Bruno Malfacine is arguably the greatest name to ever grace the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, with 10 world titles but all of them collected in his own division -- unlike the other main champions Roger Gracie and Marcus Almeida, who also boast titles in the absolute (no weight limit).
Back in 2018, Malfacine reached the 10th title mark, and did it in incredible fashion, submitting every single opponent on his way to the gold medal. On June 3rd, in Long Beach, USA, Malfacine made it to the “double-digits club” and left his belt on the mat -- a gesture that symbolizes a retirement from the tournament.
Most people wouldn’t even be able to accomplish such a feat, let alone think about challenging themselves afterward. But Bruno Malfacine is no ordinary man. He didn’t even savor his historic triumph. Instead, he jumped on a plane, flew back to Florida, where he lives and trains, and hit the mats once again under the mentorship of the legend Ricardo Libório, this time to prepare to his next Mixed Martial Arts bout, the second of his agreement with BRAVE Combat Federation.
Bruno’s next MMA bout would be in September, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, a place he knew really well, but always with his gi on. The opponent, United States’ Cristian Rodriguez was also nothing like he had faced before. If his fellow countryman Rafael Pereira, the adversary on his BRAVE CF debut, revered Malfacine for his accomplishments and showed nothing but respect leading up to and after their fight, Rodriguez despised Bruno’s record in jiu-jitsu.
The war of words reached a point in which Rodriguez guaranteed that Malfacine’s record belonged to BJJ only and that he could shock the world and submit the 10-time jiu-jitsu world champion. Bruno refused to engage and fire back at Rodriguez but that doesn’t mean the American held back on his trash talk up to the moment they stepped into the BRAVE CF arena.
When the bell rang at the Mubadala Arena what was seen was a really tense fight. Almost a minute and a half of pure study and a total of zero takedown attempts by Malfacine. Could Rodriguez be right? Did he manage to get under Bruno’s skin and throw him off his balance, forcing the fight into a field in which he had a clear advantage? Did Malfacine’s jiu-jitsu background really mean nothing on this MMA bout?
The answer to all the above is, as you might have imagined, no. As the clock hit the 90-second mark, Malfacine managed to corner Rodriguez and went for his sole takedown attempt in the whole bout.
With his back against the ground, Cristian’s promises did not hold up and what we saw was a monologue, a master-class from the 10-time jiu-jitsu world champion, cleverly adding some ground-and-pound to the mix in order to create space for the inevitable submission.
Three minutes and eighteen seconds in the very first round, Bruno Malfacine’s arm found Cristian Rodriguez’s neck. Two seconds and three taps later, Malfacine extended his record to 3-0, remaining undefeated in his professional MMA career.