A great sense of humour, a friendly disposition and a welcoming smile- Yes, that is Leandro Ataides, who is not only named as one of the deadliest middleweight MMA fighters, but also, is competing for the middleweight championship with Igor Svirid this time round. Initially starting out as a Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu (BJJ) fighter where he's achieved huge success as a 5 time BJJ World champion, Leandro slowly moved on to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and also mastered Muay Thai along the way.
We managed to catch up with him to find out more on his life as an MMA fighter.
1) Like Kirstie, you train at Evolve, how is your training like and does she train with you?
We train together at Evolve, many times a day. Our trainings usually start at 9am and each training will lasts for about 5 to 6 hours. For BJJ classes at Evolve, we do train together. After those classes, I stay on to teach as I am also an instructor at Evolve.
2) Is there any diet that you stick to?
Yes, as I have to stay at a certain weight to compete in a category, I have to stick to a diet. It is my job to do so in a way, I have to do it. I eat salad, drink lots of water (about 6 litres a day), salmon, chicken, almond (the size of a palm) and so on. I take in more proteins at night especially when I need to bulk.
3) What inspires you to fight and what makes you want to fight?
It is my life. MMA is my life. I love MMA. If I stop (fighting), I think there will be a hole somewhere in my heart.
4) Do you plan to learn more forms of martial arts besides BJJ and Muay Thai?
Not really. I like different forms of martial arts but I do not want to be confused with all of them. I think sometimes having too much knowledge is not necessarily a good thing.
5) You will be battling out with Igor for the middleweight title as the main match of the evening. What do you think about him and do you have any strategy in mind.
I do not know him well but (I do know) he is great at fighting and I have to be careful with him .=I will do my best to do both Singapore and Brazil proud.
6) How do you see yourself as an instructor?
I can be a funny, happy, angry instructor and so on depending on my mood. Let's just say you don't want to catch me when I'm angry
7) Besides MMA, do you have other hobbies?
Not much as I am very busy with training but I love eating especially Brazilian BBQ since I'm from Brazil!
8) Who is your role model?
Jose Aldo, who's also an MMA fighter competing in the featherweight category. He inspires me. I know his story and he is a good brother and friend of mine. He gives me lots of support and I am thankful for that.
9) What are your future plans?
Ideally, when I am done, I want to build a big gym in Brazil but It will be free(of charge). Brazil has many poor orphans. I want to give them the chace to exercise and workout in the gym. I believe that it will help the country.
The SportSanity Team would like to thank Leandro for the opportunity and we are rooting for him to be the world champion. If you are interested to get in the thick of action, Grab your tickets at www.sportshub.com.sg/onefc before they run out soon! The event will be at Singapore Indoor Stadium on the 7th of November 2014, 7pm.
Written by Chelza Chong