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Video: BJJ world champ Rodolfo Vieira successful in MMA debut

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Multi-time BJJ champion wins via submission in first MMA fight.

Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Championship Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

The long awaiting mixed martial arts debut of IBJJF and ADCC champion, Rodolfo Vieira occurred on Saturday and he walked out of the cage with a first round submission victory. He defeated Zarylbek Daniyar of Kyrgyzstan via rear naked choke at 2:27 in the opening frame.

As many high-level grapplers make their way from the mats to the cage, Vieira’s transition is perhaps the most anticipated of the lot. Vieira is a multiple time champion in events such as the ADCC, European, World and the Pan Ams. Vieira’s transition to MMA started approximately two years ago as he began training with American Top Team, based in Florida. Ricardo Liborio of ATT and Vieira’s BJJ instructor, Julio Cesar Pereira cornered Vieira to victory.

Vieira didn’t rush for the takedown against Daniyar; instead he pumped his jab and controlled the distance early. Once he was able to move his opponent’s back against the cage he hit a quick takedown to get the bout into his wheelhouse. Daniyar was never able to get his bearings on the mat as Vieira quickly cut through his guard and took a position of control. Vieira used a high mount to secure position as Daniyar flailed underneath his weight. He hit Daniyar with a few quick strikes that forced him to give up an opening which led to the fight-ending rear naked choke.

Posted by Julio Cesar Pereira on 11hb Februari 2017

Vieira’s move to MMA was supposed to occur in October of 2016 but complications with an infection forced him out of the fight. This first fight was as a light-heavyweight, but plans are for Vieira to move down to middleweight as he gets more comfortable with the foreign aspects of MMA. Even though he is new to MMA, Vieira is such a star in his home country that he was placed in the main event for his very first bout as the event was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.