By McKinley Noble, via FightFansRadio.com
Out of all the UFC fighters cut from the promotion in the last few years, is there anyone that’s had as amazing an adventure as Vinny Magalhães?
No. Not by a long shot.
In fact, the Ultimate Fighter: Mir vs. Nogueria standout should be a role model for any athlete who finds themselves being handed a pink slip by Zuffa. Not only is Magalhães triumphantly returning to the UFC, but he’s doing so as part of a huge fight card, one of the biggest this year in both raw talent and promotional muscle.
But what makes Magalhães’ return to the fold so special is the way he’s managed to raise his profile in the time he’s been fighting his way back. All other former UFC "veterans" trying to make it back to the fold should just follow this blueprint.
1: Fight (and Beat) Good Opponents
Although it’s easy to inflate a win streak by beating up overmatched journeymen, no one will take you seriously if you’re demolishing cans.
That’s why Magalhães’ 7-1 record following his loss to Elliot Marshall actually looks pretty good—most of the guys he beat were decent fighters coming off winning streaks. Heck, in his last fight, M-1 Global practically threw a stylistic nightmare at their reluctant champion just to get their light heavyweight title belt off of him.
Speaking of which, that brings us to the next guideline.
2: Earn Yourself a Championship Belt
Even though a championship belt doesn’t really mean anything rankings-wise outside of the UFC, being a promotion’s top dog is never a negative. As a pro fighter, most regional championships look good on your resume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt your image in the least to have extra belts lining your gym’s wall or trophy case.
John "Doomsday" Howard and Kendall Grove know this rule, too. Both fighters are outside the UFC looking in, but at least they’ve each got some new hardware to show for their recent efforts.
3: Keep Your Name in the Headlines
However, it’s what Magalhães did with the M-1 Light Heavyweight Title that drew the most MMA media coverage, when he put it up for sale on eBay. That’s genius-level self promotion, especially when you’re trying to catch the UFC’s attention.
If you’re trying to get Dana White or Joe Silva to return your calls, keeping your name in the news is just as important as winning. Just don’t go the Junie Browning route by becoming an international fugitive and pissing off an entire country.
4: Stir Up A Little Controversy
But a little controversy isn’t a bad thing if you know how to do it the right way.
About the most questionable thing Magalhães has done in the last three years is training Chael Sonnen for his fight against Anderson Silva prior to UFC 148. Sure, other Brazilians may not have taken so warmly to the news, but generating a little heat amid the biggest PPV of the year is actually smart.
It got Magalhães’ name in there with the headliners of the event, and it gave just a glimmer of speculation that Sonnen learned some crazy submission technique that would help him in the fight. It didn’t, but the thought was there.
5: Keep Calm and Keep Talking
More than anything, Vinny Magalhães has proven to be very adept at talking, whether it’s on Twitter, in front of a microphone, or on an Internet broadcast show. Sure, some of the things he’s said have ranged from laughable (‘Sonnen can submit Anderson’) to outright ridiculous (‘I can submit Jon Jones’), but the MMA news cycle is always hungry for those kind of quotes.
Take note, ex-UFC fighters. If you cut a good interview with the right topic, that alone could be more prominent than the last fight you just won.
This article was originally posted on FightFansRadio.com.