Braulio Estima is a name you may have heard of in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world over the last few months.
But it hasn't been for his fighting.
The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) multi-time champion's name started circulating on the MMA scene when he was paired up against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender, Nick Diaz, at this year's World-Jiu Jitsu Expo in a much-anticipated grappling match.
The contest, however, never came to be, as Diaz failed to show for the match.
Three months removed from the infamous no-show, Estima is now looking ahead to the next challenge in his life as he makes his pro MMA debut against Chris Holland in the co-main event of Titan 24 this weekend (Aug. 24, 2012) which goes down at Memorial Hall in Kansas City.
Having made a name for himself as one of the baddest submission specialists on the planet, with more championships in his trophy case than you can count, Estima looks to carry over some of his success in the grappling world into MMA and make a name for himself inside the cage, as well.
Braulio stopped by The MMA Hour this week (Aug., 20, 2012) and talked about his upcoming fight at Titan FC 24 and answered whether or not he would ever be interested competing against Nick Diaz inside the cage.
Those comments, after the jump:
"The World Jiu-Jitsu Expo was a good way for people who didn't know about Braulio Estima in the MMA world to find out about me, you know. The no show of Nick Diaz was intriguing to people because people starting to think, 'Why he didn't show , who is this guy?' We got a little feedback on this, you know. People talk about it, good or bad, people get to know and more fans. I've been trying to get to MMA for a long time and I'm not trying to get to MMA to prove a point that I want to go and beat Nick Diaz. I want to do it because it is my next challenge. I achieved a lot of things in BJJ, a lot of things in the grappling world and I'm a very competitive person. I'm already established with my academy and with my business but what I really want to do is challenge the next level and move on to the next stuff which is MMA."
Though his grappling match with Diaz never came to fruition, Estima says that he would welcome a future showdown with the Stockton slugger inside the cage, though he understands he has to build his name up in the MMA world before that ever happens:
"I don't think I will fight him (Diaz) in the no-gi anymore. I don't think he show enough respect to me. I've been thinking it over and there is no money that's going to pay anymore for me to invest my time of training to thinking of a guy, when he was supposed to show respect, he didn't. In mixed martial arts, if it happens, I will be more than happy to do so, you know? Of course, it's never going to happen so soon because I need to build myself up, otherwise, it won't be an interesting match for him to take. But I would fight him in MMA, no problem."
Training with the "Blackzilians," Estima has been sharpening his all around MMA game with heavy hitters Rashad Evans, Melvin Guillard and Alistair Overeem, so training with quality partners is definitely not an issue.
Holland, Estima's opponent, is on a three-fight win streak, having beat Phil Baroni his last time out and should prove to be a stiff test for the submission wizard.
Anyone think Braulio can parlay his grappling success into a full blown MMA career? Would a fight against Nick Diaz later down the road intrigue you? Or will you withhold comment until you see the jiu-jitsu ace show of his skills inside the cage?