Capoeira in MMA

Sexy dance fighting, that’s the phrase that most people conjure up when I tell them that I’ve practiced Capoeira for over a decade. But that one little phrase barely scratches the surface of what the art of Capoeira really is. Born in the continent of Africa and imported to Brazil via slave trade, this once outlawed martial art had to scratch and claw its way from the bloody Vale Tudo circles to the “respect” it gets today. I put respect and quotation marks because it still regarded as a weak and ineffective by many of today’s experts. Needless to say that couldn’t be for the furthest from the truth. With the rise of MMA in recent years Capoeira has represented itself well as a formidable fighting style and a great tool for someone’s game. Below are some of the best MMA fighters that successfully implement Capoeira techniques in their arsenal.


Connor McGregor

Arguably the most popular fighter on the list right now, the notorious one has taken the UFC by storm with that dynamite left hand of his. Most of us notice his deadly efficient stand up striking which is unparalleled, but no one seems to notice his Capoeira proficiency. His movement coach is Ido Portal (YouTube fitness guru) Who basically constructed his phenomenal work out with Capoeira movements and the results definitely show. Connors fluidity in the Octagon is unmatched and in his first match with Nate Diaz you can see McGregor effortlessly throw two meia Lula de campasos (wheel kicks) which are signature moves of the style. Although it was in a losing effort you can easily see that he is not afraid to use his Capoeira.


Anderson Silva

What Connor McGregor is now Silva was four years ago. Once the face of the UFC this living legend has the ultimate bag of tricks. Coming over from K –1 The spider had the octagon on the lock with very high levels of striking, grappling and most importantly his defense which is a staple of Capoeira. One of his most famous knockouts came from a Ponteira (front kick) which is one of the most basic moves in martial arts but with the way he did it so deceptively you could tell that he has definitely earned his yellow cord in Capoeira.


Dominic Cruz

Because of his injuries and subsequent layoffs Dominic Cruz is without a doubt the most overlooked fighter and in MMA. With his impressive record of 22 wins and just two losses his high level of striking and grappling put him on a plateau with very few equals. But with sets him apart from other fighters is his footwork and defensive movements, to put it simply Dominic Cruz is all over the place. Capoeira’s main principles are movement and deception. Keeping yourself out of harms way while putting yourself in position for attack. Cruz implements these principles perfectly with his eclectic movement style that includes bumps and darts. While he is the only one listed here who isn’t formally trained in the art of Capoeira Dominic Cruz definitely has the chops to fit in with any Capoeira group.


Marcus Ossoduro Vinicius

Son of a Capoeira master Ossoduro and his brother Lelo were practically born into the art learning it from birth. Upon moving to Toronto Canada and starting a Capoeira school Marcus added Thai boxing and jujitsu to his already expansive knowledge of Capoeira and has fought with success in various Canadian MMA promotions.


Marcus Lelo Aurelio

Being the younger brother of the above mentioned Ossoduro, much of his origin is pretty identical. But that is where the similarities end. A quick Google search will to immediately direct to his amazing 20 second knock out viral video, and he hasn’t looked back. Where Ossoduro shows more control and restraint like a traditional fighter would, Lelo is a bit of a wild man. In everyone of his fights he’s throwing moves from all kinds of crazy angles, leaving his feet at a moments notice to deliver deadly accurate knockout blows. Lelo is definitely a very entertaining fighter to watch. lovers and naysayers to the style would agree to that.


What do you think? Is there any fighters I missed? Please comment below!!!

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