Competing in grappling tournaments for over 16 years and studying the art since the age of 16, second degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt, Braulio Estima, is one of the most decorated mat wizards in the world today.
With a long list of credentials and accomplishments in jiu-jitsu, including multiple victories in the esteemed Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) with plenty of gold medals to prove his dominance, Estima is set to take on his newest challenge in the form of crossing over to become a full blown mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter later this year.
Making Imperial Athletics his permanent training camp, "The Blackzilians," which includes such fighters as Rashad Evans, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Silva and Jorge Santiago, among others, are some of the select fighters that are helping this submission master make his MMA debut.
But before he trades his Gi in for a pair of 12 ounce gloves, Estima will compete at the first ever World Jiu-Jitsu Expo (which is the brainchild of Renzo Gracie) this weekend (May ,12, 2012) in Long Beach, California.
None other than former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pound title contender, Nick Diaz.
Appearing on The MMA Hour, Estima talks about how his match with Nick, one he wanted, came to be and that he wants to be the first person to submit Diaz and says people should not be so quick to count out Diaz in the match.
Those comments after the jump.
"I was going to do a seminar at the expo in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I heard Nick Diaz was going to do a grappling match at the same expo. The first thing that came to my mind was, "Wow, that would be a great match because we have the same weight and kind of the same height and he fights with submission, I fight with submission, and he is a legend in the MMA sport. I was training in Florida when Junior, one of the man guys for the expo, approached me and said, 'How about a fight with Nick Diaz?' And I said, 'Wow. Man, I would love to have this fight.' This will help both of us. He is a top MMA fighter but came from Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It will be great for me to fight against an MMA legend so that I can hopefully show what I got. And his will be a very good highlight for my debut."
Diaz, who has not competed in an all jiu-jitsu match in over two years is going to be the obvious underdog heading into this weekend's showdown, however, Estima says people should not be so quick to count him out:
"I think people underestimate a lot Nick. I think because of my name, because of what I have achieved , the pressure is all on me. Which it helps him, he has nothing to lose. I'm coming off of a break from and haven't trained as hard as I have for ADCC, I lost a lot of weight to make this fight at 180, I will be coming from Thailand which is 14 hours of difference, so the jet lag is going to be great. So this actually brings the match a little bit even. But even though, I push myself in every possible way, I think I will do well and I really want to be the guy who first guy to make him tap. To be able to perform Jiu-Jitsu in MMA the way that he does, you have to be very good. He doesn't have much of a record of just fighting in BJJ, because he stopped two years ago, you know, so it's going to be difficult. In two years, things change. I'm a completely different fighter than two years ago. But he has no pressure to win this fight, he just has to go in there and do a good job. It's going to be a great match to watch."
The much anticipated match between Estima and Diaz goes down this weekend (May 12, 2012) in Long Beach, California. For the record, the bout will be a no-Gi match. So how about it Maniacs, anyone think Diaz has the tools to make this contest competitive?
If you're not in the California area, you can order the event in HD for only $9.95 via mobileblackbelt.tv.