Rodolfo Vieira is one of the most accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners to enter the world of mixed martial arts. He is set to take on Cody Brundage at UFC FN 223 in Las Vegas.
Despite his impressive record, Vieira feels that he has fallen short of his potential due to his limited number of bouts in the UFC. Since joining the promotion in 2019, Vieira has only competed five times. While he acknowledges that injuries and other life matters have kept him away from the octagon, he wishes he could have been more active.
Vieira’s sporadic schedule would have been a significant hardship for his family if it weren’t for the $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus he received for his victory over Dustin Stoltzfus at UFC on ESPN 26 in July 2021. Vieira admits that the bonus saved his and his family’s lives during a time when he was only training and not competing.
Vieira told Sherdog:
“Without any doubt, that bonus saved my and my family’s lives,” he admitted.
“After that, I didn’t get to fight for nearly one year. It was hard. Fighting is my only source of income. At the same time, we live a very simple life, without any waste. That was our luck. But, without a doubt, the bonus saved us. It kept us well, during a period when I was only training and spending.”
Despite the challenges, Vieira is ready for his next and excited to face Brundage. He respects Brundage’s ground game, but he is confident in his own skills, both in jiu-jitsu and striking. Vieira’s preparation took place at Fusion X-Cel in Orlando, where he has been training for the past four and a half years.
In lead up to the event, he even hired a BJJ coach.
“And then there’s Salenco Coutinho. He joined the team to be my jiu-jitsu trainer. I had been without a trainer since I migrated to MMA. He’s made a big difference in my game. My jiu-jitsu is much better. It’s giving me a lot of confidence. I have a great team, thankfully, including great sparring partners.”
Rodolfo Vieira may have been disappointed with his limited UFC run so far, but he remains confident and ready for his upcoming outing. His jiu-jitsu skills are sharp, and his striking has improved, making him a formidable opponent for anyone in the octagon. Vieira returns to UFC April 29th.