Antonio Braga Neto fought at home in Manaus trials for the World Professional Championship, but it wasn’t easy. In fact, his most difficult fight was on the first day of the competition, against a local opponent.
“I was very nervous. I hadn’t fought here in Manaus for a long time, so it was a big responsibility for me. I’ve decided to fight in a different category of which I had signed up at the last minute. I was going to fight in MMA, so I was already losing weight. I had to lose a lot of weight from one day to another and I didn’t feel well. But today (finals day), I was able to have good fights”, said the champion of the 92kg category, who submitted Rigoney Castro in the semifinals with an omoplata and defeated Alexandro Ceconi in the finals with 11 to 0.
Guaranteed in Abu Dhabi, Braga will continue with the action on the mats. But now the main goal, even more important than being absolute champion in the Mundial or in Abu Dhabi, is to become a UFC fighter. The black belt wants to participate in Brazilian TUF’s edition, the Ultimate Fighting reality show.
“Unfortunately, today I can’t focus so much on Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, I think I went through many ups and downs due to not being totally focused. MMA is growing a lot and I’m more into it, lately. I don’t have the absolute championship with kimono, but I have the no-gi one. I’m two-time black belt world champion, I have 11 gold medals in World Championships by IBJJF. I know Jiu-Jitsu has opened many doors, I have a great life, but I just turned 24 and the responsibility is increasing. It’s time to build a more solid career and MMA gives me a better final stability. Today, I seek for a rise in MMA and, who knows, be part of UFC”, commented.
“TUF was what helped the popularity of MMA in the U.S. and of course this will also happen in Brazil. I want to be part of it. I come from an unknown part of Brazil for many people (Manaus) and people aren’t aware of the amount of tough guys coming out here. I think when you dedicate five entire years of your life, whether the activity is, you grow, it’s rewarding. I have done it and it changed my life. Now I want the same in MMA”, concluded.
Registration for TUF is open in br.ufc.com since last Sunday. Will we see Braga Neto on the TV screen?