Ag. FightNov 3, 2023, 10:51Reading: 2 min.
Rodolfo Vieira is known for not hiding the game. Unlike most professional fighters, the black belt doesn’t mind exposing his insecurities and possible weaknesses. And last Wednesday (1st), during the media day of the UFC São Paulo, the jiu-jitsu specialist commented on a topic considered taboo within MMA: fear and anxiety.
Since he debuted in Ultimate, still undefeated in the sport, Rodolfo already admitted that he had a certain fear when entering the octagon. A few years later, more mature, the Brazilian explains that he is currently undergoing specific mental preparation with a psychologist, in order to try to minimize the symptoms before competing.
“I prepared a lot for this fight, I did a great job with my team there in Orlando at Fusion (X-Cel). I finished training here with Davi Ramos at Athos, in Rio. The nervousness continues, there’s no way around it. The work I’ve been doing with my psychologist, Luciana, is more about learning to control and perform better. But the nervousness and fear, I think I’ll retire with that”, admitted Vieira.
Difference to the times of jiu-jitsu Anyone who thinks that these mental factors are exclusive to Rodolfo’s phase in MMA is mistaken. Still in jiu-jitsu, a sport in which he has established himself with countless titles, the black belt recalled that he went through the same process. However, anxiety did not affect him as it does in mixed martial arts, because on the mat, the athlete from Rio de Janeiro felt naturally ‘at home’.
“In jiu-jitsu I felt the same thing. But it was a sport that I dominated. I’ve been competing since I was a kid. I learned to control there and was able to perform well. In MMA I haven’t found that balance yet. But slowly, we get there (…) Facing this fear, this challenge. For me, every fight I fight is a huge victory. Only I know how difficult it is for me (…) Even because of all this fear and anxiety I feel”, compared the Brazilian.
Coming off a victory against Cody Brundage in April this season, Rodolfo is trying to score a second consecutive victory to gain more confidence in the organization. Within MMA, the multi-time jiu-jitsu champion has a record of nine wins and two losses.