Brazilian mixed martial arts star Luan “Miau” Santiago, 24, is back. In his home country, the reigning Brave Combat Federation Lightweight World Champion will defend his title against his countryman Cleiton “Predator” Silva, 33,
Santiago has fought around the world thanks to the Bahrain-based MMA promotion and his experience in the last few fights can be a difference maker at “Brave 25.” On April 19, 2019, he dethroned then reigning Brave CF Lightweight Champion Abdul-Kareem “Pride of Palestine” Al-Selwady, 23, at “Brave 23: Pride and Honor” at the Martyr Rashid Al-Ziyoud Hall Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan.
As one of Jordanian MMA heroes, Al-Selwady is a young man who needs no introduction when it comes to MMA in the Middle East. One of the top stars of “Brave 23: Pride and Honor,” he came into the Brave CF arena to a chorus of cheers while his Brazilian challenger was welcomed with boos and menacing chants.
Unfazed, Santiago put on the performance of a lifetime as he avoided all the main strikes from the then-champion while connecting at will. Then out of nowhere, the Brazilian challenger threw the strike heard around the world and with a quick motion of his hips and the perfect placement of his elbow, he knocked out the Jordanian defending champion.
As Carlos Kremer announced Santiago’s name as the new Brave CF Lightweight World Champion, the Brazilian MMA star fell to his knees, crying in disbelief. He paid tribute to the crowd that was cheering against him seconds before.
“Jordan is my third home after Brazil and Bahrain,” Santiago said. “I want to thank you all for the support and I hope to fight here again but this time with this amazing and beautiful crowd behind me.”
It was the realization of a dream years in the making. From the poor upbringing in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil to the injury in his first title fight for Brave CF and from the bullying he suffered as a child and the need to be protected by his sister to the disagreements with his family, most of which did not want him to be a fighter, Santiago is now an MMA hero.
From Salvador, Santiago move to Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil where he went with a pocket full of dreams but empty of money. Hard work brought him to the riches of international fights and title belts.
Having gone through it all, Santiago did not forget where he came from. Since becoming a world champion, he has transformed into one of the biggest personalities of the fight game in Brazil and wherever he goes now in Curitiba, he is treated a VIP.
In Curitiba, Santiago trains under famed trainer and fellow Brave CF fighter Cristiano Marcello in CM System Academy.
Aside from MMA, Santiago has developed a liking for public speaking. He is blossoming into one of the leaders of the talent-rich CM System Academy and is gearing up for a comeback to defend his title.
On August 30, 2019, Santiago and Silva will headline “Brave 25,” which will take place in the challenger’s hometown Belo Horizonte. The fight will not be exactly at home for the defending champion as will once again fight in enemy territory instead of his native Salvador or his adopted home of Curitiba.
Revered in Belo Horizonte as one of its best fighters, Silva will have his family, friends and fans, who will look to create a heavy and uncomfortable atmosphere for Santiago. But the defending champion is ready to prove himself in front of a hostile crowd again.
Meanwhile, here is Santiago’s post-fight interview when he was crowned as the Brave CF Lightweight World Champion: