Last weekend, Antônio Braga Neto made his UFC debut with a bang. The black belt opened up TUF Brazil 2 Finale in Fortaleza, and used a super-tight leg lock to beat Anthony Smith, who was coming off a loss to another black belt in Roger Gracie at Strikeforce back in January.
Neto now has four consecutive MMA wins and has shown Dana White that Jiu-Jitsu is not boring – it’s efficient.
In a chat with GRACIEMAG.com, the fighter spoke about his first time in the UFC Octagon, the move that gave him the victory, and more. Check it out.
GRACIEMAG: How do you analyze your first UFC bout?
BRAGA NETO: It was very good. I’m very glad about the result – getting the submission will always be my goal. Rest assured I’ll always try to get the tapout and I’ll always believe in it. I felt great; I got emotional in my entrance because I knew that was the most important moment of my life. Unfortunately for Anthony Smith, he was in my path.
You displayed good standup and good ground game and used your Jiu-Jitsu to full effect against Smith. How was the fight?
I felt two strikes and felt my nose bleeding, but nothing I wasn’t ready for. After that I thought I had to attempt a submission soon, for I wasn’t sure how bad the bleeding was. I ended up getting lucky. The moment we got in a shuffle I knew I’d use the cage to get out. After he rolled on top of me, I first tried for an ankle lock and then went straight for his knee. I used my hip to apply pressure and that was the end of it.
What did it mean to you to be a part of the UFC event that broke the record number of submissions?
I had no idea I was going to get the night’s prize, but regardless it was great to see Jiu-Jitsu’s worth in the MMA arena. I’m very happy to be in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I know I now have a job and I may get called up to fight any time. So I’ll always be making an effort to be in my best shape.