• DOB: N/A
  • Nickname: N/A
  • Gym: MMA Masters
  • Location: Miami,  Florida
  • Background: Capoeira, Muay Thai
  • Notable Fighters: Colby Covington, Amanda Nunes, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Rocco Martin, Illia Topuria, Nate Landwehr

Cesar Carneiro begins learning Capoeira 

Cesar Carneiro grew up in Bahia, Brazil, where he first started learning Capoeira when he was 6 years old. He would spend over the next 10 years of his life training this martial art.

Carneiro would learn under highly revered Capoeirista, Master Marcos Alabama. When Cesar was 17 years old, he graduated from Master Alabama’s school.

It wasn’t long after his graduation that Carneiro would become a master of Capoeira. His talent in this martial art would lead him to be offered a position in Oba-Oba. Who at the time was the largest show business organization within Brazil.

He would do multiple weekly shows in front of numerous spectators. Demonstrating his Capoeira abilities and earning many fans.

Cesar Carneiro learns Muay Thai and meets Jean Claude Van Damme

After spending some time doing shows for Oba-Oba, Carneiro would travel to Thailand to learn Muay Thai.

Cesar would dedicate his time in Thailand to training the art of Muay Thai everyday. He would then make his way to the United States and look to find work in the movie business.

His first role would be a small one as a Capoeira performer in the action movie “Only The Strong.” A story about a teacher in Miami turns his students’ life around by learning the art of Capoeira.

Carneiro would get another small role in a tv movie called Mortal Contact before getting his biggest role. Working with action star Jean Claude Van Damme in his movie called “The Quest.”

Cesar would play a Capoeira fighter in a tournament of fighters all across the world to see who’s the best.

After this role, Cesar would get a role in another film before getting mostly work in TV commercials.

Cesar Carneiro begins training fighters

During the early 2000s, Cesar began to get into training MMA fighters. He was living in Miami, Florida, which has always been a location that was known for producing top boxers.

Now with MMA starting to get popular, Carneiro began using his knowledge to coach students and fighters. He started to develop a reputation as a good coach and gradually started to increase his clientele.

Cesar Carneiro & Daniel Valverde opens MMA Masters

While training at different gyms in Miami, Carneiro would work with Daniel Valverde. Both were natives of Bahia in Brazil and instantly had a connection with one another.

Valverde was a highly decorated Judo black belt that had multiple big championships. He is also a BJJ black belt who has won numerous titles including the 2007 World No-Gi Masters Championships.

With Cariero’s striking and Valverde’s grappling, the two together would make an effective combination. The two decided to go into business together and they would open MMA Masters in the late 2000s. 

A state of the art MMA facility that had everything that a fighter or martial arts student could need. Complete with a cage, large mat area, cardio equipment, weight room, locker rooms, and even a pro shot.

They had the knowledge, facility, and fantastic location to create one of Florida’s best training centers.

MMA Masters begins to grow

The partnership between Carneiro and Valverde was quite an effective combination from the beginning. Their gym began growing exponentially as they began developing fighters and growing their base of regular students.

Their fighters began making a name for themselves on the Florida MMA circuit and around neighboring states. Cesar and Daniel’s MMA Masters were progressively improving and their fighters continued to develop their skills.

MMA Masters fighters reach the UFC

Just a few years after opening their gym, Cesar Carneiro and Daniel Valverde’s fighters started to reach the UFC. Some of the first fighters that reached the UFC included Ricardo Lamas, Cezar Ferreira, Josh Samman, and Amanda Nunes.

As MMA Masters has grown, so has their number of fighters in the UFC and also the other big promotions.

Notable fighters

Cesar Carneiro and his crew have trained quite a few contenders since opening MMA Masters. Here are some of the most notable fighters that Carneiro has coached.

Colby Covington

We’ll start with the most recent addition to Carneiro’s stable with the controversial and talented Colby Covington. 

Colby “Chaos” Covington reached the UFC after just 4 professional fights. Making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 48 in just his 5th pro fight.

He would win his debut along with his next two fights before suffering the first loss of his career. After that loss, Colby began evolving into a top tier fighter.

Then to get more attention, Covington developed the persona that most know him for now. A brash trash talking conservative that is a pro Trump supporter. This got him the attention he wanted as he continued his winning streak.

Covington would earn a title shot against Kamaru Usman and have a fight of the night performance in a loss. The loss didn’t keep him quiet as he continued to stir controversy.

Colby would actually start a feud with teammate Jorge Masvidal. This bad blood would lead Covington to exit the gym and begin training with Cesar Carneiro.

As he is going into his rematch with Usman, Covington has praised his new gym and coach Carneiro.

Amanda Nunes

The greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time Amanda Nunes trained at MMA Masters for a brief time. From 2012 to 2014 after she moved to Florida from New Jersey.

During her time training with Carneiro, Nunes would go 3-2 in 5 fights. Most notably beating Germaine de Randamie for the first time and suffering her last loss to Cat Zingano.

She would then move to American Top Team and develop into the GOAT of women’s MMA.

Ricardo Lamas

Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas was one of Carneiro’s first fighters to make it to the UFC. He came over to the UFC from the merger with the WEC.

Debuting in 2011 against Matt Grice, which he would win by 1st round TKO. Lamas would continue finding success as he won his next three fights against top contenders. Which included a submission win over Cub Swanson and a TKO win over Eric Koch.

This would set him up for his own title shot against Jose Aldo, which he would lose by unanimous decision. Ricardo would go 4-2 in his next 6 fights after the title fight loss.

Fighting the best in the world that included Chad Mendes, Diego Sanches, Max Holloway, and Charles Oliveira.

Lamas would win the last match of his career beating Bill Algeo by decision. Ending a good career with a record of 20-8.

Anthony Rocco Martin

Anthony Rocco Martin has been a perennial contender in the UFC Welterweight division for the last 7 years. He would have a rocky start to his UFC run going 1-3 in his first 4 fights.

Martin would save his UFC run and win his next three fights before losing a split decision to Olivier Aubin-Mercier. But he would bounce back to win 4 straight before losing a decision to Demain Maia.

Rocco Martin is now looking to get back in the win column after dropping a decision to Neil Magny.

Illia Topuria

One of Carneiro’s most promising fighters as of now is undefeated Spaniard Illia “El Matador” Topuria. Illia would dominate in his first 6 fights before entering the UFC with all 6 wins being finishes.

The Matador would make his UFC debut in 2020 on a UFC Fight Night card. Beating Youssef Zala by unanimous decision.

He would then brutally stop veteran Damon Jackson in his 2nd UFC match on another Fight Night card. Then he would face the boogeyman of the lightweight division no one wanted to face in Ryan Hall.

Topuria would become the first person to stop Ryan Hall and improve his record to 10-0. Illia is currently 3-0 in the UFC and is looking to make waves in the lightweight division.

Cesar Carneiro’s legacy

Cesar Carneiro has certainly lived a very interesting life. He became a Capoeira master at an early age and used his abilities to travel the world.

Getting to be in movies and then opening his own MMA gym with MMA Masters. Carneiro has created quite a large stable of MMA fighters that fight in every major promotion in the world.

He has worked with some of the best fighters in the world and could soon have world champions in his stable. Only time will tell, but Carneiro will no doubt continue finding success as an MMA coach.

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