Milton Vieira has been competing in mixed martial arts for more than a decade, but on Saturday in his home country of Brazil he will finally make his UFC debut.
A veteran of several promotions including Pride, Strikeforce and Shooto, Vieira has been all over the world competing in both MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but it’s all led to this one moment in his career.
“I’m very happy for this opportunity. I’ve been working a lot in my life to get to this moment and this time,” Vieira told MMAWeekly.com.
In most MMA circles, Vieira is well known as the creator and inventor of the anaconda choke, a popular submission used regularly in the fighting world, but the Brazilian wants to be known for much more than that.
The opportunity to fight in the UFC is a dream come true for Vieira, but even more over is the chance to make his debut in his home country of Brazil.
Vieira has been a mainstay in the Brazilian fight scene for years, earning his black belt under former UFC champion Murilo Bustamante, and training and working in his home country. Now he gets to fight in front of his home fans and it just so happens to be in the UFC.
“I think God made this moment for me because if I had been in the UFC before, I couldn’t take it. Because in Brazil this is the best time for MMA, everybody in Brazil loves MMA, everybody talks about MMA, it’s a good moment,” Vieira said.
“When I signed with the UFC I didn’t know where I would fight. But when I knew about UFC Brazil, I couldn’t believe that, I wanted this so much. My friends and family can see this, and this is the best fight for me.”
For his debut fight, Vieira takes on fellow Brazilian Felipe Arantas at UFC 147.
On paper, Vieira knows that everybody expects this to be the classic striker vs. grappler fight, but he knows it can be so much more.
That’s not to say, however, that Vieira is unaware of the area where he will most likely end this fight.
“He’s a good striker, but I’m very good on the ground, with jiu-jitsu, but I love striking, too. I love training Muay Thai. I’ve been training Muay Thai a long time. But everybody knows I’m the best on the ground,” said Vieira.
No matter what it takes, Vieira is committed to coming away from UFC 147 with a victory and making his family and friends in Brazil proud.