Prospect watch: Weighing grappling legend Braulio Estima’s MMA debut at Titan FC and future cage aspirations
August 27, 2012
Though not flooding the mixed martial arts scene like amateur wrestlers, high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players still hold a certain level of cache as potential cage fighting prospects. Names like Jacare, Maia and Werdum have all found various levels of success in MMA after they adapted their black belt skills to the cage. Over the weekend second degree black belt and welterweight prospect Braulio Estima (1-0) made his highly anticipated MMA debut as the co-main event of Titan Fighting Championships 24.
The 32 year old Estima was paired with solid Colorado welterweight Chris Holland (5-4). The 36 year old Holland came into the bout on a three fight winning streak that included a stoppage of UFC vet Phil Baroni in June. On the feet Holland woke up Estima in the early going with a right hand that stumbled the Brazilian backwards.
Estima would shoot a takedown that Holland had trouble shaking free from. After a failed sprawl attempt Estima brought his opponent to the floor and cut through his defenses until he settled in the full mount position. Flat on his back Holland valiantly fought off a arm triangle attempt against the cage but was unable to break free from Estima's second submission hold.
At the 3:21 point of round one Holland pasted out before he could tap out and Estima was the declared the winner by technical submission from an arm triangle choke.
After the grappling display in his first foray inside a cage, Estima again reaffirmed his intentions to return to MMA as soon as possible. Now a key member of the Blackzillians camp in Florida, Estima has gotten high level coaching and sparring partners needed prior to his MMA rookie campaign. Age and lack of cage time work against Estima as a MMA prospect but his grappling credentials coupled with his advanced training grounds put him in position to have a successful run as a MMA welterweight.
Rated a four star MMA welterweight prospect if Estima is able to book four to five regional fights over the next 12 months his cage fighting career will have a good chance to take off quickly. As one of the world's premier submission grapplers and BJJ players Estima getting hot-shotted to the UFC or Bellator cage is a risk either promotions should be willing to take if the Brazilian shows a serious committee to honing his new craft on the local MMA circuit.
The 6'3 welterweight prospect's ground skills out of the cage earned Esitma a spot in the 2012 edition of the ULTMMA50, a pound for pound prospect top 50, at number 48.
Titan FC 24 results
Kansas City, KS
Anthony Johnson def. Esteves Jones via TKO (strikes) 0:51 R2
*Braulio Estima def. Chris Holland via technical submission arm triangle choke 3:21 R1
Brian Davidson def. John Devall via submission strikes 3:27 R1
*Cody Gibson def. Andrew Whitney via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Matthew Foster def. Matt Uhde via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Adam Stickley def. Jose Vega via submission triangle choke 3:20 R1
Jeremy Smith def, T.J. Brittin via unanimous decision
Josh Pfeifer def. Josh Ford via unanimous decision
Antonio Martinez def. DeAllen Hicks via unanimous decision
Steven Graham def. Ben Louchious via split decision
Shawn Maynard def. Keith Curtis via unanimous decision
*Prospect to watch