Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Analyzing Excellence: Being Bruno Malfacine

I sat down for a few hours and watched the bulk of Malfacine's matches I could find on the internet (youtube).  Interestingly enough, for being in the lightest weight class he was just as willing to come on top after pulling guard or to pull guard, though he does seem to pull guard/sit to guard more consistently when fighting up out of his weight class.

He's also one of the guys I've watched (Lucas Lepri, the Mendes brothers, Kron Gracie among others I follow regularly) who has a number of high profile matches outside his weight class.

His history with Caio Terra alone merits its own divisional breakdown as they've been facing one another for nearly 7 years at this point.

What also struck me is that he doesn't seem to consistently impose one style of play. His overall style is unpredictable (and largely seems reactive to his opponents rather than other competitors who seem to impose very narrow windows of skill sets) save for his transitions from just a few positions. He has wins from inverting or deep half to kneebar, and he does like to backstep pass ala Lucas Lepri. He seems comfortable off his back and in coming up to top position to pass.


Matches watched: 17

Range of years analyzed: 2008-2015

General Observations:
- definitely willing to stall you out in your closed guard, very patient when pulled into closed guard by heavier competitors
- often sits to guard or if he pulls guard willing to come on top from double guard pull start
- has competed up in weight relatively often, up against the likes of Gui, Rafa, Frazatto, Farias et al.
- competed against the above along with guys like Felipe Costa and Caio Terra within his own weight class which he has dominated for years
- gives up underhook and looks to backstep which has gotten him into trouble against Caio Terra among others
- against heavier opponenets, prone to getting omoplata'd as he keeps his right arm in deep especially inside the closed guard where he plays very low, very patient (to the point of stalling).

Submissions Observed: bow n' arrow (2), kneebar (2), mounted collar choke (2)

Higher % sweeps:  tomoenage from sitting, butterfly, 50/50, sit-up guard to ankle pick

Positions Swept from/by: giving up underhook as he backsteps, 50/50, inverted/reverse De La Riva/waiter position

The sole submission loss I observed was to Caio Terra by RNC back in 2008. 

For more data visit BJJ Heroes page for Malfacine HERE.

"Main Achievements:
  • World Champion (2004 purple, 2005 brown, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2014 in black belt)
  • Pan American Champion (2005 purple, 2007 and 2008 in the black belt)
  • European Champion (2010)
  • Rio Open Champion (2008 and 2009)
  • Brazilian National Champion (1999 Yellow Belt – under 13 years old, 2002 Junior Blue, 2003 Blue – Under 17, 2005 Purple Belt, 2008, 2009, 2010 black belt)
  • NOGI Brazilian National Champion (2009)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2011)
  • European Silver Medallist (2011)
Favourite Position/Submission: Butterfly Guard & Taking the back

Weight Division: Peso Galo (54.4Kg – 126lbs)"

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