Bruno Malfacine Talks MMA Debut It’s not just any BJJ world champion that could adapt to MMA rules


Bruno Malfacine is fresh of his MMA debut. The 8x World Champion in jiu-jitsu opted to transition to MMA at age 31. He has been working steadily alongside Rodolfo Vieira at American Top Team under the tutelage of one of bjj greats – Ricardo Liborio.

Malfacine recently spoke up about his experience in his first fight to graciemag:


 What did you feel on the ground, without the usual support points offered by the gi, and with punches flying?

BRUNO MALFACINE: Look, it’s not a jiu-jitsu I’m used to. It’s a somewhat different jiu-jitsu, an MMA-facing type — just like wrestling, Muay Thai and boxing are also adapted for MMA. It’s not just any BJJ world champion that could adapt to MMA rules. I’m learning a lot from Master Ricardo Libório and adapting in the best way my jiu-jitsu to MMA. I have a big advantage due to my traits that I’ve acquired in the sport — that is, the fact I play on top and am always aggressive, looking for the submission all the time.

He also revealed he had to modify his guard:

I think it necessary to make some modifications to the guard in order not to expose yourself so much, but the goal is the same as in BJJ. Due to nearly all of my opponents in BJJ being guard players, I became a passer. But I truly trust in my BJJ on the bottom, my defensive BJJ, and I feel pretty comfortable doing guard. I knew a finish was coming out of that position.

Of course Malfacine took some risks prior to finishing the armbar and feared Liborio might scold him:

Master Libório has been insisting that staying on the bottom in MMA is not always the best option. When I made the mistake and he reversed, I knew I had to finish soon — otherwise Libório was going to scold me hard. Thank God it all worked out!