antonio-braga-neto.jpgAntonio Braga Neto has a few things working in his favor for his UFC debut today.

Neto (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Anthony Smith (17-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to open up the card at UFC on FUEL TV 10. And yeah, maybe he’s thinking a little about a home-cage advantage in his native Brazil, and maybe he’s thinking about his family being there to see his first UFC fight and maybe he’s thinking about his jiu-jitsu accolades and where that might factor in the fight.

But more than anything, he’s kind of thinking about death – because that, he said, is what it will take for Smith to upset him.

UFC on FUEL TV 10 takes place at Paulo Sarasate Arena in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. Neto and Smith make their UFC debuts on the Facebook-streamed preliminary card ahead of the main card on FUEL TV.

“It will be very difficult for Anthony Smith to defeat me,” Neto told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “He’d have to kill me first.”

Strong words, to be certain. But hyperbole almost always has a place in MMA.

Neto signed with the UFC on the strength of a three-fight win streak, including submissions of UFC veterans Maiquel Falcao and Brock Larson. But his most recent win, a kneebar stoppage of Larson, came 15 months ago.

When the offer came, Neto saw a dream about to come true.

“It was actually quite unexpected,” he said. “They offered me a contract and I was quite happy to accept it. I wasn’t actively seeking a contract and had no pretensions about fighting in the UFC yet. I thought I still needed a few more fights under my belt. I feel this is a great achievement.

“My goal was always the UFC. I had no interest in long-term contracts with secondary organizations. The only one I cared to get into was the UFC.”

Along with that great achievement, he’s got plenty of achievements in the world of jiu-jitsu, winning multiple gold medals at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship and Pan American Championship.

And his ground game is where he believes he has the edge over Smith, who never has gone the distance in 26 career fights. Although Smith has been submitted just twice in his nine losses, one came in January at Strikeforce’s finale against Roger Gracie.

“I’m highly confident in my jiu-jitsu,” Neto said. “I believe jiu-jitsu is the world’s best personal defense method. Since I’ve been training my ground game since 4 years old, I believe I can submit anyone in MMA.

“I think this is a great matchup for me. It’s an excellent fight. We both move forward. I aim to get the ‘Submission of the Night’ or ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. I think he’s a great fighter everywhere and I’m ready for that, no matter where it goes. I’ll be looking to finish the fight as quickly as possible.”

Neto is more than a 2-to-1 favorite against Smith. And if he does get that finish, he’ll be doing it in front of plenty of family and his home-country crowd.

But that’s not what’s giving Neto his mental edge going into the fight.

“It’s nice,” Neto said, “but confidence comes from training. I think being nervous is a byproduct of not training properly. I did everything I could have done during my camp. That’s why I am calm before this bout.”

For the latest on UFC on FUEL TV 10, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

UFC Fight Night 62 'Maia vs LaFlare' results recap for 'Prelims'

  • 28 days ago
  • 19 views

Things get hot in Brazil tonight (March 21, 2015) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosted its second mixed martial arts (MMA) event of the New Year inside Maracanazinho Gymnasium. UFC Fight read news >>

UFC 189 Video: Dana White needs to separate Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor during heated staredown

  • 23 days ago
  • 24 views

Things got a little dicey at a press conference in Boston, where the UFC president had to separate Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor during their staredown. The mood isn't getting any better between Jose read news >>

Ronda Rousey judo tosses Triple H, beats up Stephanie McMahon at Wrestlemania 31

  • 20 days ago
  • 66 views

Things got pretty "Rowdy" at Wrestlemania. UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey got in on the action Sunday night at Wrestlemania 31 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Rousey was sittin read news >>

Ricardo Lamas: Conor McGregor needs Wilmer Valderrama for joke-writing

  • 19 days ago
  • 39 views

Of all the things UFC featherweight Ricardo Lamas could take offense to being called, a big fat mess is not on the list. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC signed off on Ronda Rousey's appearance at WrestleMania 31 months ago

  • 19 days ago
  • 10 views

Vince and Dana working hand in hand, folks. Ronda Rousey made an impromptu performance last night (Sun., March 29, 2015) at Wrestlemania 31 in Santa Clara, Calif., much to the delight of professional read news >>

Video: Conor McGregor snatches Jose Aldo's UFC belt, all hell breaks loose at Dublin press conference

  • 18 days ago
  • 156 views

Things got testy today in Dublin. It wasn't quite a smack, but Conor McGregor caused quite a stir at today's (Tues., March 31, 2015) UFC 189 "World Tour" presser in Dublin, Ireland Video replay here. read news >>

UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas - Idiot's Guide to the Fox Sports 1 Undercard

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 views

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know for the early 1 PM (ET) undercard in Virginia that you'd probably miss even if he started at its usual time. This April 4, 2015 the underc read news >>

Video: Conor McGregor reads mean tweets from UFC fans and wow ... they are MEAN

  • 15 days ago
  • 61 views

You know all those nasty things you've been saying about Conor McGregor? He heard you. Though I'd reckon from his reaction in the video above that he probably doesn't give two shits about how many mi read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 staff picks: Three sweeps and three blowouts in Virginia

  • 15 days ago
  • 11 views

The MMAjunkie crew doesn’t agree on many things. Music, sports, what color shirt to wear cageside – our guys are all over the map. But once again, our staff picks match up pretty closely. Filed under read news >>