I have to put out my “armchair quarterback” alert on this one, because it’s really easy to point out things that could be done differently when watching a video of a fight that has already happened. Having said that, here are a few key points in this match.
If you haven’t already seen the fight, go ahead and watch it now:
Note: all observations will cite the time in the video (NOT in the fight) where the action happens.
- At about 32 seconds in, we realize how freaking tall Braulio is in relation to his opponent.
- At 46 seconds in (just a few seconds into the fight), Braulio is reminded that this is not a grappling match, where he beats virtually everyone in the world easily. Braulio is definitely rocked, but Holland does not follow up immediately, so Braulio recovers.
- At 0:54, Braulio does a sort of “airplane dive” into a double, back bent in half on the shot. Not the greatest takedown attempt in the world, but what’s important for Estima is the sequence which follows. Note that Braulio never allows the fight to return to the outside striking range (boxing/kicking). From here, he remains close on the feet and smothers Holland against the fence.
- At 0:59, Braulio has the fight up against the cage and doesn’t allow Holland to turn the situation around. From here, he works an inside trip while grabbing the opposite hip, a takedown which another one of the all time BJJ greats, Ronaldo “Jacare”, used with great effectiveness in the past. However, Holland is able to stuff this attempt. It is important to note that Braulio ends up with the right underhook, while Holland has the underhook on Estima’s left side. This will dictate the next few takedown attempts from Braulio.
- At 1:10, Braulio goes for another inside trip (o uchi gari), but with no success. Braulio immediately transitions to the outside trip (ko soto gari), but again, Holland is able to maintain his balance.
- At 1:34, Braulio goes for sasae tsuri komi ashi (a foot prop). In my experience, this is much more effective on the side where you have the overhook, not the underhook side, but Braulio no doubt feels most comfortable throwing to his right with this particular takedown. However, Holland is able to stuff it by using the underhook.
- At 1:36, Braulio controls the head well with a front headlock. Holland stands, and Braulio is draped over him. We are reminded again of how incredibly long Estima is in relation to Holland. Braulio briefly considers going for the back, but again, Holland’s underhook makes this difficult to attain.
- At 1:43, we see some of Holland’s caginess, as he turns the corner and ensures that Braulio’s back is against the cage, not his. Holland is still caught in a front headlock/arm in guillotine position, however.
- At 1:49, Holland is able to briefly disengage from the clinch range, throwing a couple of punches. However, Braulio is ready, and simply changes levels for a double leg shot.
- At 1:53, Holland is doing a great job sprawling with his hips, but Braulio’s super long arms are already connected together. Instead of opting for a crossface here, Holland’s arm positioning allows Braulio to finish the takedown by standing up.
- At 1:59, Holland uses a whizzer to keep Braulio from immediately moving on to his back, but he is still down on his knees, and Braulio is working to turn the corner.
- At 2:02, Braulio already has the first hook in. Faced with two options, Holland opts for the slightly less terrible option and gives up the mount.
- At 2:15, we get a first glimpse at Braulio’s incredible pressure. He is not even thinking of posturing up and throwing punches, but rather is simply forcing Holland to make a mistake…
- At 2:15, Braulio uses his right underhook to advance Holland’s arm up towards his head. The arm comes across, and Braulio locks in the arm triangle.
- At 2:37, Braulio attempts to finish the choke by dismounting to his right. Unfortunately, the cage is also to his right. Holland escapes. As a result, Holland manages to recover to half guard. This time, Braulio has the left underhook on Holland.
- At 3:18, Braulio mounts Holland again, this time by stepping over his legs (we see Roger Gracie do this quite a lot as well).
- At 3:30, we get another glimpse of the terrible pressure Braulio is raining down simply from his position. Holland looks unbelievably uncomfortable.
- By 3:38, Braulio already has the arm triangle locked in. This time, when he dismounts to finish, he has plenty of room to do so.
- At 3:50, the ref realizes Holland is out. The fight is stopped, and Braulio is declared the winner.
In short, good debut for Braulio. This fight gives him a great opportunity to work on quite a few things. He got rocked at first, but not knocked out, so it’s a much easier to digest wake up call than a loss. Keys for the future: obviously, Braulio must work on his striking a great deal. He needs to work more against the cage, both on the feet and on the ground. He did lots of good things in the fight, including sticking to his bread and butter when he realized the end was near.
I look forward to more of Braulio’s fights in the near future, and sincerely hope he fights someone else who is 1-0, or with a similar experience level for his next fight.