Mixed Martial Arts Fan Wins Professional Match

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. title / ˈtaɪt l / (adj) – relating to a championship

    He was declared the new champion after winning last night’s title match.

  2. pull out / pʊl aʊt / (phrasal) – to decide to not do something previously planned

    Players will gain a bad reputation if they pull out of a match at the last minute.

  3. under (one’s) belt / ˈʌn dər bɛlt / (idiom) – having experienced or achieved something

    He was a great athlete with 56 wins and 5 losses under his belt.

  4. tap out / tæp aʊt / (phrasal) – to surrender in a combat sport

    It took several minutes before the wrestler’s opponent tapped out.

  5. recount / rɪˈkaʊnt / (v) – to talk about something in detail

    The athlete inspired many when he recounted how he became successful.


Read the text below.

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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were Alvim’s coach, would you risk letting a non-professional fight in a title match? Why or why not?
• If you were Alvim’s opponent, how would you feel about losing to a non-professional? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Would you participate in something you did not prepare for? Why or why not?
• Have you ever made last-minute decisions that went well? Share your experience about it.