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Even better than Sambo is Vale Tudo: Leonardo Mafra fires back at Eldar Eldarov

LockerRoom Team
12 January 2021

Brazil’s Leonardo Mafra is less than two weeks away from the biggest fight of his professional career. On January 16th, Mafra will challenge the undisputed BRAVE CF Super Lightweight champion Eldar Eldarov in the main event of the evening for BRAVE CF 46, in Sochi, Russia.

Mafra took some time to talk to the BRAVE Nation ahead of this gigantic fight and spoke his mind during a Live Instagram Interview. Leonardo made sure to leave a warning to the champ, ensuring that he’s ready to take the control of the fight wherever it goes. He also addressed the controversial revelation that Eldar was behind the infamous t-shirt worn by Khabib Nurmagomedov with the saying ‘’if sambo was easy, it would be called jiu-jitsu’’, which enraged the Brazilian martial arts community despite being done in a jokingly manner by Eldarov.

“I’m a proud Brazilian, right? So, of course, I respect and appreciate Brazilian jiu-jitsu. More than that, I carry that flag wherever I go. But I know Eldar is a guy who likes to say he represents sambo…. Well, if he’s from sambo, I’m a vale-tudo guy. Even better than sambo is Vale-tudo, MMA”, Mafra said.

What Leonardo refers to is the fact that the vale-tudo (which roughly translates as “anything goes” from Brazilian Portuguese) was a no-holds-barred predecessor of Mixed Martial Arts in the Brazilian scene, especially with some of the founding fathers of the sport coming from Mafra’s home country.

Leonardo is a member of the Chute-Boxe lineage. The iconic team, which was originally founded in Curitiba, Brazil, and was one of the biggest talent pools in the world during the early 2000s, spread its sphere of influence around the globe, including Master Julio Cesar and Rafael Cordeiro, both important coaching figures in his career to this day.

Leonardo Mafra will challenge Eldar Eldarov for the BRAVE CF Super Lightweight title at BRAVE CF 46, which is the Russian debut event for the fastest-growing MMA promotion in the world. The card, held in association with the local promoters of Krepost Selection, will count with important athletes from Russia’s Mixed Martial Arts scene, such as Ali Bagautinov, Roman Bogatov, and Konstantin Erokhin.

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