Black Belt World champion, Braulio Estima (Gracie Barra) won the light heavyweight tittle when closing out the division with his friend Romulo Barral at the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in early June, in Long Beach, California. To win the gold, Estima over scored the competent Murilo Santana (Barbosa) by 8-2, in the semifinal.
In a conversation with GRACIEMAG, Braulio explains how were his body and mind before winning his 4th World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
GRACIEMAG: Were you confident to reach the final? Did you expect closing the weight division with your teammate Romulo Barral?
Braulio Estima: I was well trained, but my head was not very good. It was in the middle of a turbulent phase I’m going through. Romulo was more confident than me. I think I fought well: I finished three of the four fights I had. I won the semifinal dominating the fight against the tough Murilo Santana. The biggest lesson I had was that I’m not too old to fight as I thought [laughs]. Although, I suspect that I am the older adult champion in history, so I think I have more wood to burn. I’m certainly going for the 5th Worlds tittle.
What did you do to beat Murilo Santana in the semifinals, Braulio?
It was an interesting fight, with pressure from beginning to end. Murilo is a very difficult fighter to face. He is very strong and applies constant pressure. I cannot let him get in a good position, otherwise he capitalizes and complicates everything. I pulled guard and straightened my position before him, so I could apply the sweep. I made some passing attempts, but he swept me. Then, I got a good grip in the process and I’m happy that I swept him back. So, I continued pressuring him; kept attacking and almost passed guard. Murilo had to turn on all fours, and then I got his back. He is very strong and defends well. I could not get him in the last ten minutes of the fight. At the very end, it was everything or nothing, but I did not finish. It was a great fight.
With this fourth title, you entered the Hall of Fame of Jiu-Jitsu. Is it still something missing in the competitive career of Braulio Estima?
Writing my name in the Hall of Fame made me very proud. My children and grandchildren will one day see my name there; it is marked. Since I fought my first IBJJF Worlds as a black belt, I have always been in the finals. I think I did a nice job in my career, and I don’t crave any specific goal. If I’m feeling good I fight and I’m always trying to win whatever I find ahead of me. I still want to fight the IBJJF Opens around the world. The atmosphere is pretty cool. This year I won two major titles in Jiu-Jitsu, the WPJJC in Abu Dhabi and the IBJJF Worlds. I’m stoked. Now, I want to put on some weight to bother in the absolute division.
In your opinion, what went wrong in the fight against Bernardo Faria at the Absolute?
When you fight at the absolute against an opponent that has Bernardo’s caliber, you cannot relax or stop to think for a second. You have to have the right game and plan it before the fight. Bernardo took the game to where he knows best, I was a little frustrated. In the middle of the fight when it was a draw, I’ve tried to do something to change the direction of the game and he capitalized at the right time. From there it was only “God help us”. He is very strong, heavy and fair, besides being technical. It was difficult to recover [Laughs].
What moment called more your attention in the tournament?
It sure was my brother’s victory over Victor Claudio Calasans; it was very exciting. I cried too [laughs]. Soon after his fight, it was my turn to get on the mat. So I had to compose myself there. I’m quite fond of my brother. His title will arrive soon, it should have arrived already.