[Based on a press release.]
A black-belt since 2001, Bruno Bastos is one of Jiu-Jitsu’s most dedicated employees. With a career full of important titles, such as the IBJJF World Masters Gi and No-Gi, Bruno nowadays runs Lead BJJ in Midland, Texas — a top-20 team in the IBJJF rankings — and does not think about hanging up his competition gi anytime soon.
In 2018 he won his 5th no-gi world title, as well as multiple superfights. One of them earned him a trophy from the United Grapplers Association (UGA). Now in the 2019 season, Texas’s “Highlander” shone again by beating, for the third time, former UFC fighter Tom DeBlass. The win came by points at Kasai Pro earlier this month.
“I trained a lot of wrestling for this fight,” Bruno said. “I did not show everything I trained, but I controlled the standing game. The technique that gave me the winning points comes from judo: De-ashi-barai. A sweep technique (Ashi-Wasa). I have been practicing judo since I was a kid and I have the ability to mix some techniques into my no-gi game. This combination of wrestling/judo was key.
“Unfortunately for him, our games don’t match up very well. I feel very comfortable fighting him. With each fight I evolve more. Proof of this is that each win was more decisive than the previous one. I knew I would frustrate him, and that would lead the way for the expected outcome: victory!”
For this fight, Bruno hired Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, a Bellator athlete and former Strikeforce champion. “I brought King Mo to push not only my wrestling but to coordinate the technical and strategic part of my camp,” Bruno said. “He’s an excellent coach. I believe he had a important part in my victory. We know each other well and we know how to work together.”
A frequent competitor, Bruno still plans to fight at ADCC 2019 in California. For this, he must pack his bags and come to Brazil to participate in the ADCC Trials or wait for an invitation based on his history in the sport. “There’s always the expectation. I’ll be 39, but I think I’m still a good competitor under those rules. The main event being here in America motivates me, because I would have a chance to compete in front of my students and especially my children, João and Maria. It would be special to close out my competitive history in the ADCC this way.”