Former Chelsea Goalkeeper-Turned-Fighter Aiming For UFC Career

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Former Chelsea goalkeeper Ricardo Prasel is aiming for a UFC fighting career.

The Brazilian was signed by the Blues at 18 and after around six months at the club he was loaned out to Belgian team Royal Football Club de Liege. In total, he played three years of soccer in Europe before retiring from the sport due to a chronic hip injury.

He returned to his native Brazil and took up jiu-jitsu where he then transitioned to mixed martial arts. Prasel is now a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“My problem was with the impact [in soccer],” Prasel told ESPN. “Where it hurt was exactly the region where I landed when I made saves. In MMA, I receive more blows to the thigh. … My problem is with impact and not movements.”

He believes his experience on the highest levels of soccer will help him become successful in MMA.

“Chelsea is a very powerful team and has a beautiful structure,” Prasel said. “I met many famous players that I thought would be impossible to know until the moment I was there. … I believe it should be something like fighting in the UFC.”

Prasel admits he has no regrets his football career ended prematurely.

“I have no regrets today,” Prasel said. “If you asked me if I prefer to play on the Brazilian [soccer] team or fight for the UFC, 100 times I would choose to fight in the UFC. MMA is a sport that depends only on me and the adrenaline is much bigger. I love it. I love to fight. My time in soccer was very good, but I would not trade that for my fight career.”

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