Bellator signs middleweight Vitor Vianna
May 4, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
Bellator Signs Top Middleweight, World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Vitor Vianna
CHICAGO, Ill. (May 4, 2011) — In its continuing effort to scout and sign the best talent the sport has to offer, Bellator Fighting Championships has signed fast rising Brazilian middleweight Vitor Vianna to its already impressive roster. Previously known as one of top unsigned middleweights in the world, Vianna enters Bellator ready to show the fight world what he is truly capable of.
“I have been watching Bellator for a long time,” said Vianna. “They are one of the best promotions in the world and they have great fighters. I’m just really excited to fight in the big show against big fighters, and to have the opportunity to show the world who I am.”
Born in Brazil, Vianna (11-1-1) began his jiu-jitsu training at 15, and since then has become a 2X World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion, 6X National Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion, and second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s those accomplishments that led former PRIDE Champion and current UFC middleweight Wanderlei Silva to enlist Vianna as the Head Jiu-Jitsu Instructor at Wand Fight Team in Las Vegas.
“Wanderlei [Silva] had seen me fight in Brazil, and when he opened his school in Las Vegas, he wanted me to become an instructor with Wand Fight Team,” said Vianna. “I train every day with Wanderlei. I also train a lot with Michael Costa, and sometimes Forrest Griffin. I spar with Wanderlei three times a week, every week, and we go 100%. I don’t think anyone I fight is going to have the same power and technique that Wanderlei has. I feel confident that I can stand up with anyone at 185 lbs.”
Beginning his professional MMA career in 2004, Vianna established a near perfect record of 7-0-1 before meeting UFC Light Heavyweight Thiago Silva in 2006. During an intense first round, Silva unleashed a head kick to Vianna that was partially blocked, but broke the arm of Vianna in the process, handing him his first and only loss. After a grueling rehabilitation process that took over a year to complete, Vitor enters Bellator riding a three fight win streak, and is ready to show the world his skills.
“Fighting for Bellator is the best opportunity for me,” said Vianna. “I know I’m going to have a great career here with Bellator. It’s great exposure, being on national television on MTV2, and I know I’m going to make a lot of fans very happy.”
Along with the exposure Vianna will get from being seen on MTV2, a stacked middleweight division certainly made the decision that much easier for the ultra competitive Brazilian. With world class middleweights like Bryan “The Beast” Baker, Russian knockout artist Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko, and Bellator Middleweight World Champion Hector Lombard, Vianna is well aware of the challenges that await.
“Hector Lombard is one of the best middleweights in the world right now,” said Vianna. “I want to fight him, and I’m prepared to do whatever I have to do to get to him. Lombard is in the top five of his division, and fighting him would be the best opportunity for me to show who I am, and what I’m capable of.”
Eager to get his opportunity at the Bellator Middleweight Championship and a fight with Lombard, Vianna hopes to take part in an upcoming Bellator Middleweight Tournament where he can earn his shot.
“We constantly strive to sign the world’s best possible talent for Bellator, and Vitor certainly fits that bill,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebeny. “We’ve been working to bring Vitor to Bellator for quite a while, and as a fan and as Bellator’s CEO I am very excited to see him step into the Bellator cage for us this summer.”