MMA News: From bodyguard to professional fighter, the unbelievable journey of an undefeated Brazilian
Mauricio Ruffy's life is a rags-to-riches story in the making. The highly rated undefeated lightweight who competes in the Standout Fighting Tournament wants to attract the attention of UFC ahead of his fight against Manoel Souza at SFT 18 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The UFC dream
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Ruffy said that before embarking on the journey of becoming a professional fighter, he had already envisioned himself becoming a champion in the UFC.
“People think I’m cocky. I disagree. I’m confident. If I don’t trust myself, who will? I’ve envisioned all this before. I’ve seen myself in the UFC, becoming UFC champion. I know it takes a lot of hard work, but I see myself fighting and knocking out the best there.”
Following in the footsteps of his idols
As he looks to put up a show in his next fight and land a contract with the UFC, Ruffy revealed that as a young boy he dreamed of following in the footsteps of Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua. He left his hometown to move to Sao Paolo and become a professional fighter but he did not have any idea about the hardships that he would have to face.
“I wanted to be like Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. I decided to leave my hometown to go to Sao Paulo and become a professional fighter, but it wasn’t easy. I slept on a thin mattress on the floor and water came in every time it rained, so I had to sleep on a chair occasionally."
The lucky break
Ruffy's life changed when he came across a Chinese millionaire who wanted to hire him as his bodyguard. That was the first time Ruffy ever boarded a flight, visited a foreign land and started imbibing new cultures, languages and habits, but he couldn't forget home.
“I was his bodyguard and would go to a bunch of gyms there to train,” Ruffy said. “He paid us good money and invested in our careers, but I couldn’t wait to get back to Brazil. It was really tough not actually engaging in any conversation for three months. I’ve learned a lot there, though. In general, it was a great experience.”
Coming back to conquer
Having worked for a few months in Taiwan, Ruffy came back home and decided to become a full-time mixed martial artist, this time with renewed vigor. As he defends the lightweight title for the first time on Saturday, Ruffy says that the hardships he faced in life have made him much more patient as a fighter, and he knows that his time will definitely come.
“Everything I went through helped me become more patient in my fights and made me the fighter I am,” Ruffy said. “I have no rush to end my fights. I know the right time will come.”