While speaking with the GRACIEMAG.com reporter, Bruno Bastos had nothing but praise for the tough opposition signed up for the Jiu-Jitsu Pan: “Sheesh, becoming champion at this Pan won’t be the least bit easy. I’m here on the IBJJF web page checking out the roster and there are only tough guys in every division. Look at the first names here at lightweight: Michael Langhi, Lucas Lepri and Bill Cooper. It’s like that in every weight group.”
Bruno has participated in the Pan in the past, but ten years ago. Nevertheless, to him this one, to start April 8 in California, will count like a debut.
“This Pan is like my first. I competed in 1996, but I was only 16. I entered as an adult and even hurt my knee before the competition. Even so I got the submission in one match and lost on points in the second. I remember how I was sponsored to travel by Botafogo fullback Wilson Gottardo. I’d been a mascot for Botafogo, entered with the team at Maracana stadium, and there are some friends of Gottardo in my family. That’s why he sponsored me. But at the time, I went more for the trip than for the competition. I went for shopping and to have fun at the amusement parks. This time it’s different. This is my real debut,” he says.
There are a lot of favorites. Someone’s going to be left without a medal” Bruno Bastos
Living in Dallas, Bruno has been doing his preparations in those parts. According to the Nova Uniao representative, he’s much better prepared than he was at the Houston Open, where he won at weight and absolute.
“I trained around here. As my academy is just getting started, I can’t stay away long. I go twice a week to Travis Lutter’s academy and his students come to mine once a week. But I’m much better now than I was, for instance, at the Houston Open. At that one I was way heavy, I had taken a trip to Rio to marry Thais in court and even got to watch Botafogo win the Guanabara Cup, in Maracana stadium. Everything went smoothly in Houston and now I’m much better. I’m going to throw some weight around at the Pan and see what happens,” he says, analyzing the opponents he may have ahead of him.
“Man, I see a lot of favorites. Someone’s going to be left without a medal. There’s Braga Neto, Rodrigo Cavaca, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Guybson Sa, Marcel Fortuna and Felipe Pacces. It’ll be real tough,” he says.
A fanatic about Botafogo soccer team, Bruno mentions his team once again, promising a good performance in pursuing the unprecedented title.
“Botafogo is the team with one star, but it shines bright. Who knows, maybe mine will shine, too, this Pan,” he says in closing.