Pretty much every professional athlete will mention his family members, close friends, and partners as their main motivation and source of support, in order to deal with the tough routine of the sport and the pressure for results.
These close people, especially the partners, end up quite often giving up their time with the athletes, due to their intense training, travelling, and competition routine.
But if your partner is also a professional in the same sport? And more, if you both compete for the same organization? That dream scenario is the reality for Brazil’s Matheus Nicolau and Luana Pinheiro at BRAVE Combat Federation.
Originally a judo athlete, Luana left her home state of Paraíba, in the Northeast of Brazil, and moved to Belo Horizonte, roughly 2,000 km away, in order to join the Minas Tênis Clube team, one of Brazil’s most prominent multisport teams. In her new town, she met her current boyfriend Matheus Nicolau, also a martial arts practitioner himself.
While Matheus garnered national and international experience in Mixed Martial Arts, Luana made her MMA debut later, following the boyfriend’s steps. But, if Nicolau was the first to reach the sport, Luana was the first one to sign with BRAVE Combat Federation.
The judo specialist’s debut under the Bahrain-based promotion banner took place in April 2018, when she beat her fellow countrywoman Elaine Pinheiro via submission. Around one year later, Matheus Nicolau finally signed his agreement and joined Luana at BRAVE CF’s roster.
Matheus’ first test at BRAVE CF took place at home, in Belo Horizonte, where he faced Felipe Efrain. In a tough contest, Nicolau was the winner and secured his victorious debut, while having Luana, already in an advanced stage of her weight cut process, on his corner.
The reason why Luana was cutting weight in Matheus’ corner is that she was scheduled to make her BRAVE CF comeback only a week later, in Bogota, Colombia, against Venezuela’s Yasmeli Araque.
Matheus barely had time to celebrate his first BRAVE CF win and boarded alongside Luana to the Colombian capital, where Luana once again showed her grappling skills and submitted her rival. Before 2019 was over, Luana reached her third consecutive BRAVE CF win, this time via knockout, against Helen Harper.
With Matheus Nicolau already confirmed as part of BRAVE CF’s Flyweight World Title Tournament and Luana Pinheiro meteoric rise within the Women’s Strawweight Division, it’s not risky to bet that soon Matheus and Luana can become the first world champion couple in BRAVE CF’s history.