Hippy at Heart, Denver Bronco Turned Fighter Leandro Debuts Saturday at Ring of Fire


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

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Perhaps the hottest UFC card of the year went down on Saturday night in Las Vegas, as UFC 181 offered up a pair of title fights and a series of wild finishes beginning on the prelims and rolling into read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

Leandro Issa heads into Saturday's UFC Fight Night 58 in Brazil aiming to end Yuta Sasaki's string of successes. read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 7 views

BARUERI, Brazil – For “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3? winner Antonio Carlos Junior, it looks like he’ll soon be fighting in his third weight class in just three octagon appearances.Filed under: News read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Check out this ONE FC-produced feature on Bibiano Fernandes, as he prepares for his next title defense. read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

The UFC’s traditional pre-event show returns Sunday with the debut of “Countdown to UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler 2? on FOX Sports 1.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 13 views

Bloody Elbow's Fraser Coffeen and David Castillo sit down and discuss their impressions of a memorable TUF 20 season thus far. Who has made the best impression, the least impression, and who ends up read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

Renan Barao wants to fight T.J. Dillashaw in Brazil. You can't blame a fighter for seeking a home-court advantage, and Brazil offers just such a thing. Tune in to any of the multiple UFC cards held i read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

Former UFC fighter Dashon Johnson was handed his walking papers after an 0-2 run in the promotion, but an ill-conceived decision to compete in a boxing match may have contributed to his release. The read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

Flyweight Matt Betzold, whose left leg was amputated when he was six years old, has signed a professional contract with Legacy Fighting Championship. The signing, which was first reported Tuesday by read news >>

Jump to: