In keeping with the promotion's ongoing efforts to fill its rosters with the elite up-and-coming talent, Bellator Fighting Championships have signed Brazilian submission ace Giva Santana (16-1) to their middleweight division.
Ominously known as "The Arm Collector," Santana is a third-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and two-time Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Champion, training out of Team Oyama in Irvine, California. He has racked up a near perfect 16-1 record throughout his seven-year career while showing a penchant for stunning first-round finishes. 15 of his 16 victories have ended before the final bell, including a ridiculous streak of 10 straight armbar finishes stretching from 2005 to 2008.
"A lot of fighters like to go out there and try to knock their opponents out as soon as they can, and that's the same way I am with my submissions," Santana said in a statement released by Bellator. "For me, to tap a guy out is the same feeling as the knockout. When a punch lands and you know you knocked your opponent out, I feel the same feeling when I lock up a submission on my opponent. I know right away that he's going to tap, and it's a great feeling."
Santana last fought against former-WEC champion Doug Marshall at Tachi Palace Fights 10, winning by rear-naked choke just 29 seconds into the first round.
He will join a Bellator middleweight division that includes current champion Hector Lombard and season two tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko. The newly-signed prospect will not be a participant in season five's upcoming tournament, but should see action before the end of the year.