Gracie Barra Birmingham teacher Braulio Estima was the first to arrive and the last to leave Abu Dhabi.
His arrival was pre-planned: he was dying to watch UFC 112, held last April 10. His exit wasn’t: “Everyone’s stuck here because of the volcano in Iceland, even me. Unfortunately, today is my son Julian’s first birthday and I’m here, bummed out.”
But the kid is smart and will understand. While Julian Estima blows out his candle, the father, the open class runner-up in Abu Dhabi and participant in some of the best matches at the World Pro, whiles away his time as best he can, and has no complaints about how he was received by his hosts.
“Now I’m here training for my MMA debut. I train every day with Sheikh Tahnoon. I changed my plans too, so rather than heading to England, I’m going straight to New York on the 5th, where I’ll train with Roger at Renzo’s,” Carcara reports.
So we asked him about his World Pro silver medal. After all, the result was excellent for someone who hasn’t been training in the gi, but it wasn’t what Estima wanted.
“I’ve managed to put behind me what it was to distract me and throw me off in the championship. I’m referring a blatant refereeing error in the under-83 kg final (At the very end, a sweep was awarded to Calasans, drawing the score and handing the Atos fighter the win by one advantage)”, he says, then warding off the harsh feelings.
“But that aside the championship was awesome; I managed to do what I’d planned to: to put on a good show, sink different submissions and display a lot of movement, always on the attack. I was having fun until the weight group final, when that thing happened… But nothing happens by chance; it was Calasans’s day and I’m happy because he trained a lot more than I did for this competition,” he exalts.
“Now I’m focused on Rick Hawn, at Shine. Then the Worlds,” he says in farewell. It must be time for training over at the palace.