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A mixed martial arts (MMA) fan won a title match after stepping in to substitute for a professional.
Before the fight, 22-year-old Luis Felipe Alvim had never fought in an MMA match. However, he had trained and fought in Muay Thai / ˈmuːeɪ ˈtaɪ / and jiujitsu / dʒuˈdʒɪt su / matches. Alvim’s Muay Thai coach, who was in the event Alvim was watching, convinced the fight organizers to let him substitute for the professional who pulled out.
Alvim fought against a fighter with five wins and one loss under his belt. Alvim defeated his opponent on the first round by choking him until he tapped out.
Prior to the actual match, Alvim went backstage to visit his coach and some of his friends who were competing that night. Forty minutes before one of the matches started, a fighter pulled out because he learned that his opponent was one pound above the weight limit. When Alvim was asked to fight, he agreed to substitute for the fighter and made his MMA debut.
In an interview after his win, Alvim recounted how he and his girlfriend got tickets for the fight. He said that they baked brownies so that they could raise money to buy tickets. However, when they went to sell their brownies outside the fight’s venue, people had already gone inside and there was no one to buy their goods. So, to pay for their tickets, Alvim and his girlfriend used funds they had been saving to pay bills.
Alvim, whose fight amazed the audience that night, told reporters that he hopes to inspire others with his story.