I was born on the 20th of September in 1993 in Trento, state capital of Mezzocorona, the town where I spent all my childhood.
I’ve always been a sharp child, practised lots of sports, such as Yoseikan Budo, on which my father is so keen that he has become a master.
I discovered the world of the MMA for the first time when I was 15, watching the achievements of fighters like Fedor Emalianenko, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Wanderlei Silva etc. in the legendary Pride.
Day by day I felt closer to the MMA, becoming first a passion, then turning into obsession. My reason of life.
The turning point in my career happened when, by chance, during the Easter Holidays of the last year of high school, I decided to take an holiday training in the London Shootfighters in London.
After only seven days, I made up my mind: I would have become a Fighter and that one (London Shootfighters) would have become my home in the next few years.
Said and done. Once finished my State exam, I decided to settle down in London.
I spent there two years. Probably they were the toughest years, but at the same time the most formative ones. I was living in another – huge – city, I had to speak a language I didn’t know well, I had to work to support myself and meanwhile I had to train intensely. But I was there for a reason.
In the London Shootfighters, I became a professional and I realized that I’ve improved sharply. I felt that I made the right choice, that I was following the right pathway.
I debuted on the 3rd of August in the 2013 and I won due to a rear-naked choke in the first round. After that one, I won other 4 times via submission.
On the 6th of September in the 2014 I had one of the greatest opportunity in my life: becoming UCMMA champion defeating the strong and expert Bill Beaumont. But that was not my lucky evening, I couldn’t manage to fight the way I could and after a challenging match of three round, although I had been near to submit him several times, I lost.
From that point, something broke. I made the ardous decision to come back to Italy.
I met Filippo Stabile who welcomed me in the Stabile Fight Team. Yet, training in Italy is difficult as finding someone to train with is very demanding.
Though, I had a special opportunity: the Venator Fighting Championship. I decided to enrol in the welterweights championship. The tournament took place in three steps: quarter finals, semi-finals and finals. At the end, the belt would have given to the winner.
I won in the first round either quarter and semi-finals, the first one via TKO against Anderson Da Silvia, the second via standing guillottine against Giorgio Petrini. In the finals I had to fight against Daniele Scatizzi. After a challenging match, keeping it under control, I won it and the belt of the Venator Fighting Championship.
I felt comfortable in Venator, but I thought that I needed something else to get better. For this reason, for the next match on the 12th December in 2015 against the British veteran Jack Mason, I decided to train in the Kings MMA of Huntington Beach, California.
I couldn’t ask for a better camp, that was the best of my life. Athletes such as Fabricio Werdum, Rafael Dos Anjos and Beneil Dariush trained daily with me and helped me to improve constantly.
On the 12th December I defeated Jack Mason in Venator FC 2 during the first round via TKO after hitting his face with a flying knee.
After the English athlete, I found the agreement for another match in the Venator; for this time my opponent would have been the former UFC Igor Araujo. Basically, the toughest match of my career since then.
For the second time, I settled down in the USA, to prepare the match in the Kings MMA.
On the 21st May I had the match. I went in that octagon thinking that this was my moment. I won the match hitting his face with my knee and then thanks to a guillotine choke.
Few days later, my manager phoned me: “Marvin, you did it!”. Exactly! I entered the UFC, the first goal of my career.
The debut was on the 20th of August, during a big event “UFC 202: McGregor vs Diaz 2”, against the Brazilian Alberto Uda. I won during the first round via submission.
Someone could have considered this as a finish line, but not me. It was just the beginning!