On January 29th, Las Vegas promotion MMA Xplosion will present its next exciting event as their International Team Challenge will commence. Squads from Kazakhstan and Mexico will face off, as will competitors from both the United States and Brazil.
The main event matchup will feature two very different fighters in both style and experience. Representing Team Brazil will be Vinny Magalhaes (5-5), one of the most decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in all of mixed martial arts. Standing on the other side of the cage that night will be Robert “Damien Knight” Scott (3-0-1), a rising young star who is a native of Las Vegas.
Magalhaes is a black belt under Royler Gracie, and currently trains at the TapouT Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2005, he won two gold medals in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship as a brown belt. He was then promoted to black belt, and won the 2007 Jiu-Jitsu No Gi World Championship in the Super Heavyweight Division. In 2009, Magalhaes took home two Bronze Medals in the highly prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championship, in the 99 kg and Absolute Division. Along the way, he took out many notable competitors including ADCC Brazil Trial Winner and MMA fighter Glover Teixeira, as well as 2005 ADCC Absolute World Champion Dean Lister.
After beginning his MMA career with two wins, two losses, and one no-contest, Magalhaes earned a spot on The Ultimate Fighter season 8. On the show, he first defeated Lance Evans, brother of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans. He went on to submit Jules Bruchez by armbar in the quarterfinals, and then did the same to current UFC light heavyweight fighter Kryzstof Soszynski via first-round armbar in the semi-finals. In the shows finale, he was knocked out by UFC light heavyweight title contender Ryan Bader. Following a unanimous decision loss to Eliot Marshall, Magalhaes was cut from the UFC. Yet he’s battled back. Since that time, he has compiled a 3-1 record, with only one decision loss and three impressive submission victories.
Now he’ll face a young stud on the rise in Damien Knight. What are his thoughts on his opponent?
“I’ve watched a few of his fights, and he’s a tough dude. The amount of fights doesn’t really matter that much…it’s all about preparation and skill. And that’s where I feel I have the edge.
“I’m a jiu-jitsu guy, and I want to get a good winning streak going. I expect to get a submission before the third round.”
His opponent, Robert “Damien Knight” Scott (3-0) has less experience in the sport, but is a fast-rising prospect. Knight comes from a high school wrestling background, but said, “I always felt like a fighter from a young age, then MMA came along, and I got into it. Wrestling in high school was just an outlet for my aggression until that time.”
Knight has already run off impressive decision wins over Travis Bartlett (8-2) and UFC veteran Scott Junk (7-3-1), who he moved up in weight to face. He uses an aggressive, grinding style, always looking for the knockout. Now, he’ll look to add another high-profile victim to his list. “Fighting him is like fighting anybody else. On the feet, on the ground, it doesn’t matter where the fight goes. I’ll knock his ass out either way. He might have good jiu-jitsu, but I’ll knock his ass out if he wants to go to the ground.”
The style clash between Magalhaes and Knight will surely make for a very interesting fight, with Magalhaes favoring the ground game and submissions, and Knight looking aggressively for the knockout. Fireworks are sure to ensue.