By Alvin Benjamin Carter III
Bellator Fighting Championships (Bellator) is the 3rd largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the USA and one of the largest tournament-based MMA organization in the world.. Bjorn Rebney, Bellator Chairman and CEO, founded the fight promotion in 2007 with the idea of using a tournament-style that “…lets the fighters decide their own fate.” The first season of Bellator ~ “Where title shots are earned, not given” ~ kicked off in 2009, and since then they’ve racked up a total of seven successful seasons plus a much-coveted partnership with MTV 2.
Enter current Bellator featherweight Saul “The Spider” Almeida from Framingham ~ a mixed martial artist with a 12-2 professional record. At 23, he is a member of Team Nogueira and trains out of Dragon’s Lair MMA in Framingham. I spoke with Saul about his career and what it means for him to be from Central Massachusetts:
Saul: When I was about sixteen or seventeen I felt like I wanted to fight. I had been competing since I was eight in karate tournaments. When I turned nineteen I had my first pro fight and I felt like I had a lot of experience from doing karate and jiu-jitsu.
Pulse: What is your main base in martial arts?
Saul: Jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Well, really karate, but I use a lot of jiu-jitsu and wrestling to help me win fights. Right now, I am starting to add a little more karate and boxing into my game.
Pulse: What’s your training process been like?
Saul: I started training when I was eight at Dragon’s Lair where I still am now with my trainer Mario Ramos. Then I started training with Patricio Pitbull [Freire] and his brother Patricky, and they introduced me to Team Nogueira. I went out to train with Team Nougiera San Diego, and I went Los Angeles to train at Blackhouse where I trained with the Nougeira brothers, Lyoto Machida, and Anderson Silva. That was a pretty great experience, and they gave me a lot of support.
Pulse: At the moment, you are 1-1 in Bellator. Are you looking to fight for the promotion again soon?
Saul: Yes, I am looking to possibly fight in June. I believe Bellator is having a Summer Series. I am looking to fight as much as possible, so I plan to have a fight in either Bellator or CES, a promotion that I fight for locally.
Saul: It was pretty cool. It was my first time fighting in a bigger show, but I didn’t let anything get to me. It was still a fight, but on a bigger stage. I wanted to go in there and have fun and fight.
Pulse: What is like having a powerhouse of a management team like First Round Management in your corner? Does it make it easier for you to focus on training?
Saul: I really think it is important to have a relationship with your manager, and Mike [DePena] does pretty much everything a fighter needs. He wants me to train, to fight, and to win, and he takes care of everything else.
Pulse: What does having your home base in Central MA mean to you?
Saul: It’s where I started. I take opportunities to train other places, but this is where I am from. I was born in Brazil, but I have been in Framingham since I was eight. It’s my home.
For more on Bellator, visit www.bellator.com, and make sure to check the MTV2 schedule to watch the fights broadcast live. Also get ready for Bellator to be broadcast live on Spike TV starting in 2013.
To connect with Saul, head to his FB page, www.facebook.com/pages/Saul-Almeida/103136396406309. For more photos, stats, and fight history for Saul, head to www.sherdog.com/fighter/Saul-Almeida-44913.
Keep an eye on www.mohegansun.com for upcoming Bellator fights and then check them out live and in person!
Special thanks to Anthony Mazzuca and Mike DePena.
No Comments »
No comments yet.
Leave a comment