The feeling of absolute pride that a parent has when their son or daughter succeeds is one of the most fulfilling emotions that a person can experience. Seeing the person that they raised doing well, it’s almost as if they are living that life themselves.

When two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World champion Bruno Pucci relocated from Brazil to Singapore to live what can only be described as every martial artist’s dream, he lost the opportunity to see that look on his father’s face live and in person as he won in his ONE FC debut. But, on May 30, he gets to live it all again. And having that firmly in his mind makes his upcoming fight all the more exciting as performing in front of those closest to him becomes a reality once again.

Pucci (L) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Pucci (L) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“I feel very good and very happy,” Pucci told The MMA Corner. “It’s my second fight for ONE FC, it’s a big show and it’s my first time [fighting] in Singapore. And since my last fight, it’s [been] about eight months, so I am happy to be back again, because that’s what I do, I like to fight. I am very excited to be in Singapore because it’s my new hometown. A lot of people from Evolve, like my students, can go and watch, and my dad will be coming to watch my fight all the way from Brazil, so I am very excited to be back.

“I am very close to my dad. All the fights that I had in Brazil, he watched, and also for my first fight in ONE FC, he watched from Brazil. It’s easy for him to come [to Singapore], because it’s where I live, so he can stay with me. It will be nice to have him watch me fight. It means a lot to me.”

Pucci’s upcoming bout will mark the first time that he has fought in his new hometown of Singapore. Whenever ONE FC puts on an event in the country, fans turn out in droves to get their chance to witness Asian MMA at its best. The fans, students and friends of Evolve MMA are amongst the most vocal of the crowd.

“It’s very nice,” Pucci admitted. “All the times that you can see all the students or people who are close to you come and watch, they really support me. There is a lot more of a team atmosphere for this fight. People have been saying, ‘We’ll be there supporting you,’ and it’s more energy for me for the fight because I want to make them proud. It doesn’t mean it’s different fighting in other places, but here I feel it more.”

In his upcoming bout inside the ONE FC cage, Pucci was originally slated to meet Australia’s Martin Nguyen. However, Nguyen was forced to withdraw from the bout with an injury. Pucci now meets Major Overall, who enters the fight with back-to-back wins and has earned all four of his professional victories by way of submission.

“There were some things I had to change in my game plan,” Pucci said. “I always like training hard. It’s just having to figure out a new strategy. My training didn’t change too much;. It’s just the way that I will fight inside the cage [that will change].”

As part of Evolve MMA’s coaching team, Pucci teaches jiu-jitsu. Whilst it is important for a professional fighter to focus on their own development, Pucci finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping his students and peers.

“During the class, I train with my students,” Pucci explained. “Of course, I have my own training with the Evolve fight team, but it’s good because when I do my classes I can still do my own training. Some of the students are new, some train a little bit more. Because I train them, I can use them to try new things out, and I can use it to improve my technique.”

It has been over eight months since Pucci last saw the ONE FC cage. May 30 cannot come soon enough for Pucci. During his lapse in fighting, he has been focusing heavily on being a better fighter. Now, he is more than ready to showcase everything that he has been working on.

“I always want to fight as many times as possible, but sometimes, like this time out, which wasn’t because I had an injury or anything, was good to improve some of the aspects of my game. So, I feel I am much better for this fight,” he explained. “[With] eight months out [of the cage], I still trained in this period and I didn’t have to push myself so hard with my cardio, and I was able to improve my technique. Technique is what takes a long time, so, during this eight months, I have made my technique more sharp, which is good for the fight.”

With all three of his professional wins coming by way of submission, Pucci clearly knows how to win a fight should it hit the ground. His weapon of choice to finish fights has been the rear-naked choke, and that’s something that stems from his competition experience in jiu-jitsu.

Pucci (rear) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Pucci (rear) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“It’s one thing that I always like to do when I fight BJJ, and also in MMA it was going well. Of course, if I have the opportunity in the fight to do the same choke, I will not think two times,” Pucci said. “I can show my BJJ is good. I don’t just want to show that I am comfortable in fighting on the ground. The main goal—not just for me, but for any fighter—is to win the fight. It’s good to show a knockout or a submission, because that’s exciting, but the main goal is to win the fight. Sometimes you win by decision and sometimes by knockout. Until now, when the fight went to the ground, I did well on the ground. If the fight is standing up, I am [also] working on my striking game.

“There are many [Muay] Thai guys working here, and many world champion[s]. Every day, we train hard. [Coaches] show me new techniques and how to improve my striking. My training partners have good striking, too. They are not Muay Thai world champion[s], but like Eddie [Ng]—ONE FC lightweight—his striking is damn good and he show me how to put the striking in MMA. And Irshaad [Sayed], who is fighting in EFC Africa. He is very good with Muay Thai. They have been helping me to put all the Muay Thai skills into MMA.”

With all three of his professional wins coming via submission, Pucci is undoubtedly a force on the ground inside the ONE FC cage. With his notable credentials in the art of jiu-jitsu, Pucci could easily be categorized as just a grappler. However, the jiu-jitsu World champion is eager to showcase his striking abilities and possibly even win his May 30 fight on his feet, as opposed to on the ground.

“If I have this kind of victory, it would be awesome for me,” Pucci exclaimed. “Because I will get more confident and my next opponent, they will have to think about how to fight me and it will be troublesome for them. I am good on the ground, and I think if I win by knockout, then they have to think twice about staying standing up with me. If I win by knockout, it will be very exciting.”

When parents reach a certain age, they begin to live through their children’s successes. It’s the nature of life. Every parent will brag about the successes of their offspring to anybody who will listen. It’s a bond like no other. And, for Pucci, that powerful father and son bond, along with his world-class preparation, will be in his corner as he seeks his fourth straight mixed martial arts victory. Succeeding in a competitive space is one thing, but being able to share it with those the closest to you, that’s what truly counts.

Bruno would like to thank Evolve MMA. Follow Pucci on Twitter: @bjjpucci