Mississauga, Ont. lightweight Adam De Freitas has aspirations to perform on some of MMA’s grandest stages, and soon.
At 33 years old, competing in what is perhaps the sport’s most cutthroat weight class, De Freitas (1-1) is honest about the challenges ahead, yet eager to meet them head on. He will not have to wait much longer, as he meets New Jerseyite Ryan Rizco (2-1) at this Friday’s CFFC 93 event in Philadelphia, Pa.
While De Freitas recognizes the danger his opponent presents, he believes at this point in his career, the taller the order, the more meaningful the victory.
“I didn’t think twice about taking the fight. I mean, I don’t analyze my opponents too much, but from what I can see he’s a high-level guy. Renzo Gracie brown belt, athletic, top-heavy guy. I took this fight because it’s a tough fight,” said De Freitas in an interview with MMA Empire.
“You know, both feet in reality, I don’t have the time to fight cans and bums. I have to fight high-level guys and win in highlight-reel fashion to fast-track my career.”
Since turning professional in 2017, all but two of his scheduled bookings have fallen through, with most of his opponents backing out at the last minute.
He looks to make up for those lost opportunities this Friday with a statement win, in the hope of attracting the attention of a Bellator or other major promotion.
“In fight years, at 33, especially being 1-1 and having so many fights cancelled, I haven’t had the chance to build up the record, and it’s not for lack of trying. It took two years trying to get opponents to show up,” said De Freitas.
A newly-minted father and full-time tactical officer in a Canadian law enforcement agency, De Freitas is used to having multiple plates in the air at once.
But after suffering his first professional loss in 2020, he said he knew he needed a focused camp as free as possible from distractions.
“I have a good career already. Obviously, I’m not walking away from that. Now, I can take off time to do fight camps, but I can’t do four, five camps a year; I’m lucky if I can fight two to three times. So, every time I fight, it’s got to be a high-level opponent,” said De Freitas.
“Obviously, I’m in it to make a career though, to make a stand. I’d love to fight in one of the bigger shows.”
De Freitas isn’t sure whether his interest in martial arts preceded his aspirations in law enforcement or instead coincided with them, but says the parallels are mental more than physical, such as the ability to perform under stress.
“It all combines into the fact that I have a relationship with violence,” said De Freitas.
“It’s not that I try to show it off or anything, but I love knowing violence and being able to control violence.”
De Freitas recently moved his training from Parabellum MMA to Niagara Top Team and, despite the complications of the ongoing pandemic, said he’s enjoying one of the best camps of his career.
“It’s been a lot more of choosing who I’m working with in more of a small, isolated group, but I’m still training with high-quality partners. It’s just that things have to be a bit more structured in advance. I can’t just pick up and go,” said De Freitas.
After losing his last fight, De Freitas realized his level of commitment to fighting was not commensurate with the level of competition he was facing, and has approached this camp with a comprehensive, no-stone-unturned attitude.
“I’ve hired someone to just be a dedicated pad-holder almost every day,” De Freitas said.
“And the cut to lightweight is definitely not easy, but I’m not cutting twenty pounds of water the night before. This camp I said ‘I have to take my fight camps to the professional level,’ so I hired someone to monitor my weight, my nutrition, and do my weight cut for me.”
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