Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves and Kaue Mena have been cut from the Renovacao Fight Team following their participation in a street fight last weekend.
RFT head Marcelo Brigadeiro this week issued a statement to Portal do Vale Tudo detailing his decision to release Falcao and Mena from his squad.
Security camera footage of the incident surfaced this week which showed Falcao and a woman exchanging words at a gas station cash register before the Bellator middleweight appeared to slap her in the face with his wallet as she turned to leave.
The woman returned a short time later with three male friends, one of which staggered Falcao with a straight right hand after a brief face-off. Following that initial strike, both sides began to swing wildly inside the gas station convenience store. The fight was continued outside near the pumping stations, with one individual flooring Mena with what appeared to be a large piece of wood. As the undefeated fighter lay unconscious from the blow, he punched and kicked in the head numerous times. The confrontation landed both fighters in the hospital. Though Falcao was treated for minor injuries and released, Mena reportedly remains in serious condition.
“Initially, I would like to make it clear that according to my interpretation of the facts, I do not believe that anyone involved is innocent, everyone [erred], to a greater or lesser extent. The actions of Maiquel Falcao that triggered whole matter -- although it was not an assault as many would characterize -- were disrespectful and not compatible with the behavior of an athlete. The reaction of the attackers was in turn exaggerated, cowardly and criminal. Kaue Mena, who is in a coma at Hospital do Coracao in Balneario Camboriu, also carries with him a share of the blame for what happened. As a professional MMA athlete, you should not be in the street at the hour of the incident.
“Also, [I want to] make it clear that the attitude of these two athletes does not reflect the behavior of our entire team. We are known for being one of the most victorious teams in the world but also for being a true family of athletes and good men; suitable character and exemplary behavior is expected of true martial artists. The attitudes of Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena were not consistent with what is preached and practiced by me and my students, and it is not what is expected by our sponsors and business partners.
“I understand that as professionals and martial artists, [we] should not and cannot be associated with night life, fights and alcohol consumption. Our duty is to serve as an example for society and especially for children, who see us as heroes.
“Anyone who knows me knows the immense love I feel for my work and my students, whom I treat like my children, including Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena. However, as a teacher or "father," as they call me, I do not and I cannot close my eyes to the failures of my boys. For all the above, it is with a broken heart and a great sadness that I report officially that Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena are no longer a part of Fight Company/RFT.
“Finally, I hope that this tragedy will serve as a lesson to us of all. May we realize how much a simple and unfortunate action can negatively and permanently affect our lives. Those who are starting in our profession understand that choosing to be an athlete is not a career choice but a philosophy of life that implies sacrifice, discipline and obedience.”
Falcao, 32, most recently competed in the Bellator cage following a one-and-done stint in the UFC nearly three years ago. “Big Rig” joined the Viacom-owned promotion last year and fought his way to victories over Norman Paraisy, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Andreas Spang to win the Season 6 middleweight tournament. Falcao would come up short in his bid to become Bellator world champion, however, as he was knocked out by two-time tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko while vying for the vacant belt this past February at Bellator 88.
Ten years younger than Falcao, Mena began his pro career almost four years ago and rattled off seven straight wins, with only a 2012 no-contest marring his record in that span. The featherweight prospect most recently competed on June 7, when he stopped Roberto Caetano with first-round punches under the Alto Vale Fight banner.