Bellator Fighting Championships on Tuesday announced the signing of highly touted Brazilian middleweight Giva Santana to its growing list of top talent. Santana joins Bellator holding a near perfect 16-1 record that includes an astonishing 12 victories by armbar, earning Santana the nickname of “The Arm Collector.”
Santana is a third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, a two-time Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Champion and has scored finishes in 15 of his 16 victories inside the cage – with 13 coming in the very first round.
“A lot of fighters like to go out there and try to knock their opponents out as soon as they can, and that’s the same way I am with my submissions,” Santana said. “For me, to tap a guy out is the same feeling as the knockout. When a punch lands and you know you knocked your opponent out, I feel the same feeling when I lock up a submission on my opponent. I know right away that he’s going to tap, and it’s a great feeling.”
Head Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor at Team Oyama in Irvine, Calif., Santana brings a wealth of knowledge into the Bellator cage. Santana has been fighting professionally since 2005 and began his career a perfect 11-0, which included a streak of 10 straight first-round armbar submission victories. While Santana won’t be a participant in Bellator’s upcoming Season 5 middleweight tournament, “The Arm Collector” has his sights set on a future Bellator title.
“Signing with Bellator is like a dream come true,” Santana said. “This is what I’ve been working so hard for. This is why I’ve built up my record – to impress people and to get on the big show. I like to go out there and finish people, and that’s what the fans want. I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to show all of the fans watching on MTV2 what I’m capable of.”
“Giva is a special talent who has made a living off of incredible submission finishes, and in short order his submission skills will be on display for the world to see inside the Bellator cage,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.