Francimar Barroso had eight knockouts on his MMA record before signing with the UFC in 2013, including a five-second stoppage in Jordan, but never showed his finishing skills inside the Octagon.
That finally came in his Professional Fighters League debut.
After competing as a light heavyweight in the UFC for more than four years, “Bodao” decided to move up to heavyweight for the 2018 PFL season, and it paid off with a first-round finish of Daniel Gallemore in June.
Set to return to the PFL cage tonight at the Nassau Coliseum in New York against fellow UFC veteran Jack May, Barroso feels he’s finally reaching his full potential.
“I’m feeling strong and happy instead of worrying about my weight,” Barroso told MMA Fighting. “The last weeks before a fight at 205, my only concern was cutting weight, and then gaining weight after the weigh-ins. I was against cutting weight and continue to be. I felt weak. I always had a great camp, felt I could fight better, but I couldn’t put all that energy in the fight.”
Win or lose, May has only gone the distance twice in 13 professional bouts, and that’s how the Brazilian pictures the fight ending Thursday night.
“I will go for the knockout from start to finish,” Barroso said. “I know he’s a heavyweight and I have to pay attention to his hands, but I will go for the knockout. Rest assured that I will hunt him inside the cage and go for the knockout.”
One other thing that Barroso has changed since leaving the UFC was moving his camp to the United States. After training at Rio de Janeiro’s Nova Uniao and in his own gym in his hometown for his entire career, “Bodao” switched things up and joined Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
“There are way more heavyweights for me to train with here,” Barroso said. “We had a lot of heavyweights at one point at Nova Uniao, but then everybody started to leave and I had to leave as well, look out for training in other places, but training here is really cool. There are a lot of heavyweights for me to train with. Maybe I’ll come back to Brazil one day, but not for a training camp. I’ll continue doing that here.”
Despite the split, Barroso will forever be thankful to Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras.
“I’m not part of Nova Uniao anymore, but we still have a great friendship,” Barroso said. “He’s like a father to me, but I’m not part of Nova Uniao for three or four months now. But friendship continues, he really is like a father to me. I love him. I owe him pretty much my entire career, but I’m living in the United States now.”