Gabrielle Garcia and Luanna Alzuguir are currently Jiu-Jitsu’s winningest duo. For the second year in a row the fighters have won their respective weight groups and closed out the absolute with each other at the Pan, an achievement they hope to repeat at the Worlds. Their success earned them a two-year contract with Corinthians, a club best known for its soccer team but now putting its chips on the gentle art too. Check out the conversation GRACIEMAG.com had with Gabi. The scrappy young lady is getting ready to head to the World Pro.
Another double victory at the Pan. . . .
I was so glad we won at weight and open weight at the Pan. We trained a lot, it was the result of lots of work. Some things didn’t go according to plan, like the weight group final, but I’ve been training well and that shines through during hardships too.
You started out losing by a takedown in your match with Tammy Grieco. What’s your breakdown of the match?
I’m aware that people have been watching my game, they’re keen to what I do, so they can beat me. But that motivates me more. I don’t want easy matches. I’m training so hard and Fabio Gurgel is always coming up with new strategies. That’s what we’re doing for the World Pro, I’m really confident and I’ll show up there with new weapons. That’s how I think.
The female divisions are getting harder and harder, aren’t they?
There are a lot of girls arriving on the scene now. Marina Ribeiro had a great European Open campaign and Tammy Grieco, who has been in finals with me twice, is another girl coming on strong. It just serves as motivation for female Jiu-Jitsu, and I feel this pursuit of beating us just raises the bar. I’m far from being unbeatable, I train hard not to lose. Luanna and I fight great opponents, the crowd, and at times even the referees. But there’s no secret to it: we train a lot, dedicate ourselves, forsake a lot of things so we can do well. Now, I’m focused on the World Pro and there’s no mistaking it: training’s the only way to go.
Tell us about your new sponsor, Corinthians soccer club.
It’s a new partnership. Corinthians is investing in other sports and Luanna and I are working with Jiu-Jitsu in the club. Corinthians provides us better training facilities, helps us with our travel costs, and allows us to make a living through Jiu-Jitsu. I’m sure this opportunity will come about for a lot of fighters. Corinthians even gives us the chance to appear on network television and for different demographics. We were watched by more than 300 thousand viewers on Corinthians TV. I feel we’re showing what Jiu-Jitsu is to a lot more people. It’s all just beginning.