Vinny Magalhaes | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Light heavyweight UFC veteran Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes has inked a six-fight, two-year contract with M-1 Global. The Russian promotion on Monday announced the signing via press release, adding that Magalhaes’ first opponent under the new deal will be revealed shortly.
Magalhaes, 26, made his M-1 debut in December, when he out-grappled Alihan Magomedov en route to a second-round triangle armbar submission. Around the same time, he led a training seminar in St. Petersburg that made a strong impression on the Brazilian expat.
“I’ve trained in Japan, Brazil, the United States and now Russia,” Magalhaes said in the press release. “One thing that I can say is that the Russian fighters were some of the most intense guys that I have ever been around. It’s clear they don’t have the same resources we have in the U.S.A., but that doesn’t change how tough they can be. Some of those guys were literally training eight hours a day.”
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie and Vinicius Aieta, Magalhaes possesses extensive grappling credentials, including bronze medals in both the 99-kilogram and Absolute divisions at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships. He is best known to fans as the runner-up from Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, on which he notched two first-round submissions before being knocked out by Ryan Bader in the December 2008 final.
Following a decision loss to Eliot Marshall in April 2009, Magalhaes was released by the UFC. Since then, he has gone 3-1, having also notched submission wins over fellow UFC vet Mike Nickels and Alabama-based prospect Chris Davis.