Bellator Signs Giva Santana To Middleweight Division
CHICAGO, Ill. (August 16, 2011) â€” In a continuing effort to scout and sign the worldâ€™s best, Bellator has signed highly touted Brazilian middleweight Giva Santana to its growing list of top talent. Santana joins Bellator holding a near perfect 16-1 record that includes an astonishing 12 victories by armbar, earning Santana the nickname of â€œThe Arm Collector.â€ Santana is a third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, a two-time Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Champion and has scored finishes in 15 of his 16 victories inside the cage â€“ with 13 coming in the very first round.
â€œA lot of fighters like to go out there and try to knock their opponents out as soon as they can, and thatâ€™s the same way I am with my submissions,â€ Santana said. â€œFor me, to tap a guy out is the same feeling as the knockout. When a punch lands and you know you knocked your opponent out, I feel the same feeling when I lock up a submission on my opponent. I know right away that heâ€™s going to tap, and itâ€™s a great feeling.â€
Head Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor at Team Oyama in Irvine, California, Santana brings a wealth of knowledge into the Bellator cage. Santana has been fighting professionally since 2005 and began his career a perfect 11-0, which included a streak of 10 straight first-round armbar submission victories. While Santana wonâ€™t be a participant in Bellatorâ€™s upcoming Season 5 middleweight tournament, â€œThe Arm Collectorâ€ has his sights set on a future Bellator title.
â€œSigning with Bellator is like a dream come true,â€ Santana said. â€œThis is what Iâ€™ve been working so hard for. This is why Iâ€™ve built up my record â€“ to impress people and to get on the big show. I like to go out there and finish people, and thatâ€™s what the fans want. Iâ€™m just really excited to have the opportunity to show all of the fans watching on MTV2 what I_m capable of.â€
â€œGiva is a special talent who has made a living off of incredible submission finishes, and in short order his submission skills will be on display for the world to see inside the Bellator cage,â€ said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.
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