Worlds, MMA, One FC, Misaki… Four questions for world champ Braga Neto

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Braga at Pan 2011 / Photo: Dan Rod

How’s your career been going since taking your second world title, in June?

The 2011 Worlds in California was really special for me, since I’m 23 years old and already a two-time black belt world champion, winning in 2008 and 2011. That, along with all the titles I won at other belts, where I won at weight and absolute in all of them, fills me with pride – and there was even the weight and open weight titles as a black belt at the No-Gi Worlds. I feel each Worlds brings different emotions, but it happened that celebrate this gold about a year after moving to the USA. I feel it indicates that I’m working and training just right, that I’ve adapted well, that my setup here is adequate, and that the move came at the right time. Now I’m waiting for my the results from my students in San Francisco to start coming in.

Will you be fighting in Singapore, at One FC, like we’d heard you will?

I don’t know yet. I was going to fight a Korean fighter but they canceled eight weeks from the fight, and four weeks away they offered me Kazuo Misaki. I asked them to contact my manager to set it up, but they’re still sending emails to me; they didn’t understand me right. The one who’s been deciding who I fight or don’t fight ever since I was 18 is my manager. Let’s see if they fix the line of communication.

You found out about the Jiu-Jitsu Grand Slam at the Maracanãzinho gymnasium over GRACIEMAG.com. Could tournaments paying cash prizes take you out of MMA?

That’s right, I read about it and I like the initiative. But my dream is to show my Jiu-Jitsu in MMA. I still want to test myself in mixed martial arts. To me throwing down, showing how effetive our art is and getting paid for it is a pleasure. To me MMA is what separates the men from the girls (laughs).

What’s your next commitment?

I’ll fight at Amazon Forest Combat on September 14. It’ll be great to fight at home. Now I’m totally focused on MMA. I’ll fight in everything that comes up if I can. If I don’t have a fight lined up, I’ll put on my gi and go at it at tournaments.


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