This week, the Jiu-Jitsu Times spoke with black belt, Bruno Pucci, a two-time No-Gi World Champion who has earned all of his MMA victories via rear naked choke.
You can catch Pucci live on September 2 when he takes on Nuerdebieke Bahetihan at ONE Championship’s Unbreakable Warriors in Kuala Lumpur.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Bruno, can you tell the Jiu-Jitsu Times about your background? Where are you from and who were your main professors in Brazil?
Bruno Pucci: I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Checkmat BJJ. I started to train when I was 13 years old back in Curitiba, Brazil, and got my black belt from my professor Sebastian Lalli. During some of my major training camps for competitions outside of Brazil, I did some training under Master Leonardo Vieira.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: You are based at Evolve MMA in Singapore. How did you come to Singapore to teach and train? What is your role at Evolve? Can you talk a little about the Evolve fight team.
Bruno Pucci: I came to Singapore in 2012 to teach BJJ classes and to fight under the Evolve Fight Team at Evolve MMA. I was recommended to Chatri Sityodtong by the head coach of Evolve Fight Team, US Olympic Wrestler Heath Sims. I’m grateful to be able to train under and be a member of the Evolve Fight Team where I have learnt and grown so much as a mixed martial artist. The opportunity to train under so many world champions across multiple aspects of martial arts is amazing.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: You have made the transition from BJJ competition to fighting professional MMA. What was the biggest change in your training? What does a training week look like for you in terms of conditioning, wrestling, Muay Thai, diet, and anything else you want to mention?
Bruno Pucci: The biggest change for me was learning different forms of martial arts and combining it with my BJJ background. Being able to train with the best strikers in the world in Evolve’s Muay Thai world champions has helped immensely though.
Also changing my BJJ competition game strategy to sharpening my submission skills for MMA is another big change for me. We train twice a day, five days a week, evenly spread out across MMA, sparring, striking, and grappling.
In the weekends, we’re free to do our own training.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: You are preparing for a fight against Bahetihan on Sep 2 at ONE’s Unbreakable Warriors in Kuala Lumpur. What do you know about your opponent? How do you prepare for a specific opponent?
Bruno Pucci: I know that Bahetihan is a good grappler with a few quick submission wins. I’ve watched his fights. I believe in my team and I’ve been working on a specific strategy to counter his gaps.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: You have finished many opponents by rear naked choke. What do you do that makes you successful with the RNC submission? Can you share some advice on how to get the RNC against an experienced opponent?
Bruno Pucci: I don’t think it’s the RNC itself. It’s the positioning that I set up for myself on the ground where I’m always looking for the back control. The thing about RNC is to distract your opponent with other aspects of the game, and also landing strikes, where he’ll eventually give you space to set up the RNC as he loses his attention to protect his neck.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Would you like to thank any sponsors, coaches, or training partners?
Bruno Pucci: I’d like to thank all my coaches and teammates at Evolve, like Leandro Issa, Eddie Ng, Kru Yod and Heath Sims. Also I’m grateful for my sponsor here in Singapore, Casio G-Shock.
You can check out Bruno Pucci’s Evolve profile here.