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

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

The SnP Show went LIVE Saturday on NBC Sports Radio The Rival with former The Ultimate Fighter season 17 contestant Gilbert Jamal Smith in studio for the entire read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 5 views

How did your favorite fighter dress up for Halloween? Check out these pics and see if your favorite is in the bunch. read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

This Saturday, a huge fight goes down in the flyweight division between former Tachi Palace Fights champion Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall and John Lineker in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 56. McCa read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 14 views

This Saturday, the UFC goes to Brazil with UFC Fight Night 56. The headline fight on this card is a light heavyweight matchup between former champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Strikeforce vet Ovince "OS read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 0 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday announced that it will return to Denver for a Valentine's Day event in 2015. read news >>

  • 13 days ago
  • 1 views

With the addition of some fighters from “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America,” Saturday’s UFC 180 lineup is now set with 13 bouts.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 3 days ago
  • 43 views

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring this Saturday (Nov. 22, 2014) against rising contender Chris Algieri and it's time for everyone to get shirtless and pose for the cameras. By which I me read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

RIO DE JANEIRO – After moving to 2-0 against Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo could very easily put the Team Alpha Male fighter in his rear-view mirror. But the champ said he isn’t doing anything of the sort.F read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

RIO DE JANEIRO – While Jose Aldo turned in one of the most remarkable performances of his career, it was not without some criticism. But both the champ and his boss believe a pair of seemingly illega read news >>

Jump to: