Last weekend I had the pleasure of competing in the FJJD Rio Copa Carlson Gracie, along with a lot of friends from GFTEAM.
The tournament was on the Ilha do Governador in an awesome open location on a sunday day. It was my first competition back after being injured so I was excited and ready to compete. I was lucky that a friend of mine from the United States, 14 year old David Canto, was present at the tournament to help me while warming up. He is here spending some time with professer Wallace Castro to train his Jiu-Jitsu and the kids a little warrior!
Once again this tournament didnt run exactly on time, and though I understand running a tournament is difficult, it is hard for athletes to be prepared to fight when they cant count on when they will be called. It makes me feel grateful for tournaments run by the IBJJF and tournaments like the World Pro Trials and US Open that you can count on running on time.
When my first fight eventually came, it was against a tough opponent that Ive already faced in the past, Cassio Martins of Gracie Humaita. The last time we fought, at last years Copa Do Mundo, I was nearly passing his guard when he tunred his back, rolled and took my knee in a kneebar. This time it was a hard fought fight but I was able to stay ahead the entire time, almost passing his guard and nearly taking his back various times. At the end of the fight the score was 5 advantages to 0.
It was a bracket of three and the other athlete in the bracket was also from Gracie Humaita, a fighter named Nino Ambrosini, and so the two athletes chose Nino to pass through without fighting. Our fight started out tough, he pulled guard and came up with my leg but wasnt able to finish the sweep. We restarted in the middle and he nearly got me in a wrist lock but I was able to escape. However I made the huge mistake of giving him the chance of going for it again and the second time I was unable to get away. I felt my hand crush in a strange way that didnt injure the wrist, but rather the metacarpal of my pointer finger and I was forced to tap, frustrated that I had made such a stupid mistake and also that I was going home with yet another injury. Congratulations to Nino because hes an awesome fighter and a good guy too.
The rest of GFTEAM did awesome as well. Theodoro Canal closed out the black belt lightweight division with Jake Mackenzie, Marcus Vinicius Morcego Dos Santos took middleweight black belt, Alberto Batata Ramos took brown belt heavyweight, and Devin Rourke (another gringo here in Brazil from Amal Eastons academy also training with GFTEAM) took silver in purple belt lightweight after four tough fights, among many many others.
All in all it was an awesome tournament, but I ended up bummed that after just coming back from an injury I ended up going home with yet another one. But its all part of the fight game, right?
Stay Tuned Guys!!