Once upon a time, it seemed the chances of Vinny Magalhaes making his way back into the UFC were slim to none. The Ultimate Fighter 8 contestant was 2-4 with one no-contest coming off of back-to-back losses to Ryan Bader and Eliot Marshall.

Of course, his loss to Bader was in the finals of the season eight Ultimate Fighter tournament, but things looked pretty bleak for this light heavyweight prospect with so much potential and so much to offer, yet who couldn’t pull off anything major inside the cage when the time came.

Now, at 9-5, Magalhaes will make his return after his career outside of the UFC brought him much success. Magalhaes has utilized his amazing set of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to pull off five submission victories since his dismissal from the UFC. In that time, Magalhaes has also captured the M-1 Global light heavyweight title, defending it once.

Magalhaes has gone 7-1 since his dismissal with his one loss coming by way of decision in 2010 at Shark Fights 9. All of his wins, though, come by either TKO or submission with none of his victims going further than 1:40 into the third.

It will be almost a year since Magalhaes has fought, and it wasn’t because the fighter was injured, but because he had a contract dispute with M-1 Global. In a hilarious turn of events, Magalhaes ended up selling his light heavyweight belt from M-1 on Ebay with the picture showing the belt resting right on the toilet.

All jokes aside, Magalhaes is coming off some impressive displays of jiu-jitsu, including one mounted gogoplata neck crank that I’m sure won’t be matched in the UFC. Magalhaes has improved in all aspects—yes, even on the ground—and has continually improved from one fight to the next.

It’s tough for me to sit here and shout praises at the guy after his first stint in the UFC, but the improvements he has made in his game lead me to believe he’ll have a more successful go-around this time. He may not hold the UFC light heavyweight belt, but he could be a top-ten fighter and contender for years to come.

His second trek into the dark jungle that is the UFC light heavyweight division won’t be easy. There isn’t one guy that will be easy for him at 205, that’s for sure. He gets a good start though with Igor Pokrajac at UFC 152. It should be a nice opening test for Magalhaes.

Magalhaes certainly has the ground game to make a statement in the UFC, but in order to be a bigger legitimate threat, his hands have to get to a higher level. Relying on just one aspect of the sport won’t get you far in a division as deep as this one.

He has made those improvements during his time away, but now it’s time to see if he’s done enough to face—and beat—the best of the best.

Photo: Vinny Magalhaes (John Weible/Sherdog)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.