Vinny Malgalhaes' return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been a struggle for the grappling standout. After finding success at the regional level, Malgalhaes was matched up with Igor Prokrajac at UFC 152, winning the bout by armbar in the second round.
That win shot him up the light heavyweight rankings, which in hindsight may have been a case of "too much, too soon" as he found himself opposite of Phil Davis at UFC 159. His conditioning failed him and Davis was able to outwork him to secure a Unanimous Decision victory.
His road back to success begins tonight at UFC 163, which takes place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Malgalhaes isn't just fighting for his own success, but also for his mother, who supported him throughout all his jiu jitsu training.
When I first won the world tournament, my mom didn't even know about it. I came home and said "Mom, I won the world tournament!" But she couldn't understand that her son was the best in the world. It wasn't that she didn't believe I could do it. She just didn't understand the proportion of the event.
Afterwards, I moved to the U.S. and started getting some media coverage. After I won the Abu Dhabi, I got even more media coverage.
Once I made it to the UFC, she then started to understand it better. About where I was going with my career. And to have her recognize my results and see that all her investment was paying off, was the greatest thing for me. And today, what makes me happiest is not only the help I can give my mom, but the best is to be able to make her proud that her son got somewhere in life.
Vinny Malgalhaes faces Anthony Perosh. It will be the first time that he faces a black belt in the UFC. But as we know, not all black belts are created equal. Malgalhaes is considered one of the very best no-gi and gi grapplers in the world and will have the clear advantage should the fight get taken to the ground.
The road to redemption begins tonight.