinto round. Lawler defende mais uma vez o cinturão dos meio-médios no próximo sábado (30), contra Tyron Woodley, no UFC 201.
15/07/2016
Rose Namajunas finalizou Paige Vanzant no quinto round do UFC Vegas, em dezembro de 2015, e faturou o bônus de Performance da Noite. A norte-americana volta ao octógono no próximo sábado (30) para enfrentar a polonesa Karolina Kowalkiewicz no UFC 201.
25/07/2016