Matheus Moraes is looking to play spoiler against Chris McCain, the latest ex-NFL player to make the jump to mixed martial arts.
Los Angeles, CA — Brendan Schaub did it. Greg Hardy is at it currently. And Chris McCain is looking to be the latest former NFL athlete to make a go of it in MMA. Standing in his way at LXF 3, however, is Matheus Moraes, making his amateur debut and stepping in on short notice.
Heavyweight McCain made his own amateur debut earlier this year, under the LXF banner, a promotion run by another NFL star, Shawne ‘Lights Out’ Merriman. Hence the “Lights Out Extreme Fighting” name. McCain, in his debut, earned a second round TKO. Moraes, speaking to Cageside Press ahead of their showdown Saturday, wasn’t impressed.
“He’s a former NFL player, and I’ve been in martial arts since I was eight years old. So for me, being a former NFL player doesn’t mean much,” Moraes, who trains with Black House MMA, told us. “I trust a lot in my jiu-jitsu, a lot in my boxing, I have great coaches around me, so I’m sure I’m going to do well on Saturday.”
While it is a short notice fight, Moraes was essentially already in camp. “I was already training, I was looking for a fight before. I didn’t get a chance to fight, but I was already ready for anything that showed up,” he said. “When I got the fight, I was like ‘that’s my time, I’m ready.'” He’ll certainly need to be, as Moraes confirmed he only got word of the fight on Monday.
It will be Moraes’ debut, amateur or otherwise, but he’s been training in various disciplines a long time. “My mom took me to Judo when I was around eight years old because I was very chubby when I was a kid.” While the goal was weight loss, Moraes fell in love with training. Plus, “I grew up watching fights on TV. In Brazil fighting’s pretty big. That kind of woke up the desire inside of me.”
Since he was already training, as a teen, he decided he wanted to fight full time. “Since that, fighting has been my life.”
He’s expecting plenty of support against the former member of the San Diego Chargers, among other NFL teams. “I’m going to have many of my friends coming by, also a lot of people watching from Brazil online. I have a lot of people supporting me,” he said. “I’m going to go in there and give my best. I’m sure I’m going to perform good, I’m sure it’s going to be a great night for me, and everybody can expect a great fight. I’m ready to put everything on the line.”
As for how he gets the win on Saturday night at LXF 3, “I’m going to take him down, put his back on the ground, and I’m going to choke him.”
LXF 3 takes place Saturday, September 21 at the Commerce Casino Ballroom in Commerce, CA.