It was April 2011 when Cristiano Marcello first crossed paths with his future UFC 153 opponent Reza Madadi.
Madadi won the Super Challenge title that night with a win over UFC veteran Rich Clementi, and at the behest of the promoters, former Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello went into the cage to challenge the new champion for the first show at the belt.
Instead of fun stare down or even a mutual respect between fighters, Madadi grabbed the microphone away from Marcello and said ‘you’re not on my level, don’t even try’ before walking out of the cage.
Ever since that moment, Marcello has been on a mission to beat Madadi, and show him a whole new level of pain in the cage.
“At the time they gave him to me, I said thanks to God because at the time you’re a champion you know someone is going to try to take your belt. If you watch the tape I’m so respectful, I said thanks to Reza for being here and telling him he’s a great fighter, and he takes the microphone out of my hands and tells me I’m not on his level,” said Marcello when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“He was right at the time, I’m not on his level. I’m better than him, and I’m going to prove I’m better than him on October 13th.”
Throughout his career, Marcello has gotten mixed up in more than a few scuffles when things get personal, but it’s never been his preference. He would rather keep things respectful, and just let the better man prevail in victory.
This time around however, respect and honor have been thrown out the window and Marcello is seeing red.
“I’m a respectful guy, a family guy, this is my job. I don’t want to be the kind of guy to be disrespectful with somebody’s family or somebody’s country, I’m not the kind of guy like that. I don’t like talking before, but when it’s going to be personal, it’s going to get personal,” said Marcello.
“If I have the chance to break his arm, I’m going to do that.”
Marcello looks at Madadi as a bully, and he doesn’t take too kindly to bullies. As a matter of fact, Marcello has run into Madadi’s type before.
In 2005 while serving as a coach to the Chute Boxe fight team, Marcello was involved in an altercation with Charles ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennett backstage at a Pride Fighting Championships event. Bennett was apparently insulting the Chute Boxe team, and when a scuffle broke out it was Bennett throwing punches at Marcello, who quickly put his jiu-jitsu to work.
A few moments later Bennett was choked unconscious by Marcello, and the story and video have becomes something of MMA lore over the last few years. Marcello looks at Madadi as the same type of person that Bennett was back then, and he’s happy to give him a harsh reminder how that particular encounter ended.
“You know about my history, you know what happened, but that time I didn’t get any money. I defended myself because the guy attacked me, but this time it’s only going to be me and him inside the cage, nobody’s going to stop it. Probably he’s going to have the same end the other one had,” said Marcello.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt will be nice enough to Madadi however to let him pick how the fight ends because that’s just the kind of nice guy that Cristiano Marcello can be.
“I’m going to kick his ass. I’m going to submit him. I’m going to give him the chance to choose how he wants me to submit him – armbar or triangle,” said Marcello. “I’m going to do that.”
To listen to the entire interview with Cristiano Marcello as well as UFC 153 co-main event fighter Dave Herman check out Wednesday’s edition of MMAWeekly Radio