On September 7 in the French city of Nantes, Brazilian Alessandro Macedo faces Laid Zerhouni for the Hexagone MMA world middleweight title. The night’s double-card, presented in cooperation with Brave CF, will be broadcast on TNT Sports in the UK and Ireland and on DAZN internationally.

Zerhouni certainly poses a threat coming into the fight, just one month after his superb submission victory at the Roman Theatre of Orange. However, with a background in the Brazilian army and honed by adversity, Macedo presents a survivor’s mentality alongside his 100 percent rate of first-round finishes.

Now 35 years old, Macedo was initiated into MMA the “Brazilian” way. In 2009, after only a few months of practicing boxing, he was signed up for his first professional MMA bout. Deeply unprepared, he nonetheless managed to knock out his opponent in less than a minute. From there, he developed his Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Team Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, a gym renowned for producing several UFC champions, to earn the fight name “Snake Man.”

Macedo comes hungry for success, having quit the army and put everything on the line for a career in MMA. His appetite shows in the cage. “(I am) always looking to finish my opponent,” he said.

“I never start a fight by telling myself that it’s going to be quiet, or that I’m going to hold out until the decision. That’s really not my way.”

Excited about the opportunity to compete for a world title on an international platform, Macedo is motivated by the thought of returning home to his family with the win. His goal, as he explained, is “to rejoice and continue my dreams. Fighting at Hexagone MMA just shows me that I am on the right track!”

However, in breaking down his opponent ahead of next week’s fight, Macedo is more measured. “The fight is 50/50, so I have to be careful in every second minute until the end!” he said.

“I believe it will be a great fight the event, and for the public it will be worth it. I’m going to enjoy it and will be looking out for my opponent’s mistakes at all times, so at the right time I will overwhelm him.”

With Zerhouni entering the cage as a replacement for the originally planned opponent, Macedo now faces opposition from a different martial arts background than he was initially training for. However, he’s assured that,

“This won’t be a problem! I am sure of my work in my team. We have the best coaches and training partners, and they have helped me a lot for this fight!

“The message I send to Laid and fans is that I’m happy and ready for the show! And that Jesus is the light, the way and the life, no one goes to the Father without first passing through him!”

Macedo’s hope is that, come fight night, good grace will shine on the “Snake Man” as he bids for championship glory.