In the five years since his release from the UFC, welterweight Roan Carneiro has slowly, but steadily rebuilt his career, winning five of his six fights since leaving the promotion.
When asked what’s helped him stay on track the last couple years, Carneiro is quick to point out his work with American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., and the bounty of fighters he has to work with there and their efforts to push him beyond what he had done in the past.
“I was training the Lima brothers – Douglas and Dhiego – and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, and was seeing things from the outside,” said Carneiro. “It made me think about myself and now I am doing things I used to not do. I’m motivated to try to do the things I used to not do.”
Carneiro (16-9) will need all his skills when he enters Battlegrounds MMA’s single-night eight-man welterweight tournament on Oct. 3, in Tulsa, Okla.
“I do not have one strategy, I will just try to work my strengths and keep my skills at a high level and stay in good positions,” said Carneiro of the tournament.
“I want to make sure my striking is good, my wrestling is good, and I’ve got everything sharp to use in the tournament. I don’t know who I’m going to fight, so I’m going to be ready for whatever.”
Along with Carneiro, fellow former UFC fighters such as Luigi Fioravanti and Brock Larson are going to be part of the tournament. For Carneiro however, not one fighter presents a challenge as he is prepared to face anyone that may come his way.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m going to face,” he said. “I’m going to be ready to beat three guys in one night.
“Of course I’ve seen the names in the tournament, but I’m not wanting to face anyone in particular, whoever comes at me, I’m going to be ready for them.”
Carneiro told MMAWeekly.com that he hopes a tournament win will help propel him back to the top stage of MMA. And even if he doesn’t get there, he still feels he is viable at 36 years old and can continue to compete at a high level of MMA for the next several years.
“My goal after this is to get the attention of a major organization,” he said. “I would love to come back and finish my career in the UFC. If that does not happen, that is fine; I’m still happy and looking forward to doing what I love to do.
“I’m here in Coconut Creek, training with the best fighters in the world right now, the best guys in my division, and I feel good training with those guys. I still believe I can show a lot of things and do a lot of things in this sport.”