Bruno Malfacine signed his first international deal in mixed martial arts.
Malfacine, a nine-time world champion in jiu-jitsu, has agreed to a three-fight contract with Brave Combat Federation and is slated to make his promotional debut against a yet-to-be-announced opponent at Brave 11, scheduled for April 13 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Farah Hannoun first reported the news.
Malfacine is one of the greatest competitors in jiu-jitsu history, winning nine IBJJF World Championship gold medals, four IBJJF Pan American titles, among other championships.
The 31-year-old flyweight made his transition to mixed martial arts in August 2017, earning a 94-second submission victory over Romario Boaes at Shooto Brazil 74 in Rio de Janeiro.
“After a few weeks of negotiation, we have come to an agreement and the contract was signed,” Malfacine told MMA Fighting. “I’m really happy because it’s a very important step in this new career as a MMA fighter. I have a great team by my side and they are giving me all the tools that I need so my career in MMA is as successful as my career in jiu-jitsu, and I have no doubts that we’re going in the right direction.”
“My idea is to fight three times this year,” he added, “and Brave has promised me that if I’m healthy, they will give me this opportunity. My debut will be on April 13 in Belo Horizonte, and I can’t wait to fight in my country one more time.”
Brave president Mohammed Shahid is also excited to have a jiu-jitsu icon like Malfacine compering for his promotion.
“Bruno Malfacine is a legend, one of the all-time greatest jiu-jitsu athletes and we are very excited for having him in a multi-fight deal," Shahid told MMA Fighting. "Brave’s main purpose is to serve as a global platform for fighters and that’s how Bruno can prove he’s able to achieve as much as he did in jiu-jitsu as an MMA fighter.”
Speaking with MMA Fighting prior to his victorious MMA debut, Malfacine explained that his goal is to eventually enter the UFC and challenge one of the greatest champions in UFC history in Demetrious Johnson.
”My goal is to get to the UFC,” Malfacine said. “When I decided to fight MMA I decided to be the best, as I did in jiu-jitsu. I’m not in MMA to be just one more guy. Of course that I want to enter the UFC, but I want to be ready to make history when I get there. I’m not in a hurry. I’m not doing this for status or money, I’m doing this for the challenge, to become the best in the world.”
“(Johnson) is brilliant, fantastic, and he gets more complete every time he fights,” he continued. “Many people ask me about this fight, but it’s too soon to talk about it. I’m just starting, and I don’t even know if he will still be fighting when I fight for the belt. I don’t focus on him, I focus on whoever is at the top. It would be cool to fight him. He’s one of the best in the world today, breaking records. I admire him. But I want to become champion.”
Brave CF 11 will be headlined by Lucas Martins vs. Luan Santiago for the interim lightweight title. In the co-main event, light heavyweight champion Klidson de Abreu puts his belt on the line versus Kennedy Nzechukwu.