Bruno Pucci started his MMA career in late 2011, and he’s already making some noise.
A black belt in jiu-jitsu from Curitiba, Pucci moved from Brazil to Singapore to train at Evolve MMA when he was 2-0 in MMA. Months later, the Brazilian made quick work of Bashir Ahmad in his One FC debut.
Ready to take on Majee Overall on Friday at One FC 16 in Singapore, Pucci eyes the top of the featherweight division.
"My camp couldn’t be better," Pucci told MMAFighting.com. "We did a complete work with several coaches for each area, like muay thai world champion Orono Wor Petchpun, Olympic wrestler Heath Sims and top fighters like Eddie Ng and Ben Askren."
Overall has suffered only one loss in five professional fights as he was choked out by Quek Kim Hock in his last One FC bout. Pucci, 3-0 with submission victories, expects to use his grappling skills to stay unbeaten.
"I watched some of his fights, but I’m pretty confident and I believe in my jiu-jitsu if the fight goes to the ground," he said. "That doesn’t mean I’m not ready for a stand-up fight as well. I’m better than I was in my last fight, and I want the win."
Better credentials on the ground don’t guarantee the win, though.
"You can’t predict what’s going to happen in a fight," he said. "We’ve seen fights where someone is getting dominated and suddenly gets the knockout, and the same thing can happen on the ground, like when Anthony Pettis submitted a good black belt like Ben Henderson. I’m well trained and I won’t make any mistakes that can cost me the fight."
At 23, Pucci already feels pressure to deliver.
"There’s always pressure," he said. "If you’re starting in this sport, you have to prove that you can fight at the highest level. If you’re the champion, you have to prove why you’re the best every time you fight.
"World has a short memory, so we have to do our best if we really want to earn our spot at the top. There’s pressure every day, but that’s not bad at all because that’s how you separate the ones who wish from those who make it happen."
"I want to be the champion," said the Brazilian. "I want to be at the top, but I can’t think ahead so I take fight by fight. That’s how you get to the title. That’s what I want."