I love the sport with a true passion; much like I'm assuming anyone reading this article does.  One of the facets I enjoy most about MMA is witnessing the meteoric rise of fighters who materialize out of nowhere to isolate themselves as standout competitors through dominant and exciting performances.

In that vein, I would like to introduce Amilcar Alves, an 11-1 fighter who has taken the Brazilian combat scene by storm by overwhelming his opponents with an immeasurable array of offensive weapons.  Training alongside elite-echelon fighters at the highly touted Nova Uniao fight team like world champion Jose Aldo, top Sengoku featherweight Marlon Sandro, and upcoming UFC brawler Ronnys Torres, Alves is known for unleashing a hurricane of hostile Muay Thai on the feet, and he's also proficient with aggressive submissions on the mat.

He has an extensive 25 years years of experience with Judo, 10 years with Muay Thai, and now several years of intense Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the tutelage of the great Andre Pederneiras.  Pederneiras has overseen such submission grappling greats as B.J. Penn, Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro, Marc Laimon, Marcus Aurelio, and Renato "Charuto" Verissimo.

After trouncing Fernando Paulon (video), the only fighter to ever best him in competition, Alves was picked up by the quickly expanding Shine Fight Promotions.  His dream of doing battle before an American audience has finally come to fruition.  Alves is pining for a spot on the "Shine Fights 3" card in April of this year, but nothing is finalized yet.

Since Amilcar Alves is not well known in the states, I thought this would be the ideal time to publish his story so fans can become acquainted with this talented and exhilarating fighter.  I hope you enjoy the interview--Amilcar can be a bit of a character--and I also hope you support him in his lifelong quest of fighting on American soil.


"Amilcar, I would like to begin by congratulating you on the recent birth of your son.  Is this your first child?"

AA:  "Many thanks. Yes, this is my first son. I'm really very happy for his birth. A kid changes your life forever."

"How did your son's birth affect your MMA career and training?"

AA:  "Like I said before, this was huge change into my life. In the bills department then, it becomes more expensive (laughs). I see a son like the best moment in a man's life, if this man is a fighter it can throw your goals and ambitions to the upper levels. Since my son was born, I felt more focused and more confident in my trainings and in the fights as well. I have done things that I never thought I could do and I intend to put them into practice in fights. It's something I can't express properly. I only feel the vibration and try to figure it out. This is different when you need to prove that you're a better competitor in your weight class, or you need to shut the critics' mouth because you didn't fight well in a prior match. You don't fight alone anymore; you fight for your kid too. And this is a different kind of pressure, I enjoy it, and it's working very well for me after his birth."

"Tell me the story about how you became a professional fighter; such as what age you started training, what martial art you began with, and what motivated you to fight for a living?"

AA:  "I started in judo 25 years ago. I train Muay Thai since 2000 as I'm one of the first students of ZST veteran, Aloisio 'Dado' Barros. I fought my first pro Thai match in 2003 and I lived the MMA environment since my first team as I represented Ruas VT. After many years under the fucking ass-beating mode (laughs), you know I was training with guys like former UFC's Pedro Rizzo, Renato Sobral and Alexandre Barros, and such veterans as Gustavo 'Ximu' Machado and Antoine Jaoude, so I wanted to see if that would be good for me as it was for them. 'Dado' Barros was the man who arranged my first MMA contest, I've been very happy with my option and I will never stop fighting.

"How did you get hooked up with the Nova Uniao's school?"

AA:  "As I said, I already had been a member of RVT and this is a team affiliated to Nova Uniao. After my departure from RVT, I followed my first coach Barros to Gracie Barra Combat Team and when it dissolved itself, friends that I had in Nova Uniao opened the doors for me and I'm proud of being part of this team. Of course you need to have some 'eye of the tiger' too, only friendship isn't a guarantee of being in a high level team as Nova Uniao. For me, Nova Uniao squad is the best Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and MMA gym in the world. The trainings are hard every single day. All fighters here are always ready to fight or to help. We're a family."

"I understand that you spar often with Sengoku featherweight Marlon Sandro.  Who are some of the other fighters that you train with at Nova Uniao?"

AA:  "Here we've many excellent fighters. Besides the aforementioned Sandro, WEC 145lbs champion Jose Aldo, UFC's Ronys Torres, Shooto South American champion Luis 'Beicao' Ramos, WEC's Wagnney Fabiano, Leonardo Santos and many others. Like you see, here is an excellent school."

"You recently exacted sweet revenge by knocking out the only man to ever defeat you with a vicious knee.  How did it feel to beat Fernando Paulon?  Was your loss to him in the past something that was weighing on your mind?"

AA:  "I never searched for a second meeting, our careers were taking opposite paths. I didn't see that fight as revenge; with that said I see all fights are different. I didn't have the avenging feeling. I see that fight like a new challenge because we changed our games and mentalities – that was only the fourth MMA match for both. For me, that was just a fight. But I can't lie, that was really good for me to beat him quickly (laughs). I watched all his fights and he always does the same takedown attempt. So we reached the perfect strategy that fit exactly on that momentum, and that knee found his home as we expected. I've a big respect for Paulon, he's an excellent fighter and he has a refined BJJ, but in that day my Muay Thai was top notch."

"I read on that you also teach seminars.  Tell me how long you've been doing this, and what kind of things are covered in your seminars?"

AA:  "My seminar is about Muay Thai and MMA. This was my first seminar. I didn't know how good was to conduct seminars and the reception was better than I imagined with 26 guys attending. I teach them all I do in the fights, but I learn with them too. I like to show also positions that have been happening in others fights. I show the essential, not crazy stuff that doesn't work. I liked a lot, I can't wait for my next one."

"I enjoy watching you fight because you are incredibly diverse and well-rounded.  I thought you were only a striker when I first saw you, because you defeated some of your opponents by KO, and I watched your videos on Youtube, which are stand-up only. What do you feel your biggest strength is:  striking, grappling/submissions, or both together?"

AA:  "That is funny to say because when I tell people I've more than 20 years of judo, they imagine that I act like Karo Parysian or Hiromitsu Miura, or even as the Olympic medalists, Makoto Takimoto and Hidehiko Yoshida; a guy who loves throws in MMA. And I do, if you watched my first two fights I applied a Tae Otoshi and a kata-guruma, and I try to use judo in there constantly. So they watch my fights and should say, 'this guy is a liar, he's a KO machine' (laughs). Judo is only my instinct, I like to beat my opponents fighting in all the areas, specific field isn't important. The most important is to fighting well and let the fans happy.  If they are happy, I'm happy too. I fight for them, to please them with the versatility developed along with my team."

"Do you prefer to win your fights by knockout or submission, and why?"

AA:  "I prefer a knock out as I think it's most beautiful, but a submission is fine too. When your opponent can't move... this is a very important moment too. I stay happy with the two ways.  I train in Nova Uniao, so my game on the ground has been in same level of my Muay Thai and Judo."

"Who are a) your favorite fighters to watch, b) the fighters you feel are the best in the world, and c) the fighters that you emulate for your own style?"

AA:  "a) Anderson Silva, Aldo, Sandro, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn. b) Aldo and GSP. c) I like Aldo's style. I'm trying to fight like him."

"You recently signed a contract with Shine Fights and will soon make your MMA debut in the United States.  Was this a major goal for you?  And if so, why?"

AA:  "Yes, because it's a dream. Shine Fights is giving me the opportunity of showing my potential to the people is not familiar with. I know the potential I've and I will show for you all."

"What do you (and perhaps other people in Brazil) feel the major differences are between fighting in the U.S. and fighting in your homeland?"

AA:  "I can't tell you about atmosphere and stuff like that as I never fought outside Brazil. But basically, what I see it's that in USA you can be a professional fighter, you can live with the MMA. Here in Brazil this is impossible... this makes me very sad. We have many tough fighters:  imagine how many Minotauros, Amilcars - oh my, how selfish I am now (laughs)- Sandros, Silvas, Shoguns, Aldos, Lyotos – okay, okay not Lyoto, he's very unorthodox (laughs), but a lot of competitors with high level who stopped their careers due to the lack of opportunities? I hope one day this will be like a normal job. Thanks a million to Shine for the chance, the new founded attention I've been under is because this promotion knows I'm for real. Oh yeah, if I wasn't for real who would answer this interview? (laughs)"

"What should the American fans who don't know you expect to see when they watch you fight for the first time?"

AA:  "They can expect a tough fighter, with aggressive striking ability and very explosive. They only have a choice - sit down and watch the show. I will be fighting with a frenetic pace as fans like to witness."

"Do you know when you will appear in Shine for your first fight?"

AA:  "Maybe I'll fight on the first show of 2010. Is all right and I'm only waiting for an official announcement."

"Do you have any opponents in particular that you would like to fight in the U.S.?"

AA:  "No. I've in my mind the old: I fight anyone, anywhere and anytime (laughs). I'm ready to give a show, independent of my opponent."

"Amilcar, thank you for your time.  Do you have any closing comments or messages to the fans?"

AA:  "I want to say thanks to all my friends, the Nova Uniao head coach Andre Pederneiras for letting me train in his school, TOTAL FIGHT fightwear for helping me in my training. And thanks to all Shine fans, I want to say that - from me - you can always wait for good fights.  A special thanks to my manager Doug Wilson, he believes in me and I won't disappoint him, and to finish, I'll take opportunity of this space: I'm open for sponsors, just get in touch with Doug at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and help this Brazilian fighter to perform even better (laughs). Thank you very much!"


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for any sponsors who are interested in supporting Nova Uniao's rising star Amilcar Alves!





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