Leandro Ring of FireThere are certainly more and more athletes opting for mixed martial arts as a career path over other pro sports, but former Denver Bronco Demetrin Veal, who now goes by the name Leandro, doesn’t exactly fit that mold.

A hippy at heart, Leandro is just following where his interests take him through life, exploring MMA following a modest career in the NFL.

After one year, yes, that’s right, one year of high school ball, Leandro received a scholarship to the University of Tennessee, one of the most highly respected college football programs in the country.

He played four years for the Broncos and one year each for the Atlanta Falcons, who drafted him, and the Tennessee Titans, before a knee injury and the demands of the powers that be for the then six-foot-three, 300-pound tackle to put on an addition 20-30 pounds influenced his decision to leave the game.

With the competitive fires still burning inside him, a few friends that workout with the same strength and conditioning coach as him – namely Brendan Schaub, Cody Donovan, and Nate Marquardt – influenced him to try his hand at MMA.

And although he’s spent the majority of his life in America, fighting isn’t far off from Leandro’s Brazilian roots. He was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

“Brazilian by blood, American by coaching,” he quipped in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com.

Leandro’s first bout will be Saturday night against WWE wrestler turned mixed martial artist Chad Wicks at Ring of Fire: Bad Blood at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

Leandro is a lifelong practitioner of his home country’s native martial art of capoeira, although he’s been training specifically for MMA less than a year.

“You can train for so long until you get in the real gun and fire,” said Leandro, who believes in taking the things in life that interest him and exploring them to their fullest.

What the result is doesn’t matter to him. It’s the journey that entices Leandro.

“When I started football, it was just something that came to me and I liked it and I just took it as far as it took me,” he recalled. “So I’m just gonna work hard at (MMA); if it takes me to the top, it takes me to the top. I’m gonna give it my all and see how it goes.

“That’s how it should be with anything. You go out there with that stuff and have fun with it and take it as far as you can.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Tito Ortiz turned down Frank Shamrock rematch opportunity for title shot instead

  • 8 days ago
  • 26 views

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Bellator light heavyweight Tito Ortiz spoke to MMA Fighting after the Dynamite event announcement and spoke about facing Liam McGeary for the light heavyweight title at that event, read news >>

Video: Champ Liam McGeary on trash talk, Tito Ortiz and Bellator 141

  • 8 days ago
  • 30 views

ST. LOUIS – Every time Bellator light heavyweight champ Liam McGeary turned on Twitter, there was Tito Ortiz.Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Chris Weidman says Luke Rockhold can't beat his jiu-jitsu, stand-up, or wrestling

  • 14 days ago
  • 25 views

MEXICO CITY -- Chris Weidman talks about moving past Vitor Belfort, a future match-up with Luke Rockhold, the possibility of fighting at Madison Square Garden in New York, his dominance over Brazilia read news >>

UFC Debuts in Saskatoon This August

  • 15 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC® makes its debut in the province of Saskatchewan on Sunday, August 23 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. UFC FIGHT NIGHT™: HOLLOWAY vs. OLIVEIRA will feature a five-round main read news >>

Jessica Aguilar Signs with UFC, Debuts vs. Gadelha at UFC 190

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

The top female strawweight not signed to the UFC is a free agent no longer, as Jessica Aguilar will now compete with the best 115-pounders in the world, beginning with her UFC debut against Brazilian read news >>

Jessica Aguilar signs with UFC, debuts vs. Claudia Gadelha at UFC 190

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Former World Series of Fighting strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar is set to face Claudia Gadelha at UFC 190 in Rio on August 1st. Less than a month after Jessica Aguilar confirmed her release from read news >>

The Speed Bag: On a night full of incredible, Ben Rothwell used crazy to steal the show

  • 22 days ago
  • 47 views

UFC Fight Night 68 turned out to be one of the most entertaining evets in recent memory. So how did Ben Rothwell find a way to stand out from the crowd? A dramatic pause and a cackle paved the way.Fi read news >>

Reminder: 'Countdown to UFC 188' and Velasquez-Werdum debuts tonight

  • 23 days ago
  • 20 views

As a reminder, the UFC’s traditional pre-event show returns tonight with the debut of “Countdown to UFC 188? on FOX Sports 1.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

RFA 26 Fight Highlights Video: Gilbert Smith Surprises Ben Smith, Takes Title

  • 24 days ago
  • 7 views

Check out the RFA 26 fight highlights video from Friday night's event in Denver. read news >>

'Countdown to UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum' debuts Sunday on FOX Sports 1

  • 24 days ago
  • 27 views

The UFC’s traditional pre-event show returns Sunday with the debut of “Countdown to UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum” on FOX Sports 1.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>