Carlo Prater: “2012 Will Be The Year That I Make My Mark In MMA”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After nine years of competing professionally, and 40 fights later, the veteran Carlo Prater recently found out that the Ultimate Fighting Championship was bringing him aboard to fight welterweight prospect Erick Silva. For a man who has fought and defeated notable names like Melvin Guillard, Spencer Fisher, and Pat Healy, it was yet another career milestone.
“Absolutely a dream come true,” the 30 year-old Prater told FCF recently, while recalling his reaction upon finding out he would compete at the January 14th, UFC 142. “I was in camp training for another fight that would be on January 20th, so we were already training hard. It was a Friday night, and I was in the middle of wrestling, going live with my guys and kept hearing my phone go off. I knew something was up and when my manager Jason Chambers told me the news, I got really excited and then I went back to going live.”
In addition to the fact that Prater will finally make his Octagon debut, the WEC veteran will get to do so in his native Brazil.
“Oh yes, definitely,” said Prater, when asked if he’s excited to be competing in Brazil, after spending considerable time throughout his career training and fighting in the U.S. “I have fought down here many times before and have a pretty strong following. The fans are incredible and really motivate all the Brazilian fighters. It is an honor.”
Prater has been assigned the task of becoming the first man in 10 fights to defeat Silva, who is coming off a successful Octagon debut in August, when he stopped Luis Ramos in the first round. The Brazilian welterweight hasn’t been defeated since December, 2006, when he lost by unanimous decision to Mario Neto.
“He is really rangy, and has good timing with his boxing,” said Prater about Silva. “Strong, tall, well-rounded kid, from a great camp. Not too many flaws, but I see a few. I will try to exploit them.”
Prater has also impressed as of late, however, and is riding a four fight win streak that includes a win over former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Cameron Dollar, and a victory over Bryan Travers while competing for Strikeforce.
“I have improved leaps and bounds in several areas since early 2010,” said Prater, who trains with veteran MMA trainer Saul Soliz and the Metro Fight Club when he’s in Houston. “I just started “pulling the trigger” as Saul says.”
“Capital Fight IV, was my last bout, which took place here in Brasilia, September 6th this year was very special to me,” Prater noted about his most recent victory, a second round submission win over Gleristone Santos. “Fighting in front of my hometown fans and family and friends, being the main event, a 5 round title fight for one of Brazil´s best promotions was definitely special. I definitely owe Bernardo Bessa, the promoter of Capital Fight, for that incredible experience.”
To prepare for his Octagon debut, Prater has enlisted the help of several trainers and gyms in Brasilia, including Kru Nilson Jr, Jose Neto, RFT Luta Livre, 2Brothers Jiu-Jitsu, Cerrado MMA, Distrito da Luta, and the Constrictor Team
“2012 will be the year that I make my mark in MMA,” said Prater, who holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Julio “Pudim”, and a black belt in Luta Livre from Marcus Gões. “The Silva fight will be incredibly entertaining and I hope we make it legendary.”
“Thanks to Joel and all the crew at FCF. I always keep up with the site; huge shout out to all the FCF readers!”
The January 14th, UFC 142 card will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena.