There were three Americans who took top spots in the adult black belt division at the 2010 No-Gi Worlds on Sunday, and Brandon Mullins was one of them. This roosterweight from Gracie Barra Texas had one match with Joseph Capizzi of Renzo Gracie, but it was a difficult one. “It was a superfight,” Mullins says.
Mullins says he’s fought Capizzi before and watched him fight many times. He’s studied his game and had a strategy in place for their fight. However, when they began their match, Capizzi confused him. “He put his right leg forward instead of his left leg,” Mullins says, “I had a specific takedown planned for him, but when he did that, it threw me off and I had to switch my strategy.”
Mullins says he fell back on one of his tried and true takedowns. “I pulled out a nice takedown I use all the time,” he says, “I set up the brabo choke and had him in it for a minute or two.” Mullins says Capizzi is tough. “He told me later he just didn’t want to tap.”
Mullins says that Capizzi was playing a different game than he’d ever seen before. “He was inverting from the half-guard. He surprised me. I’d never seen him do that before. He played it well. I was able to move into standard half-guard and got in that brabo choke, but he got loose. I passed his guard at the end and hung on for the win.”
Mullins wanted the submission badly, but it wasn’t meant to be. “Capizzi’s tough,” Mullins laughs, “I always tell him he has the meanest snarl in the business. He told me it’s from being in a death metal band for the past fifteen years!”
Mullins normally fights at light feather, but decided to cut weight for the Worlds and compete at roosterweight. “I had to lose 20 lbs,” the lanky 5’10” Mullins says, “It took me five weeks. I trained Jiu-Jitsu three times a day, six days a week, and rode my bike ten to fifteen miles a day, six days a week. I also did kettle bells three to five times a week. I was training all the time.”
The training obviously paid off, as Mullins claimed world-champion status in the roosterweight division. “This is going to give me a boost in my confidence,” he says, “I was the best today, and I can be the best again. All the great champions before me seem to have won at roosterweight and then at light feather. I hope it works for me as well.” Mullins says he may even fight at roosterweight one more time, at the 2011 Gi Worlds.
Mullins wants to thank Campbell’s Compounding in Houston, Texas, for their support and motivation and for helping him get to the Worlds. He also wants to thank James “Kickit” Ticket and Klay Pitman, who gave him his black belt, and Westside MMA. “Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank my professor, Draculino, and everyone at Gracie Barra Texas.”