A quick look at Marcelo Golm’s social media makes it clear that the Brazilian heavyweight had some high-level training partners for his UFC Moncton fight with Arjan Bhullar, but moving full-time to Florida wasn’t supposed to be in his short-term plans.
Golm first made his big league debut in October 2017 with a short-notice opportunity against Christian Colombo at a UFC Sao Paulo event. An undefeated talent who at the time was bringing a perfect 5-0 record to his Octagon debut, Golm made quick work of his opponent with a first-round submission finish.
Four months later, Golm was thrown in the cage with veteran Timothy Johnson at UFC Belem, but he couldn’t replicate his same initial success. After 15 minutes of slow-paced action, Johnson’s hand was raised.
“A loss can teach you a lot,” Golm told MMA Fighting ahead of UFC Moncton. “Losing my last fight definitely made me rush my move to America to seek better wrestling training.”
A 26-year-old fighter who started his career training at Corinthian’s MMA gym in Sao Paulo before moving to Team Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, Golm now trains with the likes of Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, Alexey Oleinik, Vitaly Minakov and Phillipe Lins at American Top Team.
Happy with his “great camp” with “a lot of tough guys” at ATT, Golm doesn’t think the UFC pushed him too early when booking him against Johnson, who had more experience in the Octagon than Golm had overall in his mixed martial arts career.
“Johnson was a good fight for me,” Golm said, “But unfortunately it wasn’t my day and I didn’t put on a good performance. I’m way better prepared now though, and I want to show that in my next fight.”
Just like the Brazilian heavyweight, Bhullar, a 7-1 decorated wrestler from Canada, had a good showing in his UFC debut in 2017, defeating Luis Henrique via decision at UFC 215. “Singh” came back seven months later to suffer his first loss, tapping to a rare omoplata submission against Adam Wieczorek in April.
“Bhullar is a tough opponent, but I really like the matchup. I think it’s a good fight for me,” Golm said. “I know he has good wrestling, but I was able to train with great names of American wrestling at American Top Team, so I’m prepared for him.
“Training is completely different from a fight, of course, but training alongside great names from my division in the UFC definitely got me ready for anything Bhullar does.”
With his only UFC win coming by way of submission, a finish that came after he hurt Colombo on the feet, Golm plans on showing more of his striking now — even after Bhullar suffered his first loss in MMA on the ground.
“He showed in his last fight that his jiu-jitsu is not that good,” Golm said, “but I plan on keeping this fight on the feet.”
Bhullar vs. Golm will be featured in the preliminary portion of UFC Moncton, which is scheduled for Oct. 27 at the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.