Just after Valentine’s day of this year, World Jiu Jitsu Champion Bruno Bastos departed for his home country of Brazil alone, but returned with his new wife.
Unfortunately for his competition, the honeymoon is over, and Bastos has been hard at work training for this Saturday’s Houston International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
The stairs from Bastos’ loft apartment, inside Octagon MMA in Dallas, lead him directly to the grappling mats, where he has been convening with some of the state’s best jiu-jitsu players on Saturdays. Bruno is accompanied in these special training sessions by such black belt experts as UFC title-contender Travis Lutter, Robert DeFranco, James Brown, Chris Westfall, Rico Castro and Greg Seal.
The significance of the Houston tournament is that it will be the first International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation event in Texas, and could open the door for other prestigious IBJJF tournaments, such as the Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship and World Jiu Jitsu Championship (commonly referred to as “Worlds”).
As for Bastos, a successful performance this Saturday will open doors for the rest of his career.
“I just wanna go [to the Houston Open], first of all, because I love [to] compete, and second, to be ready for ‘Pan Ams’ and ‘Worlds’, because ‘Worlds’ is my focus,” Bastos said.
“The [Houston] tournament is good for [me to] know how my level [is] now and what I have to do to be better because I know the level in Pan Ams is higher in Houston, not because we don’t have good fighters [in Texas], but just because there [are] more fighters in ‘Worlds’ and ‘Pan Ams’.”
Bastos’ new path in may even lead him beyond the pinnacle of submission grappling competition and into the cage.
Though Bastos has yet to win in MMA since losing two decisions in 2006, the Wendell Alexander black belt seeks to transition to no-gi competition in the latter part of the year, and then use his notoriety in the grappling world as a springboard for his return to MMA.
“I wanna win [‘Worlds’] here in U.S. because I live here now, and I know if I win here, my name is gonna be bigger and easier and better to make good contracts with MMA shows.”
Should Bastos’ impressive ambitions bring him success, he shares this success not only with his gym and the entire state, but with his new family.
“I brought my queen with me and now I’m married, so more responsibility. So, I need to work hard to make money to build my family because I want sons and daughters [laughs]. “
The Houston International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship takes place Saturday, March 6 at Clear Brook High School. Go to IBJFF.com for more information and check in with your Dallas/Fort Worth MMA Examiner for results from the tournament.