Donothing summed it all up when he said,"Campos, I ain't going back to Campos!" Last year at Campos there were some great fights and the event is awesome.
Donothing summed it all up when he said,"Campos, I ain't going back to Campos!" Last year at Campos there were some great fights and the event is awesome. The problem is that before and after the event there was nothing to do but sit around in the heat and sweat. There is a beach there but after living in Rio the beach in Campos really has nothing to offer. So since Donothing was not going to drive there again Brian Cimins from Grapplers Quest and I decided to rent a car and go for it. Getting ready to leave for Campos we were side tracked by a phone call from some girls that Brian had met at a party earlier on in the week. Originally we were going to get up at 6 or 7 am to avoid the traffic leaving the city. Now at 9 pm the night before the plans were changed. The girls lived outside the city and wanted to party so we planned to drive out to their city (luckily on the way) party with them grab a hotel for the night and get up in the am to roll. The event didn't start till 8 pm the next day and we had a hotel reservation there so we were all set. After a quick hour ride and a little getting lost we met up with the ladies and got things under way. I had thought it was best to get our hotel before we started parting but the girls assured us there was a hotel close by and all was good. It was a good night the club was not too full and we had a small group of girls there to take care of us. We had our fun with the girls. Plenty of drinking and loving went around now it was 5 am and time for some sleep before the big drive. Well after visiting 4 hotels and finding not single bed to sleep on we were fucked to say the least. So in an act of bitter rage I dropped off the last girl and announced, "Fuck it! We are driving to Campos now!" So with nothing but anger to drive me I set off driving the crazy highways of Brazil to Campos. Of course driving in Brazil is hard enough but add drinks, night time, and that I didn't know how to get there exactly and well it was a wild trip. I think Mr. Cimins has a few good things to say about driving in Brazil. Just ask him next time you see him. At about 9 am we got to the city of Campos. It should have only taken us 4 hours but we took five? The city Campos is a small place basically out in the middle of nowhere. The people great there, they are not rich but the countryside is rich in beauty and in oil. This oil wealth is put to good use by the government at least once a year when they sponsor this Submission Wrestling event giving away some serious cash prizes and making sure the event paid is for. It is pretty cool to visit Campos in that way. They are so serious about their jiu jitsu and fighting that they put up a lot of money to promote it. Campos is no doubt one of the top events in Brazil for Submission Wrestling. So we are in Campos at a 4 star hotel. If this was 4 star hotel I would have hated to see a 3 or 2 star. The room was so hot that Cimins was moaning all day long while I was trying to sleep off the alcohol. It was hot. I kept trying to convince him that the heat was good "We are sweating out the alcohol. This is good. Good back to sleep!" I kept telling him. Finally at about 5 pm, we were too hot, dehydrated and hungry. We had to get up. Hungry and tired as hell, we ventured down to the road looking for food. It was useless. The light was to bright and it was so hot out I couldn't bring my self to search the streets for something good to eat. I asked the desk jockey at the hotel and she suggest we just order room service. So it was back to the hot sweaty room for food. At least it was dark in there. It was another hour ride to where the event was being held at Farol de Campos. Farol means lighthouse, so we were heading the lighthouse on the beach. It was one crazy ride there. People were driving at such high rates of speed that I though maybe there was a race going on that was part of the weekend's events. After all they had motocross planned why not rally racing to the beach. This is Brazil. Anything is possible. One guy in a huge black jeep passes us on the right going so fast it scared the shit out of me. The jeep as lifted and all black with red 4 point seat belts. It had no headlights or taillights. And, the guy was wearing a helmet while street driving! If it was a race he wanted I decided our 1.8 litter rental could give him one. So we stepped things up and tried to follow him to the beach. But, he lost us pretty quickly with his reckless and fearless passing skills. I guess our lives were worth more to us than winning the race. We made it to the beach ready for some more sleep till event started. I needed to hook up with the great video master PaquetÃ¡ and set our plans. PaquetÃ¡ and I were going to make the official event video. Our hotel luck was continuing along. Seems that Abu Dhabi reporter Denis Martins had stolen our hotel room cause he had a little hussy there. Cimins and I were demoted to sleeping on the floor at our friend Mari Ana's house. Mari Ana is a great girl and a hell of a fighter. She is a black belt under the famous Master Oswald Alves. Her mom works for the government of Campos running the health and wellness services for the poor. We love them. They are very fun to hang out with. So it was Cimins and I off to Mari Ana's to get settled. We soon found out that there was a bed there but Café Dantes was going to sleep there too so we were on the floor for sure. He had a super fight the next day and was also twice my size so of course he got the bed. Fights were set to start at 8:00pm so in usual Brazilian fashion we go there at 7:30 to find chaos. Denis had told me that he put my name on the list to fight and started taunting me to fight. Then they came up and offered Cimins a chance to fight in the pro division. He jumped right in. I later convinced him it was not a good idea. Since he would be fighting the top Brazilians, most black belts. I talked to the promoter and let him know that Brain is just a blue belt and that they should put someone with more experience. They liked the idea of an international event. And, I think they idea of a gringo getting crushed. But they agreed and moved him to semi-pro. So here it was now about 10 pm, no sleep still kinda hung over and Cimins and I were thrown in the mix to fight in Brazil's biggest Submission Wrestling event. I wasn't scared but I was feeling very unprepared. Campos was shaping up to be even better than expected. Marcelo Garcia showed up and he was fighting along with a few other unexpected guys like Babalou and the Bastos brothers. The last 2 years Campos was a one-day event. This year the added prize money and sponsors brought in enough money which drew in enough top fighters that the event was now going to be held on two days. Day one was a very exciting one they started the day out with the Pro divisions weight classes. The brackets were 16 man, four fights to win and matches were seven minutes in the pro and five in the semi pro. There was no real rules meeting that we saw but for the most part it was loose jiu jitsu rules and points and all leg locks were legal. There was no penitently for jumping guard. At the end of day one in the semi finals we had Rodrigo Damm (Alliance) the returning two-time Champion in Campos in the under 65kg weight class fighting Teodoro Canal (Nigue) it was a tough match but Damm is a determined fighter and pulled out a great leg lock on Canal for the win. On the other side of the bracket Anderson Pereira (WFC/Niteroi Wrestling) heel hooked Luciano Azevedo (RFT) in with ease in under a minute. The finals turned out to prove that Brazilians have been working on their wrestling. Pereira and Damm fought this one on their feet. Pereira got the first score with an advantage for almost getting a take down. Damm came back hard and scored 4 advantages in a row and kept the pressure till the end for the win. Damm was the three time champion of the beach here in Campos. He is a tough fighter. I'd love to see him fighting the US soon. The first semifinal of the under 76kg weight class Suyan Queiroz (BTT) who is known for his reverse guard figure-four footlock had a tough battle with Ricardo 'Rato'(Alliance) who seemed on to his game and Suyan won on only a single advantage. On the other side of the bracket Adriano 'Nasal' Pereira (BTT) was set to fight Pecanha (Campos JJ) . Nasal is tough fighter and favored to win the event. Pecanha proved he was ready for what ever Nasal had and fought a hard fight where no points were scored and it was left to a judges' decision. Pecanha, the local fought very well and kept the pressure the whole time won the judges decision. The 76kg finals was a battle between one of Brazil's best no gi fighters Suyan Queiroz (BTT) and the top local Pecanha (Campos JJ). These two battled on their feet for a while till Suyan pulled 1/2 guard and worked hard for a sweep that only got him an advantage. Suyan a guard fighter and well know for it Pecanha played it smart and tried to keep the fight on the feet. Suyan was relentless and pulled guard again. This time as Pecanha tried to pass Wuyan was able to set up his upside down reverse guard. He is lethal from here but Pecanha knew this and defended well. The fight stalled a little here Suyan waiting and Pecanha waiting patiently defending and it worked. Suyan tried to switch to a knee bar and lost the position. Pecanha was now back on top and slowly working to pass. Suyan attempted an arm drag and both fighters stood up. Suyan pulled guard again and tired to work a knee bar but Pecanha kept the pressure and time ran out making Pecanha the local and we 76kg champion. The 87kg weight class was all Garcia despite the fact that there was some real talent in this weight class. Bruno Bastos and Thalles Leite both are tough competitors but Garcia showed that there is a huge skill level difference between an Abu Dhabi champion and our local heroes. Garcia went through all four fighters like butter. Also let it be known that Garcia was fighting one weight class up. Here is how it went down. In round one he took out Leonardo Lucio 'Chocolate' Nascimento (RFT) by armlock. Bruno Bastos (Nova Uniao) who is a good fighter, he lost to Jacaré at the Abu Dhabi Brazilian trails in the finals. He was next up in the Marcalinho Garcia murder show. Garcia took him out with the same arm drag to back to rear naked he got Shaolin with in ADCC. It was over before Bastos had a chance to defend. Thalles Leite (Nova Uniao) is another tough competitor and a new black belt. As soon as the match started Thalles pulled 1/2 guard on the left side. Thalled is known for his 1/2 guard and I think he hopped to catch Garcia off guard by pulling to the left side. Garcia didn't seem to mind and almost passed causing a little scramble and Thalles had to recover and go full guard. Gracia opened his guard and Thalles went back to his 1/2 guard. Garcia pushed the pass using a pass similar to Eddie Bravo's twister side control. As Garcia almost passed Thalles made the mistake of giving his back which Garcia quickly took set the second hook and slapped on the rear naked. Garcia makes Black Belts look like blues with out the gi on. It seems once Garcia gets on your back the game is over. His back game is awesome. In the semifinals of the under 105kg weight class
|Gabriel 'Napao' Gonzaga|
(Macco Gold Team) the CBJJO Absolute runner up and experienced MMA fighter fought Soluco in a quick and easy fight for this champion. He proved that he has skills with and with out the gi. On the other side of the bracket Andre Castro fought Lucio Linhares (Alliance). Castro beat Linhares but maybe only cause Linhares was wearing wrestling shoes. The mats were laid out on the sand in Campos and the humid air made the mats very slippery. Castro was able to slide Linhares around on the mats for the win. In the finals
|Gabriel 'Napao' Gonzaga|
the favorite was matched against Andre Castro. Andre came out tough right from the start working on his feet for take down. Unfortunately he didn't pace himself and soon he began to tire. At one point he shot a slow and a little sloppy double leg leaving is arms open and Napao was able to pancake him straight to mount for 4 points. Lucky for Andre they were almost off the mat so the match was started again on the feet. Napao let Andre waist some more energy and on his next sloppy shot reversed Andre again for another 2 points. Napao was now in Andre's 1/2 guard working a pass until Andre made some space and stood back up. Andre seemed determined to take Napao down in this match. He waited for Castro to gas out trying to take him down. Then Napao turned up the gas at one point and took down Andre with a double for another 2 points. Andre continued to try and take Napao down with doubles but he didn't have the gas and the slippery mats made it easy for Napao to sprawl out and slide around. Napao played his defensive game and reversed Andre yet again for another 2 points dominating the fight 10 x O. That night the event ended pretty late. Brian and I both gave what little we had left on the mat. I had no strength in my fight at all and got taken down twice by a strong Nova Uniao fighter. My opponent later lost in the finals on a take down of all things. Brian fought a huge guy and Brian is not small. His opponent later turned out to be on the Brazilian Olympic grecco team. You would have thought that he could kill Brian but the guy just laid his weight on him. We came we fought and that was fun. Determined to not let the fun stop there we struggled through Campos streets looking for food and drink. A couple sandwiches later and we deiced there was not much interesting going on. So we were back to sleep at Mari Ana's. I needed some rest and I really wanted to see Garcia again in the open. Day two I found a great hammock and slept all day long. It was hot out the floor was hard. I needed some rest badly. Today the event was going to start earlier and I was ready for that. The night before I fought at midnight and Brian at close to 1:00am. I wanted to get the fights over and get the partying on. The event got started with the usual tournament teasing. I got slammed pretty hard in the first take down and more than a few guys reminded me of it. It was funny for me cause the conversations started with charades since most gringos don't speak Portuguese. They would pantomime me getting slammed and laugh. I would laugh and then tell them in Portuguese that the guy head butted me pretty good too. That took everyone by surprise that this white guy could speak some Portuguese. I talked to a lot of the fighters there and they all wanted to know about the scene in the US. A lot of the guys want to come and fight in the US. Everyone there was very cool and the promoters did a really good job I think. Day one was very exciting, but tonight everyone was a buzz about who could beat Marcelo Garcia or if Café could beat the local hero Riscado. The day started with the super fight Rodrigo 'Riscado' Gripp (Campos JJ) def. Alexandre 'Cafe' Dantas (Gracie Barra) this fight was really hyped up. Two huge brawlers who both have MMA experience and they are know for their snapper attitudes too. The match came and went in the first minutes. The fighters started out with some tie-ups that got a little rough. Café ended up using a tie that sorta seemed like a hard slap. And, Riscado got upset, and then got angry and things flared up into some drama. The promoters were brought in and Riscado was given an advantage. That was the fight. Riscado was happy to stall and win the match and Café wasn't hungry enough to really open up and go after it. Boring match the only exciting part was the slap fight drama. A huge let down for everyone. There were two semi-pro open divisions for cash at Campos Battle of the Beach 77kg and below and 78kgs and above. In the finals of the the 77kg and under was Edwardo Simoes (Gracie Barra Vale Tudo) against Akindola (Nova Unaio). The match stared out with some feeling out until Simoes exploed with a great double leg takedown for 2 points. Now in Akindola's full guard Simoes seemed to rest a little waiting for his opportunity. He found it when Akindola opened his guard trying to work on an arm. Simoes quickly passed but Akindola just quickly rolled over flat on his belly as Simoes tried to take the back Akindola rolled under and returned to his guard. Akindola now tried to attack a single leg sweep. Simoes defened well with a crossface and the fighters were on their feet with Akindola shooting a double leg. The fighters slid off the mat and while Simoes was walking back to the center Akindola shot another double with Simoes off guard. However Simoes almost reverseted it and after some dancing on the feet Akindola pulled full guard. Akindola worked hard from his guard but Simoes just locked the game down and worked for a pass slowly with time running out Simoes jumped over Akindola's legs for the pass and quickly mounted. Simoes won on points. In the 78kg and over finals we had one of my favorite fighters up and coming fighters Romulo Barral (Gracie Barra BH) and he fought Mario Neto (Nova Uniao). Romulo is one of those tall lanky guys only he is also very well built. Coming from the legendary Dracolinho's school he is a tough fighter submitting almost everyone on the way to the finals. The match started out with Romulo sitting to butter fly guard and then quickly pulling Neto to his full guard. Romulo shot a real close triangle that Neto defended well, Romulo then switched to the omoplata but Neto defended that well also and even worked his way to Romulo side. Romulo reconstituted his guard and kept working, shooting triangles and trying to set something up. Neto kept the pressure too coming close to passing but Romulo flexibility didn't allow it. The score was still 0 to 0 and both fighters were working hard. At one point Neto dropped back for a footlock and Romulo almost came on top. Even though there were no point in the match it was still very exciting and both fighters gave it their all. Romulo took the win on aggression and submission attempts. The professional division once again became the Marcelinho Garcia show however there were some good matches. There were some surprise fighters that showed up most notably UFC fighter Renato Babalou and Ximu from the new Gracie Barra Vale Tudo Team. Babalou a tough Brazilian wrestler and Luta Livra fighter has a good match against yesterday's finalist Thalles Leite (Nova Unaio). The match was a haft guard battle where Babalou seemed a little frustrated with Thalles 1/2 guard. Thalles gave up quite a bit of weight to Babalou who kept a lot of pressure on the whole fight. In the final minute of the fight Thalles tired to sit up on Babalou and Babalou slid through for the pass and 3 points. Marcelinho Garcia's (Alliance) toughest fight was against the giant Gabriel Napao (Macao Gold Team). Garcia started the match out working for a arm drag but Napao defended well and Napao settled for his guard where he quickly set up for a x-guard sweep. Most people would have been easily swept in this powerful possion but because Napao is so tall Garcia was not very effective. He worked from this position for some time trying to off balance Napao and set up a sweep. Napao's base was good and at one point when Garcia returned to butterfly guard Napao simple sat down over Garcia's legs to mount. A surprised Garcia quickly slipped out to avoid the points but Napao was winning on advantage now. Garcia returned to his guard and kept playing his game trying to set up sweeps and arm drags. At one point Garcia was behind Napao but could not take get the hooks in on his much bigger opponet. He tied to take him down gut the giant was too big. Garcia returned to his guard and arm dragged again this time the climbed up on the giant and took his back standing. In a panic, Napao droped to his back trying to shake Garcia but Garcia used this to set his hooks and almost a choke. Napao squirmed out and Garcia went to his guard again. Setting up the x-guard yet again. Now winning by 4 points Napao tried anything he could even a poor footlock. Time ran out and it was Garcia up by four that was headed to the finals against Babalou. Not many people were surprised to find Marcelo Garcia and Renato Babalou in the finals of the absolute division fighting for the cash prize. Garcia was giving up quite a bit of size to Babalou but he was still the heavily favored. The ten-minute match started out with Garcia going straight to his open guard. He worked hard to arm drag Babalou but Babalou's massive arms were much too strong from him. So Garcia decieded to climb up the bigger Babalou with an arm drag instead of trying to sweep. He almost had the back but Babalou was able to stand up and shake him off. The crowd was calling for Garcia to submit and the pace picked up. Babalou seem to take a more relaxed pace and was waiting for Garcia to make a mistake or tire out. At the haft way marc Garcia picked it up using his x-guard position to set up a heel hook that Babalou defended but Garcia switched to a knee bar. Babalou defended again but now he was on his but and Garcia sat up for two points. Babalou started arguing with the referee that he sat to guard but Garcia kept at it and took his back looking for a choke. The score was now 6 to 0. Babalou defended the choke and escaped the back in to Garcia's full guard. Garcia never one to stall kept working, both men were obviously tired and the pace slowed. Babalou tried to pass both high and low with no success. With one minute to go, Babalou tried to do a calf slicer with one arm in. It looked locked on but Garcie smiled to the crowd letting us all know the match was over. Garcia put $R8000 in his pocket that weekend wining both the absolute and fighting up one weight class. The whole event was a huge success and we just wish Campos was a little closer to Rio. But not to worry we will be at the next one too. Special thaks to Denis Martins from ADCC, Master Roberto Leitao, Wendle from Nova Unaio and of course Master Oswaldo Paqueta.