It was April 2011 when Cristiano Marcello first crossed paths with his future UFC 153 opponent Reza Madadi.
Madadi won the Super Challenge title that night with a win over UFC veteran Rich Clementi, and at the behest of the promoters, former Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello went into the cage to challenge the new champion for the first show at the belt.
Instead of fun stare down or even a mutual respect between fighters, Madadi grabbed the microphone away from Marcello and said ‘you’re not on my level, don’t even try’ before walking out of the cage.
Ever since that moment, Marcello has been on a mission to beat Madadi, and show him a whole new level of pain in the cage.
“At the time they gave him to me, I said thanks to God because at the time you’re a champion you know someone is going to try to take your belt. If you watch the tape I’m so respectful, I said thanks to Reza for being here and telling him he’s a great fighter, and he takes the microphone out of my hands and tells me I’m not on his level,” said Marcello when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“He was right at the time, I’m not on his level. I’m better than him, and I’m going to prove I’m better than him on October 13th.”LINK