Wander Braga holds a 15w, 1l record in MMA, and returned to the grappling fray with a win at the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals. Personal archive photo.
A Jorge Pereira black belt and former WEC fighter, Wander Braga returned to the mat last weekend at the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals. The CBJJ-promoted tournament in Rio saw the fighter win the senior 1 middleweight division.
“I won the Brazilian Nationals and it feels great, but the main thing is that I had fun in returning to the mat,” the former MMA fighter told GRACIEMAG.com. “I made my experience count in competition Jiu-Jitsu, and I also capitalized on the wrestling I’ve acquired after living in the USA for years. Here in Brazil, I carry on working on my takedowns with Coach Dadu,” he explained.
In winning gold, Wander won both his matches by 5 to 0. “In the first one, I landed a double-leg takedown and then passed guard. In the final, I passed guard and then swept from half-guard, a position I’m quite fond of,” he recalled.
“I guess the main advice I offer young competitors is: be what you be in the academy! The way you train may be what works in the fight. Be careful about what you eat and ask questions of your friends and teachers the whole time,” he said, taking the opportunity to celebrate the five branches of his new team in Rio.
“I’m going to fight in the ring again, but for now I’m setting up my Jiu-Jitsu and MMA team in Rio together with my cousin Sergio Braga. We already have five branches in Rio and more in the United States and Europe. Braga Fight Team already has a number of champions. Another important project of mine involves the MMA Showtime Fights event, one of the best Rio de Janeiro-based MMA events. We’ll be holding the third installment next year,” recalled Wander, who promises to again take to the mats at the European Championship, coming up January, in Lisbon, Portugal.
For further information, visit www.wanderbraga.com.