Bruno Malfacine, current bantamweight world champion, enters into action in the 2012 Worlds in search of his fifth gold medal, and thus extend his record. A veteran of the World Championships, the athlete from Alliance, only 25 years old, does not feel pressure, and reveals that he feels like as if this was his first World Cup.
How was your preparation for this Worlds?
It was excellent. I trained well, and gave the most in training. Since the beginning of the year I’m living in Orlando, where I train with my students, but this last month I came to California to train with Cobrinha to get into the mood of the championship, as here is much colder. Each year that passes I feel better. I’m ready for anything.
How do you assess your category?
My category is growing every year, there are tougher opponents, and several Japanese athletes. Some I do not know. They are very flexible and fast. The category is becoming more of a struggle and I’m paying attention to everything.
In the last three years you defeated Caio Terra in the final. Do you think that he will be your opponent again?
No, I believe that I’ll close with my weight training partner here in Alliance, Fabio Monster. We are highly trained and, God willing, we will close. Monster is well trained, and I believe that if he will face the Caio, he can beat him.
You think about fighting in the featherweight division?
I’ve tested a few championships in the featherweight, as Pan American and European, and felt good. I lost two finals by strategy by a detail. There was no difference in weight. I feel good in that class, I feel strong. But I did not fight the Worlds in that class because we already have two feathers. If I fought feather, we would be three from Alliance! Gotta stay in my category. It’s good for me and the team.
You hold the record in the bantam weight, with four gold medals in the black belt. Do you feel pressured this year?
I do not feel pressured in any way, it seems like the first time. What is past is past, what matters is what lies ahead, if you trained, if ready. I will be giving up some things and focus on your goal.
How is the Alliance team coming to this worlds?
The team is coming very strong, practicing hard, even with some stars missing, like Michael Langhi, Marcelo (Garcia), Serginho (Moraes). The team base is very strong, and we will fight again for the title – and let’s keep it at home!