Some competitors made history at the No-Gi Worlds last Saturday, and roosterweight Brandon Mullins of Gracie Barra Texas was one of them. Brandon had one match, a super fight, he called it, against Joseph Capizzi of Renzo Gracie and won on points, making him a two-time American No-Gi Worlds champion, which no American has ever done before, except for Rafael Lovato Jr., who also claimed this victory on Saturday.
The match against Joseph was a repeat of last year: the two ended with the same amount of points from the same moves, a takedown and a guard pass, and luckily for Brandon, it resulted in the same ending: a gold medal for him. “Joseph is always an incredibly tough opponent,” Brandon graciously says, “His game was a lot different from last year. It was a hard fight and he had me in some bad positions.” Brandon says he came into the No-Gi Worlds healthy, but after his one super fight, he’s leaving with a twisted neck and foot.
Brandon, who turns 32 in December is a first-degree black belt and has been training for 12 years. He says he feels like he’s in his prime and, although he may look young, he doesn’t fight like he’s young. He competes all the time, and the No-Gi Worlds is his 15th tournament this year. “I try to do two a month,” he says, “I hit all the local Houston tournaments, NAGA, Grappler’s Quest… I like to meet new people. I find it easier to make improvements to my game when I compete against people I’ve never met before. I can try out new aspects to my game and create new strategies that they’re not expecting.”
At the No-Gi Worlds Brandon says he changed it up this year and used a different takedown and opened his guard from the opposite side that Joseph is used to seeing. He doesn’t have a favorite Jiu-Jitsu move, he just takes whatever’s given to him, so he has worked on his defense a lot lately. “Joseph is a great competitor,” he says, “He studies an incredible amount of tape. So, I refined and tightened up my game. I improved my defense.”
Brandon says his greatest strength is his willingness to work hard and never miss training. “I love to train,” he says, “A lot of people don’t, but I do. This makes it easy for me to improve. I have a really great time with Professor Draculino and Pablo Silva. I really love training with them.”
As for his great performance at the No-Gi Worlds, Brandon says, “I look forward to the opportunity to prove that I’m the best again.” Brandon would like to thank Professor Draculino, everyone at GB Texas and Campbell’s Compounding.