Las Vegas, NV — A win over Cody Brundage on the UFC Vegas 72 main card on Saturday night was no walk in the park for ADCC champ Rodolfo Vieira.
“It was a hard fight, because I wasn’t expecting he would come so hard, the way that he did. I thought I was going to lose after I pulled guard and he started to ground n’ pound me,” Vieira (9-2) admitted, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “He was punching so hard and I couldn’t resist. And then he got tired, and I did what I did. I used my jiu-jitsu and finished him.”
In addition to winning the ADCC in 2015, Vieira is a multi-time BJJ World Championship winner, and one of the most decorated grapplers in MMA. And so the second-round arm-triangle choke he locked up to win the fight was well within his wheelhouse — though keeping focused while worried he might lose was no easy task.
Vieira, however, knew Brundage would eventually tire himself out, “because he was punching me so hard,” he stated. “But I was afraid the [ref would] stop the fight. That’s why I was moving, moving and he was punching me, but I couldn’t go deep, in the deep half-guard position that I do very well. But he was very heavy. And I couldn’t move him. So I came up with the bodylock, and then I took him down, and after that, I felt things changing. I felt he was getting tired — and I was feeling good after that nightmare.”
By the time he came out for the second round, Vieira had felt a change.
“In the beginning of the second round, he kicked me hard. But I was feeling good already. And then I didn’t have this feeling anymore, that I was going to lose. In that moment, I would like ‘no, now I can win, I can beat this guy.'”
Beat him he did, bouncing back from a loss to Chris Curtis last year.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 72 post-fight press conference with Rodolfo Vieira above.