Dreams never come true if you’re still asleep. A lot of people have big hopes and dreams in life, but when they move through the motions of life like zombies, they are never really chasing anything.
27-year-old Brazilian bantamweight MMA fighter Allan Begosso was not necessarily dreaming of a pro fighting career his whole life. However, he did get into combat sports at a young age, and now he lives in Sacramento, Calif., trains at Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male, has once fought for the Legacy Fighting Alliance bantamweight title, and is about to do it again. So, how did the kid from Sao Paulo end up here?
“I started training at 10 years old,” Begosso told Combat Press. “I was always fighting in Brazil with my friends. And, one of my friends started training kickboxing at a gym. I went to the gym, and the guy said, ‘why don’t you start doing this, like, for real?’ I came to the gym and I started training like. I was like nine months into training, and I did a Muay Thai fight, and I loved it.
“I started fighting almost every weekend. Each time, I kept getting better, you know, like, improving. and.But, at this time, I was only training Muay Thai and kickboxing. When I was 15 years old, I broke [a bone], and I couldn’t kick. I couldn’t train Muay Thai at all. My first Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, he would always see me there, watching people training, and he said, ‘Man, you can’t train Muay Thai, but you can train jiu-jitsu. Why don’t you train jiu-jitsu?’ I said, ‘No, I like to punch people.’ And, he said, ‘No, try it.’ I started training jiu-jitsu, and I loved it.
“I started doing competitions like every single weekend, and I started getting better and better. Then, he told me, ‘Man, now you have jiu-jitsu, and you have good striking. Why not do MMA?’ So, I started training MMA. I did one fight amateur, and I started pro after that.”
Begosso grew up with one older sister and one younger brother. However, of the three, he was the only one pursuing a fighting career. His first and only gym that he trained at in Sao Paulo was 011 MMA. While he is very loyal to his gym and his coaches, in 2019, he had to make a big career move, so he headed to the Central Valley of California.
“I was very frustrated in Brazil, because there were not many fights,” admitted Begosso. “I was a professional, 4-0, but it was very sad because I was winning like 20 bucks – 20 dollars – to fight there, and I wasn’t making money at all. My last fight there, I broke my hand. I had to do, like, three surgeries. I stayed out of competition for almost two years, because I did three surgeries back-to-back. I was very upset. I grabbed everything – all my stuff – and I told myself, ‘I have to go to the United States.’ And, Team Alpha Male is one of the best teams in my division. They had Cody Garbrandt, Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes, you know, Urijah. When I got here, I didn’t speak English, so I brought a letter for Urijah, saying that I wanted to become a champion, and I came from Brazil. He watched my fight, and said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ He helped me a lot.”
Begosso did not speak English at the time, so his now-ex-wife wrote the letter for him. She was also from Brazil, but she knew more English than he did. The move to California, and the start of a new life was not easy in the beginning.
“For a couple of years it was super hard,” Begosso explained. “But, things started getting better. The partners here, they helped me a lot. I met a bunch of people here that helped me a lot too. I have, like, a big brother here now. He has always supported me a lot. and I’m happy here. We live together, and he’s amazing. He owns health clubs, and he sponsored me.”
In addition to a great deal of assistance from Faber, Patrick Rodda, who Begosso refers to as his big brother, not only helped him out financially, but has also just been a great friend.
While getting settled into training in his new home, Begosso eventually got a very welcome call. After being on the bench for years due to his surgeries, he made his LFA debut at LFA 90n in Sep. 2020. This would serve as the first of two back-to-back wins in the LFA Octagon, which eventually set him up for a title shot.
“To be honest, I was really hungry,” said Begosso. “It was a really important fight for me, because it was showing that I was able to get back there after a long-time layoff. I was coming off three surgeries, depression, and a lot of shit I had here too. I got back to training properly, and I started to do the right things after that. I got my life on the right track.”
In Dec. 2021, Begosso first fought for the vacant LFA bantamweight title when he faced Richard Palencia at LFA 119. The fight went the distance, and the judges gave the unanimous decision to Palencia. While it wasn’t the outcome he wanted, Begosso was not incredibly unhappy with himself.
“I had a really good fight, actually,” said Begosso. “I know I made some mistakes. I knocked him down twice in the first round, the second round. I almost choked him out in the second round, the third round. I had a really good fight, but I think I spent too much time with my back against the cage. I was happy with my performance, but I know I can do better.”
After the loss, Begosso was back in action last July, when he faced Paris Stanford at LFA 135. He got back in the win column with a highlight-reel knockout by a jumping switch knee only 45 seconds into the fight. This win set him up for a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series in mid-September, but he came up short on the judges’ scorecards once again. This loss was a bit tougher than his first one.
“That fight taught me a lot, man,” Begosso elaborated. “I thought I was ready for that fight, you know? And, I was without my hand, actually. I tore my ligament, and I needed surgery. Urijah told me I didn’t need to fight, if I can’t fight. He said I would get another opportunity. But, you never know when you will get a call from the UFC to fight, so it didn’t matter if I had one hand, I needed to fight. I couldn’t train much wrestling or boxing. I only had one hand. I learned a lot. I needed to improve my ground game and takedown defense. I learned not to fight injured.”
Well, after getting surgery again, Begosso finally got back to training and by Spring 2023, he was ready to go. In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, he ended up in another LFA title fight. He was originally set to face John Sweeney for an interim title, but due to some organizational movement, the two will now fight for the LFA vacant bantamweight title tonight at LFA 160.
“I was excited to get back to LFA,” said Begosso. “I always had a good relationship with LFA. I wasn’t expecting to fight for the title. I was just wanting to get back in the cage. Then, they put the interim belt on the line. A lot of guys were turning down fights, and I asked them to give me another shot at the title. I lost on the Contender Series, but I wasn’t 100-percent. I felt like I deserved another title shot. My manager asked them, and they gave me the opportunity.”
Sweeney, who trains out of UFC and kickboxing veteran Stephen Thompson’s family’s gym Upstate Karate in Simpsonville, S.C. is also an LFA veteran. He is currently 12-3 as a pro, and he is currently riding a six-fight unbeaten streak with the last two taking place in the LFA Octagon. This is an opponent that Begosso is happy to challenge for the belt.
“He’s a really good guy,” said Begosso. “He likes to do a lot of feints. He’s a really good striker, like me. He trains with Stephen Thompson, and he’s a karate black belt. He has a good ground game too. Maybe, he’s going to try to take me down. Maybe, not. I don’t know, to be honest. But, I’m ready for everything. I’m training really hard. He jokes a lot inside the cage, and I hope he keeps doing this.”
Begosso has come a long way since his teenage years in Brazil. And, tonight, live on UFC Fight Pass, he will be headlining LFA 160, live from the Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro, Ky. A in will get him one step closer to his ultimate goal – to be in the UFC.
“I’m going to be in the UFC this year. I know that. It’s going to happen.”
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