In March 2014, the Jiu-Jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira made a visit to the brothers Daniel and Diego Moraes’s gym, in Rio de Janeiro with teammates Leandro Lo and Felipe Pena. When passing by the door, Rodolfo came face to face with a replica of the UFC belt, courtesy of Anthony Pettis. The GFTeam juggernaut then could not resist: “One day you will be mine”, said the affectionate superheavy athlete.
The Kimono season continued, and Rodolfo won his weight classes in Abu Dhabi and at the Worlds in California. Now, however, the black belt looks set to return to flirt with MMA.
“This idea of dedicating a whole year to practice boxing and muay thai and only then make my debut runs through my mind a lot. I think I can get along in the ring, but to do well I have to devote myself entirely to the new modality. I want to spend all the time and energy I spent today with the Gi in my MMA training. After a year, or months preparing myself, then I think I’ll be ready to fight in the new style”, calculates Rodolfo.
Visiting the GRACIEMAG newsroom, the idol of GFTeam estimates that the time is near. He explains why:
“I’m 24 years old and it may be the right time to try a career wearing the gloves. If it goes wrong and I get beaten up, I think I will have plenty of time to return to the scene of Jiu-Jitsu competition at a high level. I’m 101kg and maybe I will have to lose some weight, but I think I can drop a weight class easily. I’m talking to my coaches and some friends, such as Lyoto Machida, and I’m considering going train out there in California, and doing this test, “he reveals
If Rodolfo’s plans evolve, it may be possible that the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds 2015 will be without one of their biggest stars, and current absolute champion, Marcus Buchecha without his main rival. Fans will miss it, but it will be all for a good reason: to fulfill the promise made to that silver object of desire, hanging at the wall of a gym in Rio.
How about you, dear reader? Do you have faith in Rodolfo Vieira in MMA? Or would you like to see the superheavy athlete make even more history in the Kimono?
Discuss with the community of GRACIEMAG readers below.