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LFA signs Brazilian prospect Rafael Barbosa

Rafael Barboza improved to 10-1 in the sport with a TKO win in Brazil.
Leonardo Fabri, FFC

The partnership between Legacy Fighting Alliance and newly founded Future FC has already catapulted a Brazilian talent to the international circuit.

Rafael Barbosa, who finished Carlos Alexandre with strikes 32 seconds into the second round of their main event bout at FFC’s first edition on Jan. 25 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has signed an exclusive deal with North American promotion, LFA CEO Ed Soares told MMA Fighting.

“It was funny,” Soares said. “After his fight at Future, Chinzo (Machida) texted me that night saying, ‘Ed, we have this kid coming to train with us and I think it would be great for him to fight in your event.’ He sent me a video of his win at Future and I laughed and told him of our partnership with Future.

“I called (FFC promoters) Jorge (Oliveira) and Lucas (Lutkus) and said that since he’s coming to the U.S., we’ll sign him as the first fighter from Future to make the transition to LFA.”

Barbosa is 10-1 with seven stoppage wins in mixed martial arts. The 21-year-old karate specialist will join Lyoto Machida’s camp in Los Angeles and could make his LFA debut as soon as March.

“It’s important for us to give opportunity to athletes to show their work,” Soares said. “Future will introduce talents from Brazil and we will bring them here to the U.S. to give them a platform so the entire world sees their work.”

Barbosa made headlines last August when he defeated Melquizael Costa at Demolidor Fight in Brazil and referee Emerson Pereira Saez took 90 seconds to stop the contest after Costa went out.

Watch Barbosa’s latest TKO win below.

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