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Sergio Moraes dedicates UFC win to daughter after suicide attempt

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the toughest moments in Sergio Moraes’ life became his biggest motivation for UFC Fight Night 80.

Weeks after signing a contract to face Omari Akhmedov on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, the jiu-jitsu specialist saw his 13-year-old daughter Beatriz attempt suicide in Curitiba, Brazil, where he lives and trains.

"Bia", as Moraes calls her, jumped out of the window of his apartment in the fourth floor. She fractured a foot and her spine, but survived. The welterweight managed to stay focused on his bout while taking care of his family, and dedicated the first knockout win of his career to her.

"It was a big shock when that happened," Moraes told "She’s my baby. I had her when I was 19, and we really don’t look like father and daughter. I’m like her older brother, we talk and have fun all the time. But, imagine that… I don’t know how I would be now if something had happened to her."

Moraes never considered pulling out of the fight. He wanted to show "Bia" that you can overcome everything in life with hard work and perseverance. Against Akhmedov, Moraes taught a perfect lesson, scoring a finish after losing the first couple rounds.

"I never thought about cancelling the fight," Moraes said. "I said ‘I’ll go for it, I’ll show her we can do whatever we want’. Everyone goes down in life, but you have to make the difference and stand back up."

"I had to continue training, to stay focused and motivated," he continued. "I have to thank my team around me, my friends, and also UFC Brazil manager Giovani Decker. He heard about it and called me. ‘How are you? Do you need anything?’ I was surprised. He really is completely different from the others."