Marlon Sandro - MMA Featherweight King

Marlon Sandro -  MMA Featherweight King

1.  Marlon Sandro’s Details

Name  Marlon Sandro
Nickname  The Gladiator
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of Birth March 8, 1977.
Nationality  Brazilian
College/University N/A
Last Fight August 27, 2017, in SB
Last Weight In   144.6 lbs.
Weight Class Featherweight
Weight 145 lbs.
Height 5 ft 8 in
Reach 67 in
Career Disclosed Earnings $ 0
Fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil
Foundational style  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Muay Thai
Favorite Technique Arm Triangle (Kata Gatame)
Rank  2nd Degree Black Belt
Awarded By   Andre Pederneiras
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda - Carlos Gracie - Helio Gracie
- Carlson Gracie - Andre Pederneiras
- Marlon Sandro
Team/Association Nova Uniao

2.  Marlon Sandro’s Biography

“I work hard every day to be known all over the world and I’m happy because people are enjoying my hard work. I hope I am always the best.”

(Marlon Sandro)

Hard work is one of the core principles of martial arts that Marlon Sandro followed without fail. As an MMA fighter, he never shied away from arduous training and put in extra hours to develop his skills. His efforts and struggles began to pay off when he gained recognition in the MMA circuit and the love of MMA enthusiasts. Featherweight King of Pancrase and the former World Victory Road Champion, Sandro continues to conquer the intimidating martial arts platforms.

2.1. Marlon Sandro’s Early Life & Amateur Fighting

On March 8, 1977, a hard-core fighter was born in “Morro de Santo Amaro” - one of the most infamous slums of Rio de Janeiro. Marlon Sandro chose to break the shackles of adversity and poverty through combat sports. His humble background didn’t allow him to ascend the long ladder of MMA success easily. A fighter at heart, Sandro faced many difficulties to keep himself afloat.

As a teenager, he took up more than one low-paying job to cover his everyday expenses. His role changed from lifeguard in the local public pool to a bricklayer in the slums. But he could never predict that these meager jobs will set his future trajectory.

A Chance Encounter with Martial Arts

Simply put, Sandro’s lifeguard job became his entrance pass to the world of martial arts. He applied at the Upper Academy, the Headquarters of the renowned Nova Uniao, run by Andre Pederneiras for the lifeguard position. This opportunity introduced Sandro to the biggest BJJ teams in the world. A natural fighter, he picked up grappling without any difficulty. The fact that he competed in several surfing competitions and practiced Capoeira - a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of music, dance, acrobatics, and complex fight maneuvers - greatly increased his chances to excel in the sport.

MMA Training & Submitting to Disappointment

Soon, he began to train for MMA fights. For Sandro, MMA was a means to earn a decent living. Unfortunately, he had to taste the bitter side of the MMA world early on in his career. The promoters never paid him his due after the fights.  Disillusioned and disappointed, Sandro realized that the world of mixed martial arts is not all glamor and luxury. It seemed that the dream of earning a hefty amount through a well-established fighting career would never become reality. Therefore, he decided to quit training and work other jobs to meet the needs of his family.

Back to the Mats

Luck came in the form of Andre Pederneiras, who convinced Sandro to resume training and fight in competitions. Much to Sandro’s surprise, the second attempt proved to be far more rewarding. He fought for the Shooto organization in Brazil and was later invited by the Pancrase organization. He not only competed but also won the championship belt and the title of Pancrase Featherweight King.

2.2. Marlon Sandro’s Pro-MMA Combat

Pro-MMA Debut Fight

In November 2004, Sandro fought his debut fight at the Arena Combat Cup 1 (ACC-1) held in Brazil. He defeated Tata Nunes in the semi-finals and then claimed the final by defeating  Antonio Carlos Lima. Sandro was now the ACC Featherweight champion. Brimming with confidence and new-found hope in martial arts, he fought several fights in his native Brazil, including Shooto Brazil fights, the Arena Combat Cup 2, and Pancrase tournaments. He remained undefeated in every fight after his triumphant MMA debut and amassed a streak of (9-0) before the next big thing came along.

The Featherweight King of Pancrase

In November 2007, Sandro made his Pancrase debut against Daiki Hata at the Pancrase Rising 9. He won the fight in round 3 by unanimous decision.

In March  2008, he defeated Miki Shida in round 2 by knockout (flying knees and punches) at the Pancrase: Shining 2.

In October 2008, Sandro fought Masaya Takita to claim the vacant title of King of Pancrase Featherweight Champion at Pancrase: Shining 9. He won the fight in round 3 via unanimous decision and became the Pancrase King. With this win, Sandro had amassed an impressive streak of (12-0).

World Victory Road - Sengoku Promotion

In 2009, Sandro made his debut in the World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku promotion. He submitted Matt Jaggers via standing arm-triangle choke at Sengoku 7.

His next win was against Nick Dannis via knockout at Sengoku 8.

The  First Setback

In August 2009, Sandro participated in World Victory Road’s Sengoku Featherweight Championship. He suffered his first defeat at the hands of Michihiro Omigawa - a judo specialist and former UFC veteran. Sandro lost by a “must decide” decision in the semi-finals. The scores of the fight were (30-30, 30-30, 30-29). The judges selected Omigawa and gave him the “must decide split decision” 2-1.

1 Fail, 3 Wins

The failure didn’t faze Sandro in the slightest . He trained hard and won the next three consecutive fights at the WVR Sengoku Featherweight Championship. First, he defeated Yuji Hoshino at the Sengoku 11 via knockout. He then proceeded to beat Tomonari Kanomatato at Sengoku 12 via knockout.

WVR Sengoku 13 Featherweight Champion

Sandro  then challenged the Sengoku Featherweight Champion, Masanori Kanehara at the Sengoku 13. Sandro won via knockout only 38 seconds into the first round. Kanehara left the ring on a stretcher. After this fight, Sherdog ranked Sandro the No.5 Featherweight fighter in the world.

Losing the Sengoku Featherweight Champion Title

In December 2010, Sandro lost the Sengoku Featherweight Championship to Hatsu Hioki at the World Victory Road Presents: Soul of Fight.

It was a decision win for Hioki and the scores were (49-47, 48-47, 48-47). He managed to dominate Sandro in every round and almost submitted him several times in the final round by a chicken wing arm lock and then by an armbar - a deadly arm lock.

Bellator Fighting Championship

In February 2011, Sandro signed a multi-fight contract with the Bellator Fighting Championships. It was announced that he would compete in the Season Four Tournament fights.

Sandro made his debut with the promotion on June 25, 2011, at Bellator 46. He confronted Genair da Silva in the quarterfinal of the Bellator Fighting Championships: 2011 Summer Series Featherweight Tournament. The bout resulted in a split decision victory for Sandro. The scores in favor of Sandro were (30-27 and 29-28). The third judge scored the fight (29-28) for da Silva.

On July 23, 2011, Sandro faced Nazareno Malegarie in the semifinals at Bellator 47. Sandro easily dominated his opponent and won the fight via unanimous decision.

The final of the tournament, Bellator 48, was held in August 2011. Sandro fought hard but lost the important fight to Pat Curran via head kick knockout in the second round.

In November 2011, Sandro redeemed his loss by submitting Rafael Dias via arm-triangle choke in the first round at Bellator 58.

In March 2012, Sandro participated in the Bellator Season Six Featherweight tournament. He defeated Roberto Vargar via rear-naked choke in the first round.

He then marched on to defeat Alexandre Bezerra via split decision in the semi-final. Sandro lost the tournament final to Daniel Straus via unanimous decision at Bellator 68.

In November 2012, Sandro braved the TUF 14 contestant Dustin Neace at Bellator 81. Sandro won the bout via a rear-naked choke in the first round.

In February 2013, he competed in the Bellator Season Eight Featherweight Tournament at Bellator 88. He won the quarterfinal against Akop Stepanyan via majority decision. In 2013, Sandro faced Magomedrasul Khasbulaev in the semi-final at Bellator 92 and  lost via TKO in round 3.

Back to Pancrase

After a five-year hiatus, the former King of Pancrase Featherweight Championship made a strong comeback at the Pancrase 252: 20th Anniversary. Sandro dominated his opponent, Yojiro Uchirama, but the fight ended in a draw.

He then fought the current King of Pancrase Lightweight Champion, Isao Kobayashi, in a featherweight match. Sandro lost the main event of Pancrase 266 via split decision.

Back to Bellator

After his last Bellator fight at Bellator 92 in 2013, Sandro took a one-year break from the platform. He returned on May 9, 2014, to face Chris Horodecki at Bellator 119 in Ontario, Canada. Sandro stood victorious at the end of the bout. He won via unanimous decision.

2.3. Marlon Sandro’s Historic Fights

2.3.1 - Marlon Sandro vs Dustin Neace

In November 2012, the Bellator 81 event was held at the Ryan Center in Kingston Rhode Island. The former top-ranked Nova Uniao fighter Marlon Sandro met TUF 14 contestant Dustin Neace for an exciting and highly-anticipated bout.

The match was a make-it or break-it deal for Sandro’s career. This was his chance to secure a much-needed win, which he successfully got against Neace.

Neace attempted a guillotine choke early in the match and then moved in for a heel hook that was too low on the leg. Sandro patiently defended the initial attack. With the help of a fence-grab, he managed to attack Neace’s back and seal the deal with a technical rear-naked choke submission.

Marlon Sandro vs Masanori Kanehara

On June 20, 2010, the WVR Sengoku Raiden Championship 13 was held at the Ryogoku Kokugian Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Marlon Sandro defeated his opponent Masanori Kanehara within  38 seconds. He wasted no time in closing the distance and attacking Kanehara with a flurry of punches in the opening seconds. The attack forced Kanehara to retreat from the assault.  Then, Sandro delivered a lethal right uppercut to his opponent. Unable to endure the onslaught, the former Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix champion fell to the ground.

A force to be reckoned with, Sandro came out of the battle as the triumphant winner of the Sengoku Championship.

Marlon Sandro vs Masaya Takita

The Shining 9 Pancrase event took place at the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. The highlight of the tournament was the epic fight for the vacant King of Pancrase featherweight title. Marlon Sandro and Masaya Takita tried to best each other for the title in a non-stop action-packed combat.

When it all ended, the referee built up suspense, then raised Sandro's hand to declare his massive victory via unanimous decision. With this Sandro managed to keep his undefeated record in place. He was also awarded the King of Pancrase Featherweight Title for putting up a great fight.

2.4. Marlon Sandro’s Championships and Accomplishments


  • Brazilian National Championship (BJJ Tournament)


  • Bellator Fighting MMA Championship
  • Pancrase MMA Championship
  • World Victory Road (Sengoku MMA Championship)
  • Arena Combat Cup (MMA Tournament)
  • Road FC MMA Championship


  • Brazilian National Champion (BJJ)
  • Pancrase MMA Champion
  • Sengoku Champion
  • Arena Combat Cup Winner
  • Bellator Fighting Championship (Season 6)
  • Bellator Fighting Championship (Summer Series)
  • Road FC Champion

Event Year Medal/Title
Road FC 2016 Featherweight Champion
Bellator Fighting Championship (Season 6) 2012 Runner-up
Bellator Fighting Championship (Summer Series) 2011 Runner-up
World Victory Road (Sengoku Championship) 2010 Champion
Pancrase Championship 2008 Champion
Arena Combat Cup 2004 Champion
Brazilian Nationals 2001 1 Bronze Medal

3.  Marlon Sandro’s Main Achievements (MMA)

One-time Road FC featherweight Champion
Year Opponent
2016 Mu Gyeom Choi

One-time World Victory Road Sengoku Champion
Year Opponent
2010 Masanori Kanehara

One-time Pancrase Featherweight Champion
Year Opponent
2008 Masaya Takita

One-time Arena Combat Cup Champion
Year Opponent
2004 Antonio Carlos Lima

4.  Marlon Sandro’s Main Achievements (Belts- BJJ)

Position Belt Event Year
3rd Purple Brazilian National 2001

5.  Marlon Sandro’s MMA Professional Record Breakdown

Professional MMA Record Breakdown
37 Matches 28 Wins  07 Losses
By Knockout 09 02
By Submission 07 00
By Decision 12 05
Draw 02

5.1. Submission Methods W/L

Submission Method 07 Wins 00 Losses
Rear Naked Choke (RNC) 03 00
Triangle Choke 01 00
Arm Triangle Choke 03 00

6.  Marlon Sandro’s MMA Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Division
2017 Shooto Brazil 74 Diego Arturo Huerto Jauregui W Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1 Featherweight
2016 Pancrase 283 Koyomi Matsushima W TKO (elbows and punches) 1 Featherweight
2016 Road FC 029 Mu Gyeom Choi L Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2015 Shooto Brasil 59: Bahia Wanderson Michel W Submission (shoulder injury) 1 Featherweight
2015 Road FC 025 Soo Chul Kim D Draw (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2015 Pancrase 266 Isao Kobayashi L Decision (split) 3 Featherweight
2014 Bellator 119 Chris Horodecki W Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2013 Pancrase 252: 20th Anniversary Yojiro Uchimura D Draw (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2013 Bellator 92 Magomedrasul Khasbulaev L TKO (punches) 3 Featherweight
2013 Bellator 88 Akop Stepanyan W Decision (majority) 3 Featherweight
2012 Bellator 81 Dustin Neace W Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 Featherweight
2012 Bellator 68 Daniel Mason-Straus L Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2012 Bellator 64 Alexandre Bezerra W Decision (split) 3 Featherweight
2012 Bellator 60 Roberto Vargas W Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 Featherweight
2011 Bellator 58 Rafael Dias W Submission (arm triangle choke) 1 Featherweight
2011 Bellator 48 Pat Curran L KO (head kick and punches) 2 Featherweight
2011 Bellator 47 Nazareno Malegarie W Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2011 Bellator 46 Genair da Silva W Decision (split) 3 Featherweight
2010 World Victory Road Presents: Soul of Fight Hatsu Hioki L Decision (unanimous) 5 Featherweight
2010 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 13 Masanori Kanehara W KO (punch) 1 Featherweight
2010 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 12 Tomonari Kanomata W KO (punch) 1 Featherweight
2009 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 11 Yuji Hoshino W KO (punches) 1 Featherweight
2009 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 9 Michihiro Omigawa L Decision (split) 3 Featherweight
2009 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 8 Nick Denis W KO (punches) 1 Featherweight
2009 World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 7 Matt Jaggers W Submission (standing arm-triangle choke) 2 Featherweight
2008 Pancrase: Shining 9 Masaya Takita W Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2008 Pancrase: Shining 2 Miki Shida W KO (flying knee and punches) 2 Featherweight
2007 Pancrase: Rising 9 Daiki Hata W Decision (unanimous) 3 Featherweight
2007 Shooto Brazil 3: The Evolution Marcos dos Santos W Decision (unanimous) 3 N/A
2007 Shooto: Brazil 2 William Vianna W Decision (unanimous) 3 N/A
2006 Shooto Brazil 1: The Return Erinaldo Rodriguez W Decision (unanimous) 3 N/A
2006 Minotauro Fights 4 Marcelo Ferreira W Decision (unanimous) 3 N/A
2005 Arena Combat Cup 2 Alexandre Aranha W KO (punches) 1 N/A
2005 Shooto: Brazil 8 Fabricio Medeiros W Decision (unanimous) 3 N/A
2005 Shooto: Brazil 7 Orley de Oliveira W KO (punches) 1 N/A
2004 Arena Combat Cup 1 Antonio Carlos Lima W Submission (triangle choke) 2 Featherweight
2004 Arena Combat Cup 1 Tatu Nunes W Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 Featherweight

7.  Marlon Sandro’s Top Fights (Video Links)

Marlon Sandro MMA highlights

Pat Curran vs Marlon Sandro

Marlon Sandro Shooto Brasil: Bahia

Marlon Sandro vs Magomedrasul “Frodo” Khasbulaev MMA Highlights

Photo Credit: @marlon_gladiator

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