These days, Bruno “Puccibull” Pucci is many things.
The Brazil native is the husband to ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee. He is a faithful dog owner. And he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at United MMA in Hawaii.
Yet, the two-time No-Gi World Champion does not want anyone to forget who he is aside from these things – a competitor.
“Puccibull” is hungry to return to action. Since his last contest – a first-round submission victory over former World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku in January – the Brazilian has yet to return to the ONE Championship Circle.
Due to his green card application in the United States, the 29-year-old has been unable to leave the country for several months. The administrative process even kept Pucci from traveling to Tokyo and Indonesia to support his wife for her bouts.
But there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, “Puccibull” received a notice from immigration saying his interview would be scheduled soon.
“This is most likely the final steps of the process for the green card. The last part is having the travel documents prepared – so fingers crossed,” a relieved Pucci said. “I believe it will happen during the upcoming interview.”
The news could not have come at a better time for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, who is eager to make his comeback, although with a slight twist.
Pucci, who used to compete at featherweight, will attempt to go down a weight class and compete at bantamweight instead.
But the Hawaii-based athlete takes his decision seriously and wants to test himself in actual competition. Then he will decide if he wants to stay at bantamweight.
“I think I’ll have a good run against opponents at bantamweight, but of course I would like to see how I actually feel on match day,” Pucci explained.
ONE boasts a stacked roster of bantamweights, with the likes reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Filipino superstar Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon.
Furthermore, the promotion has been adding new and exciting talent from all around the world.
Pucci has no illusions about the enormity of the task at hand, particularly as it relates to capturing the ONE Bantamweight World Title. However, the challenge only motivates him to strive harder.
“I feel that compared to the lightweight or featherweight division, I have a better chance to chase the belt at bantamweight,” Pucci said.
“The competition is still elite, but I’ve had success at featherweight even against a former World Champion like Boku – plus I’ve been training very hard and staying active every day.”
Thanks to the rigorous training at United MMA, “Puccibull” has remained in top physical condition. The intensity has helped him walk around at 155lbs, and he feels he can comfortably drop to the bantamweight limit.
The Brazilian is also confident, especially with ONE’s much-lauded hydration policy that was instituted in place of traditional weight cutting.
“I used to easily make 145lbs at the old ruleset. So now with the hydration protocol, it’s much safer and I definitely know I can make the weight,” Pucci explained. “I eat clean and watch my diet constantly, so my walking weight is already naturally low.”
If everything goes as planned and Pucci can travel, he has already set a timetable for his return.
“Definitely before the end of the year,” Pucci said. “I think if my documents are good, I can travel with Angela to Tokyo in October, and then I want to compete in November.”
Until that happens, Pucci will cheer for his wife on Sunday, 13 October as she defends her ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title against “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan at ONE: CENTURY PART I.
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events in one day.
But The Home Of Martial Arts breaks new ground as it features 28 World Champions, four World Title bouts, three World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and four World Champion versus World Champion matches.
The action happens at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan on 13 October in Tokyo, Japan.
Download the ONE Super App to catch all the action.
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