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Former Bellator champ Marcos Galvao rules out return to bantamweight: ‘I was too stubborn'

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Marcos Galvao Bellator MMA

After 14 bantamweight fights under the WEC and Bellator banners, Marcos Galvao is moving up to 145 pounds, and he has no plans to ever return.

Galvao, who won a tournament and captured the belt as a bantamweight in Bellator, will make his featherweight debut in the promotion Friday night against Emmanuel Sanchez. He enters the Bellator 175 co-main event as the first chapter of his new life.

"I have a different focus right now,” Galvao told MMA Fighting. "I can’t fight at 135 anymore. I should have moved up three fights ago, but I was too stubborn. I insisted in fighting at 135.”

“Loro" won five of his last six bouts in the Bellator cage, but missed weight for the first time in his career in his last appearance, when he defeated L.C. Davis via split decision in December.

"I should have moved up a while ago, but since I was fighting and winning… When something works, you keep doing it,” Galvao said. "It was always tough to make weight. I kept winning with my heart, putting on good fights, so I always postponed this move. I was one pound over for this fight against Davis. I lost a lot of money, so I had no choice this time. I had to move up.”

The Brazilian veteran says he didn’t gain any weight during his camp after deciding to compete at 145 pounds, but feels “super fine, stronger and more explosive,” especially now that he can eat carbs.

Sanchez is no easy task for your return to featherweight, though. Nine years younger than Galvao, "El Matador” holds a 6-2 record under the Bellator banner, capped off by a decision win over Georgi Karakhanyan in January.

Sanchez has never been finished in 17 professional fights, but Galvao wants to change that on Friday.

"When you’re a fighter, you always step in to finish the fight before the end of the third round, but it’s not easy,” Galvao said. "I’m not fighting a random guy. Emmanuel Sanchez is ranked at No. 3 or 4 in the division, and I have a lot of respect for him. I’m gonna do my job. If I can catch him, submit him or knock him out, I will. I’m going there to finish him. In the end, the referee will raise my hand."

If victorious in his first featherweight bout in Bellator, “Loro" believes he could earn a shot at the winner of Daniel Straus vs. Patricio Freire for the 145-pound championship.

"When you’re a great and experienced fighter, you always focus the belt,” Galvao said. "I’m fighting Emmanuel Sanchez now, and he’s one of the best in the division, so I think this fight may decide who fights for the belt next."

The Brazilian wants to become a two-division champion, and also hopes to be part of Bellator’s first event in New York City, scheduled for June 24 at Madison Square Garden.

"I’ll ask Bellator for a birthday gift after this fight,” Galvao said. "I want to fight at MSG. I live in New York, this fight will be in my backyard, a day after my birthday, so I wanted the birthday gift from Bellator. I’m sure I can bring two thousand fans to watch me fight at MSG, for sure."