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Carlos Prates: UFC Newcomer Did *THIS* Before MMA!

Newcomer Carlos Prates contested almost 100 Muay Thai bouts before fully committing to MMA – How did he do this?


Welcome Carlos!

Carlos Prates, a Brazilian striker, will make his UFC debut on Saturday against 12-time octagon veteran Trevin Giles in a welterweight bout at UFC Vegas 86.

The fight comes more than a decade after Prates nearly left MMA for good.

Carlos Prates joined the UFC after defeating Mitch Ramirez during the promotion’s Contender Series in August 2023. Prates, who has a long history in Muay Thai and kickboxing, sees his difficult journey as proof that he was intended to be under the spotlight in Las Vegas.


Is He Leaving MMA?

Carlos Prates revealed on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast that he once considered quitting MMA and focusing solely on kickboxing. “But MMA was always coming back to my life — and here I am now, fighting for the world’s biggest MMA promotion.”

Carlos Prates started practicing Muay Thai with Vale Top Team in Sao Paulo when he was 15 years old, and he still goes to the facility. He made his MMA debut four years later.

Carlos Prates bounced between MMA and striking fights for the next two years until deciding to relocate to Thailand following his fourth loss in nine MMA bouts.

That’s when life took an unexpected turn.

“I fought a lot there, because we have no sponsors in Thailand, you have no other job, so all you have to do to pay rent and buy food is fight,” Prates said. “I think I have a total of 102 or 103 fights, but I can’t say for sure how many of those happened in Thailand or in Brazil. [Laughs.] I fought way more in Thailand, of course — Thailand, China, Dubai, Russia, around there. There was a year I did 25 fights in Asia, four a month in three different countries. It was cool, visiting new places and new people, new cultures.”

The Motivation Behind His Fight


“There were days I would wake up and run in the morning, and then go to the gym and my coach said, ‘Go home and rest, you’re fighting tonight.’ You needed the money to pay for stuff, and you never knew if you would get injured the next month and wouldn’t be able to fight again, so we always fought.”

Money was tight at first, and the purses Prates received were enough to cover his rent or groceries. Competing in China occasionally resulted in six times larger wages, he said, and life was gradually improving. Prates’ time in Thailand felt like a perpetual vacation, with gorgeous beaches, parties, and fantastic training at Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Fight Club, but he eventually opted to return to Brazil.

Is He Now Unbeatable?

After six years in Thailand, Prates currently trains at VTT and Fighting Nerds. He believes that having enough experience allows him to dismiss any pre-fight nerves, which gives him an advantage over other UFC prospects.

Giles holds a 7-5 record under the UFC umbrella, with a trio of knockout victories to his credit and decisions over the likes of Roman Dolidze and James Krause.

“That’s a good fight,” Prates said of his UFC Vegas 86 matchup. “My manager Lucas [Lutkus] asked me of names I would like to fight in the UFC and I said Giles’ name, Santiago PonzinibbioJoaquin Buckley, because I like their fighting styles, they allow me to showcase my game.”


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