Rodolfo Vieira recently opened up about the death of Diego Braga, the man he brought on as his coach for his upcoming fight at UFC Vegas 86 on February 10th, 2024. Braga was sadly murdered by members of the criminal organization Comando Vermelho in January, right when Vieira had started training with him for the first time. Vieira recently sat down with MMA Fighting to explain how he got in touch with Braga initially, and it was actually through fellow top BJJ competitor and UFC veteran Davi Ramos:
“Davi and I spoke, and we thought it would be better if we called him because Davi always had a great relationship with him. We weren’t that close, but we were always cool, I always liked him, he’s always treated me really well, so we called him. We were training for three weeks already, if I’m not mistaken. I was going to Davi’s gym every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to help, and sadly that tragedy happened.”
Diego Braga was brought in to help Rodolfo Vieira prepare for his fight against Armen Petrosyan and naturally his death came as a shock to Vieira:
“He was a special man, really nice guy. I remember when Davi texted me, and I was reading it, ‘No, it’s not possible.’ I kept staring at the phone and thinking, ‘Did Davi send the wrong name? Was it another person?’ But it was him.”
It would have been a shock for a number of reasons but as Rodolfo Vieira explains, he had actually begun to build a strong relationship with Diego Braga thanks to spending so much time together:
“We were very, very sad, man. I never thought that could happen, and at the moment we were the closest.”
Vieira has continued with his training though and will still meet Petrosyan at UFC Vegas 86 on February 10th, 2024, although it’s impossible to know how much this tragedy would have effected him during his training camp.