Gabriel Miranda once hoped to sign with the UFC in his late 20s, while he was on a long winning streak. He now understands the advantages of a complicated route to the Octagon.
Miranda, 32, makes his first walk to the UFC cage on Saturday in Paris, battling French lightweight Benoit Saint Denis on enemy turf. Miranda believed he was ready to enter the UFC after a string of eight fights that ended in 2015,. He had seven wins in his first round. In the end, Miranda lost in Japan and Florida within six months.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, and at the right time in life,” Miranda said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocacao Franca. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself sooner than you think. I never complain in life because I have this mindset now. After an 8-fight win streak, many wrote stories about me [about me being UFC-bound], but I then lost to Pancrase again. That served as an opportunity to pump the breaks and say, ‘Hold on, that’s not how things work.'”
Miranda trained at Curitiba’s CM System for nearly a decade, racking up an 8-2 record. He decided that it was now time to make a change. Miranda was 14-5 in the sport and under contract with Brave CF when the pandemic struck, halting his career between 2019 and 2021.
“I was taking a lot of steps back, and things weren’t happening for me anymore,” he said. I spoke to my wife to tell her that we needed to change things. That’s when a friend advised me that sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone and try something new. That was when I made the decision to try a new way of living .”
Miranda moved to Florida and joined the MMA Masters gym not knowing what would happen and who I would find. Working with Daniel Valverde as his new head coach, he believes he’s at his best — and signing with the UFC — shows he made the right call.
“I’m going to Paris on September 3rd to get this victory,” Miranda continued. “It’s like a video game – it only gets harder every step of the way. The previous challenge will prepare you for the next. “You learn new techniques and prepare for the next challenge.”
Saint Denis is 9-1 as a professional with a 1-1 retrospect in the UFC. His sole defeat came against Elizeu Zaleski, a former teammate of Miranda at CM System, in an one-sided beatdown in Abu Dhabi. However, the French talents have also defeated another Miranda training partner in their pre-UFC runs.
” We fought in Bahrain on the Brave card, but he wound up fighting two of my training partners,” Miranda stated. Miranda said that he is a skilled fighter, an athlete and a good grappler. I respect him because, like myself, he doesn’t like to talk trash. He’s an elite athlete, which is great news for me as I will not be facing a no-name fighter in the UFC. I’ll be making my debut against a high-level guy and it’s going to be a show.
“I’m going for the submission, as always, but I’ll use my hands and my striking. They won’t know me, but they will in the UFC. I’ll be showing them how my feet have evolved. I have good kicks and hands, and that will allow me to do jiu jitsu .”