Former Bellator MMA tournament winner and UFC fighter Maiquel Falcao was stabbed to death in his native Brazil early Sunday morning.
According to multiple reports from Brazilian media, Falcao was found outside a bar in his hometown of Pelotas, Brazil with multiple stab wounds to the abdomen. He was transported to hospital for surgery, but passed away a short time later. Broken bottles were found at the scene of the crime, and local police are investigating.
Falcao was forty years old.
The veteran of sixty MMA bouts last competed in 2019 in Sochi, Russia, losing his fourth consecutive fight. While the tail end of his career saw a steep decline, in his earlier days, Falcao was a real problem for opponents.
In Bellator, he won the season six middleweight tournament, challenging Alexander Schlemenko for gold in 2013. Riding a four fight win streak into the title bout, he was knocked out in the second round.
Falcao would leave the promotion, but continued competing at a high level, for organizations including KSW and Fight Nights Global.
The Brazilian’s lone UFC fight came in 2010 at UFC 123 against Gerald Harris, and was mired in controversy. In the opening round, Falcao sunk in a rear-naked choke on his opponent late in the frame. However, a potential submission win was snatched away when the buzzer to end the round sounded early. Falcao would go on to win a decision, but his lack of aggression later in the fight caught the ire of fans and even Dana White.
Falcao was expected to fight again, but the fighter was then charged with an assault on a female complainant alleged to have taken place nearly a decade prior. Falcao was given a 24-month prison term, but released after 8 months and allowed to finish his sentence at home.
In 2013, Falcao was involved in a brawl at a gas station that saw himself and a friend hospitalized. At the time, Kaue Mena was himself an undefeated MMA fighter. The incident began when Falcao made advances on a pair of females inside the gas station; acquaintances of the two women then retaliated and the altercation spilled outside. Much of the incident was caught on camera, including Mena being floored with a length of wood. He was left in a coma, and though he would later recover, never fought again.
That incident led to both Falcao and Mena being expelled from their team, Renovacao Fight Team, though Mena shouldered little blame for the brawl.
Falcao finished his career with a record of 40-19, 1NC. He leaves behind a wife and son.