Six up, six down. It’s been nothing but flawless victory for Mike “The Wolverine” Rio in his mixed martial arts career thus far, and he’s not about to give up his undefeated streak without a fight. His toughest test will come on July 23, when he takes on “The Ultimate Fighter 8” champion and UFC veteran Efrain Escudero in the co-main event at Championship Fighting Alliance 2 in Miami, Florida.
A two-time state high school wrestling champion and three-time national champion at Lindenwood University, Rio entered mixed martial arts after college and began to train at some of the top camps in South Florida. Rio has stepped up his game and is ready to prove that he belongs in the UFC with the rest of the world’s top lightweight fighters.
“I’ve asked my management team to put me up against tough opponents to prove that I’m UFC worthy,” said the Wolverine. “With this fight against Escudero they have produced. Now it’s my job to walk into the cage and walk out with a big win.”
With a win over an elite fighter like Escudero who has already competed in the UFC, Rio feels like that will be the biggest stamp on an ever-improving MMA resume, and that win should give him an opportunity with a bigger organization.
“Escudero will be my toughest fight to date,” said the Wolverine. “I’ve been training harder than I ever have before. I have one goal- win and move on to the big show.”
In the prime of his career, Rio has proved to be an exciting fighter. He has finished five of his six opponents, including four inside the first round. When entering mixed martial arts, Rio was determined to become a well-rounded fighter, and he has achieved that goal, with the “proof in the pudding” being his two knockouts and three submissions.
“Rio is a top lightweight prospect,” said ML Management manager, Tina Vidal. “Rio brings it every time he enters the cage. I have no doubt he is UFC ready.”
Riding high after a 51-second TKO over undefeated Sylvian Bynum, Rio has supplemented dominant wins with a unanimous decision over highly respected 10-4 prospect Mike Bruno. Now ready to take the next step in his career, Rio lives by just one credo:
“If you’re not trying to be the champ, you shouldn’t be in the sport.”
About ML Management Group
ML Management Group was founded by a group of business executives and entrepreneurs to provide talent management specifically to the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) industry. ML Management Group takes a comprehensive approach to MMA management, providing our clientele with a holistic approach and professional business environment for them to manage and further their careers, financial interests, and personal life objectives.