Cristiano Marcello on life after fighting, house of champions he’s built at CM System

MMA News
Cristiano Marcello on life after fighting, house of champions he’s built at CM System

At 42, Cristiano Marcello is unsure if he’s done fighting but says he is fully focused on building his gym’s legacy.

Owner of CM System in Curitiba, Brazil, four-time UFC veteran Marcello has developed one of the most successful teams in his native country and continues to build champions across various organizations.

Currently home to the UFC’s Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, former Brave CF lightweight champion Luan Santiago, current Brave CF middleweight champion Daniel Gaucho and three current Future FC champs, Marcello said he is happy with the group of guys he’s helped groom over the years at the gym.

“I really believe CM System is the best gym in Brazil right now,” Marcello told MMA Junkie. “I have a lot of world champions in my gym, in the other promotions besides the UFC, fighting the best events in Brazil, and winning there. In Future FC, I have the 155, 170 and 205 (champs) inside the best event in Latin America right now.”

Currently under contract with Brave CF, Marcello is yet to make his debut for the promotion, but if he’s being honest, he’s finding it hard to dedicate time in order to prepare for a fight, when he coaches over 50 guys at his gym.

“I have a three-fight deal with Brave,” Marcello said. “I was supposed to fight in South Africa in December, but the problem – not the problem but the good thing – is this good year happened for CM System. A lot of important fights and all these belts and if I have to fight, I have to stop two or three months just to focus on my fight. So I’m going to be selfish if I do that with my boys, with the gym, so I prefer to give, because my legacy is going to be the CM System.

“I did everything that has to do with a fight. I have championships in jiu-jitsu. I competed in boxing. I competed in muay Thai, judo.”

Going into 2020, Marcello hopes more of his guys get the platform and recognition that he believes they deserve, as he continues to try and bring the best out of the growing talent in his gym.

“I’m very happy with what I did with CM System for 10 years,” Marcello said. “I’ve been two times the best coach in Brazil in the MMA awards in Brazil, so I’m very happy with this and with what CM System has in the future. I did that for Chute Boxe. I helped Wanderlei Silva, ‘Shogun’ Rua, Anderson Silva, all these guys to be the best in the world.”