Bruno-Carvalho-AlchemistHighly touted Brazilian lightweight prospect Bruno Carvalho makes his U.S. and Bellator MMA debut Thursday against Edson Berto at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, and hopes this is the first step toward a Bellator title.

“I like bellator because they treat athletes with great respect and thank God I had the opportunity to be engaged in one of the biggest fighting events of the world,” Carvalho told

Carvalho (8-2) is focused on Berto, but has his sights on the bigger picture.

“My goal is to be the champion in my division. I know that talk is cheap but I’ll work hard to make it happen,” said the 30-year old athlete.

Berto (16-10) is coming off back-to-back losses, but has more experience than Carvalho.  Carvalho expects a good fight.

“He is a very experienced guy in MMA and likes striking, has a good wrestler and certainly will make a great show,” said Carvalho.

Carvalho is on a two-fight win streak.  He last fought in Sept. 2012 and has spent the last six months refining his game.

“I love to fight and I do not care to fight several times a year. these six months I have improved in several areas,” he said.

Despite fighting for the first time in the U.S. and in Bellator MMA, Carvalho doesn’t feel any pressure heading into Thursday’s match-up.

“No I do not feel any pressure, only more willing to train and get to be the number one in my class at Bellator,” said Carvalho.  “My prediction is a great show, trying all the time to apply a knockout or a submission.”

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