A young Brazilian got more than he bargained for when he attended a mixed martial arts event in Juiz de Fora over the weekend as a fan - and left as the new welterweight champion.

22-year-old Luis Felipe Alvim and girlfriend Fabiana had to dip into their savings to buy tickets for the Juiz de Fora Fight 18 at the Gran Victory Hotel in the city in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, after their plan to sell brownies at the venue's entrance failed.

Once inside, Alvim - a keen MMA fan with a black belt in muay thai and blue belt in jiu-jitsu - greeted his coach Felipe Silva, who told him that the welterweight bout was in doubt after a late withdrawal.

Alvim offered to step in as a replacement for Claudinei Kall, who was due to fight Carlos Eduardo Rufino, but pulled out after Rufino failed to make weight in the 170-pound category.

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According to mmafighting.com, the spot had already been promised to another fighter, but less than an hour before the main event, the replacement also had second thoughts.

"I told Felipe Silva I'd fight, that I'd put on a show, but a new fight was already booked," Alvim told the website.

"Forty minutes before the main event, this guy chickened out and they offered me the fight again."

Juiz de Fora Fight promoter Valdir Araujo agreed to hand Alvim, who had never before fought MMA, his debut against Rufino, whose only loss came in July the Jungle Fight 170.

The rookie soon regretted his decision, though.

"He took me down early [in the first round] and landed some heavy shots, and I thought 'oh sh*t, what the f*** am I doing here?'" Alvim said.

He transitioned from an armbar to a triangle choke, and Rufino tapped out.

"When I locked the triangle I thought to myself, 'sh*t, I'll catch him.' I asked God 'please, don't let this round end,' and he tapped."

Predictably the crowd went crazy, but Alvim had one more surprise in store - proposing to Fabiana after receiving his belt.

She said yes.

He told mmafighting.com he was inspired by a trailer for the movie Troy, that the couple had watched earlier that day.

"I showed my girlfriend, my fiance the trailer in which this kid tells Achilles he'd never fight a giant like Achilles was about to do, and Achilles says 'that's why your name won't be remembered.'

"That stuck in my mind."