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Nick Diaz and Braulio ‘Carcará’ Estima’s BJJ Date in Long Beach

April 17, 2012

So, last week while casually skimming through the day’s MMA (mixed martial arts) news, I came across a unique item. Now, to non-MMA people it’s not easy to grasp why, because clearly there’s no sample to compare it to, and make it ‘unique’. But, the news was that MMA fighter Nick Diaz would be testing his hat in a superfight no one could have seen coming because it’s not exactly MMA: it’s going to be a Brasilian jiu-jitsu competition, with none other than BJJ legend, Braulio ‘Carcará’ Estima at the World Jiu-Jitsu Exposition Long Beach, California, May 12. It’s more than a pleasant surprise to MMA fight fans, and a timeless, instant classic for the fiercely loyal and proud BJJ community. It’ll represent a novelty to the intra-MMA community, especially to the inter-art/discipline brand loyalty that tends to spark both friction and competition among favored-arts and styles, as well as appreciation for the diversity of fighting skills represented and manifested in so many different ways and forms. For instance, fighters tend to have an area where they, for a combination of reasons, are at their best, or specialize. The origin of a fighter’s given specialty are usually from one or a combination of the following; some sort of interest/passion, cultural/familial tradition/history, body-type advantantage, and/or natural talent/inclinations. Specialties being striking (subdivided into boxing, kickboxing, martial arts — each of those subdivided in various styles/techniques/methods, e.g., muay thai, taekwondo, karate, etc.) and grappling (‘grappling’ as the root to the vast subdividing into clinch/takedowns/throws/submission holds/pinning/controlling/sweeps/reversals/turnovers/escapes, wrestling –catch/shoot/judo/greco-roman/freestyle, submission-focus arts/jiu-jitsu/BJJ/aikido/sambo/shooto/pancrase, etc., ad infinitum, theoretically**). Within that forest of vast possibility, a fighter is better at some things than others, yet increasingly, fighters are more well-rounded than ever before –by necessity to survive, explosive growth of the sport and more access, and more financial opportunity to train/fight full-time, to name a few reasons. But, specialty, or what I like to call brand loyalty is almost inherent to each fighter, and up to each camp. And especially now that the UFC has taken MMA to an exponentially colossal height, specialist artists like Braulio (as opposed to MMA fighters), are much more likely/wont to take the vertical leap up to MMA than a UFC/MMA fighter dropping ‘down’ to singular discipline competitions (I use the term ‘vertical’ to be symbolic solely of the higher economic pie versus the lone spheres of singular disciplines/arts, e.g., BJJ and the Mundials/ADCC/WJJE etc.). And to me, a big Diaz fan (Nick and Nate, to be exact), it’s no doubt the ‘fight’ of the year in the unique-fight fight of the year. It’s not often that an MMA superstar of Diaz’ pedigree enters a BJJ competition, and it’s a beautiful thang to see. So, who is Braulio ‘Carcará’ Estima, you ask?
As the MMA/UFC world knows Diaz well, I thought I’d dig up some information about the BJJ living legend they call ele ‘Carcará.’ Braulio de Oliveira Estima, the ‘Carcará’ [a ‘Tupi’ (a native/indigenous people to Brasil) word that refers to a bird native to south america and Brasil], hails from the northeastern, seaport city, Recife, Brasil, in the state of Pernambuco. I’m a big fan, a ahem, connoiseure if you will, of fighter’s nicknames — and nicknames of anyone, and anything actually (I’ll get into that later^*). Although the ‘Carcará’ is a wily falcon, to be sure — apparently, h/t to (‘Popovian ‘hat-tip’***), the name was a particular type of gi that Braulio used to wear, in his younger days (not that he’s not young, I do not need the Carcará do Recife upset with me, no sir). He learned under Charles dos Anjos, Zē Radiola, then Carlinhos Gracie, Jr, with Gracie Barra (in Barra de Tijuca part of Rio de Janeiro), and finally in the Midlands, England with Mauricio, Roger Gracie, and his younger brother, Victor Estima. Braulio now runs the Birmingham, England camp of Gracie Barra Jiu-jitsu/Birmingham ().
And some quick, general stuff about the Carcará: Braulio was born June, 10, 1980, so at competition time, he’ll be Diaz’ elder at 31 years old (Diaz is 29). He stands 6’3″ tall, and his normal BJJ weight class is 194lbs/88kg, which is in BJJ’s Meio Pesao, or Middle Weight. Estima has reached a level and status of BJJ mastery that arguably rivals anyone in today’s BJJ**. His plethora of awards in the world’s top BJJ/Grappling competitions include: three medals in Abu Dhabi (2 Gold in ’09 in both -88kg and Absolute weight classes, and 1 Silver in ’07 in -88kg), six total medals in BJJ Mundials
(3 Gold ’04/’06/’09 in 88kg/88kg/99kg, 2 Silver ’05/’08 in 88kg/99kg,
1 Bronze ’05 in Absolute), four medals in the Pan-Ams Gi/No Gi (in Gi 1 Gold ’06 in -94kg, and 1 Bronze in Absolute, and in No Gi 2 Gold ’08/’08 in -91.5kg/Absolute), and five medals, all gold, in the European Championships (5 Gold ’07/’07/’09/’09/’11;
Total medal count in the top championships, in five weight classes (-88kg/-91.5kg/-94kg/-99kg/Absolute), over the span of 8 years (from ’04 to ’11), and in gi and no gi reflect a dynamic, proven expert in the gentle art. The Carcará from Recife has flown through Brasil’s national Bushido, been tested by the best competition on the planet, and repeatedly proven his extensive understanding and practice of the sport. He’s recently been training for a long-awaited MMA debut, with the seemingly nouveau-riche ‘it’ camp in the sport, the Blackzilians, out of Orlando, Florida. But before he jumps into the world of MMA, he’s got one of MMA’s most iconic fighters and people in Diaz, but in the gentle art he’s leaving.

2 Gold ’09/’09 in -88kg/Absolute
1Silver ’07 in -88kg

2007 New Jersey, USA -88kg
2009 Barcelona, Spain -88kg
2009 Barcelona, Spain Absolute

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
World Championship (Mundials)
3 Gold ’04/’06/’09 in 88kg/88kg/99kg, 2 Silver ’05/’08 in 88kg/99kg,
1 Bronze ’05 in Absolute

2004 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -88kg
2005 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -88kg
2005 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Absolute
2006 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -88kg
2008 California, USA -99kg
2009 California, USA -99kg

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Pan American Championship
1 Gold ’06 in -94kg
1 Bronze ’06 in Absolute

2006 California, USA -94kg
2006 California, USA Absolute

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Nogi Pan American Championship
2 Gold ’08/’08 in -91.5kg/Absolute

2008 California, USA -91.5kg
2008 California, USA Absolute

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
European Championship
5 Gold ’07/’07/’09/’09/’11;

2007 Lisbon, Portugal -94kg
2007 Lisbon, Portugal Absolute
2009 Lisbon, Portugal -94kg
2009 Lisbon, Portugal Absolute
2011 Lisbon, Portugal -88 g

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo (WJJE)

Int’l BJJ Federation (IBJJF)

Gracie-Barra Jiu-Jitsu Gym Run by Braulio Estima in Birmingham, England

Bloody Elbow, April 9, 2012 “BJJ Phenom Braulio Estima On His Heavily Anticipated MMA Debut” By: Steph Daniels

Sherdog, Interview with Rickson Gracie on “The Death of BJJ in MMA”

*The plethora of reasons the Diaz/Estima super-BJJ competition is the definite, unique-fight fight of the year:
First, because Diaz is facing an — at present — ‘uncertain’ (which I’ll explain) future in MMA in the UFC (who he’s signed with) until his hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a positive post-fight presence of ‘marijuana metabolites.’ Their meeting is at the end of this month.

**Working on a comprehensive piece on the history, present, and future of jiu-jitsu, BJJ, and their place in MMA. And, an analysis on the best JJ and BJJ players in the history of the arts, and the difficulty of comparing players from different eras, and size.

***Popovian hat-tip to, ref. the ‘Curator’s Code’

^*I’m a nickname connoiseure; fighters, people, things, etc. (new post)

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