Copa Pódio opens with all-Gracie Barra matchup and kosher controversy

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After the Copa Pódio group draw last Saturday, keen readers may have noticed: the yellow team is a “group of death,” even counting two Gracie Barra athletes in it.

By the rules of the event, only two from each group will qualify for the next stage. While the dispute in the green team is thorny, with Nivaldo Oliveira, Victor Bomfim, Davi Ramos, André Bastos and Vinicius Marinho all in the mix; the yellow is as stern as it gets, with Otavio Sousa, Leandro Lo, Rafael Formiga, Dimitrius Souza and brown belt Felipe “Preguiça” Pena set to lock horns with each other.

Copa Podio grupos por Gustavo Aragao

At the promoters’ behest, the two Gracie Barra teammates, Otavio Sousa and Felipe, will face off in the opening round to prevent them from knowing what result would be most interesting to them later on.

The decision to match them against each other stirred up some controversy on the Copa Pódio Facebook page. In a conversation with GRACIEMAG.com, the promoter Jeferson Maycá defended their stance.

“The draw was the most transparent and impartial way to sort the athletes, and by chance Otavio and Preguiça ended up in the same group, which turned out to be a true group of death. The fact that the two of them will face off in the first match of the yellow group, in a way, demonstrates respect to the paying public and the athletes themselves, as it guarantees that if they make it to the final it will be by their own merit, without agreements or fixing results,” said Maycá in justifying the choice.

“Although it’s not the main objective behind Copa Pódio, I feel breaking paradigms is essential for the process of making events professional. And both Preguiça and Otavio are aware of Copa Pódio rules and unconditionally accepted the event format,” he added.

Jeferson underscored that both are world champions and promised to give their all to fight for the title.

“Copa Pódio is featuring a contest between schools, and this time it’s not Gracie Barra versus Gracie Barra, but GB Belo Horizonte versus GB Recife. I feel the two of them will truly be fighting for the title. What’s more, just like what happened with Leandro Lo in the lightweight GP, the middleweight champion will be offered a financially rewarding contract with the event.

“Our main objective is to assure Jiu-Jitsu fans get an exciting spectacle. I’m not in favor of closing out, but nor am I in favor of teammates facing each other. That’s why Copa Pódio was put together in this format, where each academy only has one representative. The priority will always be to call up athletes from different teams, but we made an exception for Otavio because he’s the current middleweight champion of the world, his profile is in line with the event, and mainly, because he doesn’t train with Preguiça, even when they’re abroad,” said Jeferson in closing.

Check out the timetable for the Middleweight Grand Prix, coming up July 21 at the Hebraica Club in Rio de Janeiro. The event will take place in three stages: the first is composed of five rounds where all the competitors within a group face off. During this stage the match duration will be six minutes, and athletes will score three (3) points for a win and (1) point for a draw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q77tWKy0Ok

In the second stage, the two who scored the most points during the first stage will go through to the ten-minute semifinals, during which the first five minutes will not count for points—only submissions. Normal penalties will count throughout the match, however. This same format goes for the supermatches too.

Tickets are on sale in Rio, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Visit www.jiujitsuesportivo.com.br for further information.

 

Online pay-per-view packages will be available soon for the same cost as the tickets. Check out the timetable for the Copa Pódio event on the coming 21st.

 

17:00 – Gates Open

18:00 – Opening

18:15 – OPENING SUPERMATCH: Claudio Caloquinha (Gracie Barra MG) vs. Michael Langhi (Alliance)

18:30 – 1ST ROUND OF GP
Green Group: Nivaldo Oliveira (Checkmat) vs. Davi Ramos (Atos)
Green Group: Vinícius Marinho (GFTeam) vs. André Bastos (Nova União)
Yellow Group: Felipe Preguiça (Gracie Barra MG) vs. Otávio Sousa (Gracie Barra PE)
Yellow Group: Leandro Lo (Cícero Costha) vs. Dimitrius Souza (Alliance)

19:05 – 2ND ROUND OF GP
Green Group: Nivaldo Oliveira (Checkmat) vs. Vinícius Marinho (GFTeam)
Green Group: Davi Ramos (Atos) vs. Victor Bomfim (VB Jiu-jitsu)
Yellow Group: Felipe Preguiça (Gracie Barra MG) vs. Leandro Lo (Cícero Costha)
Yellow Group: Otávio Sousa (Gracie Barra PE) vs. Rafael Formiga (Soul Fighters)

19:40 – 3RD ROUND OF GP
Green Group: Nivaldo Oliveira (Checkmat) vs. Victor Bomfim (VB Jiu-jitsu)
Green Group: Davi Ramos (Atos ) vs. André Bastos (Nova União)
Yellow Group: Felipe Preguiça (Gracie Barra MG) vs. Rafael Formiga (Soul Fighters)
Yellow Group: Otávio Sousa (Gracie Barra PE) vs. Dimitrius Souza (Alliance)

20:15 – 4TH ROUND OF GP
Green Group: Nivaldo Oliveira (Checkmat) vs. André Bastos (Nova União)
Green Group: Vinícius Marinho (GFTeam) vs. Victor Bomfim (VB Jiu-jitsu)
Yellow Group: Felipe Preguiça (Gracie Barra MG) vs. Dimitrius Souza (Alliance)
Yellow Group: Leandro Lo (Cícero Costha) vs. Rafael Formiga (Soul Fighters)

20:40 – 5TH ROUND OF GP
Green Group: Davi Ramos (Atos) vs. Vinícius Marinho (GFTeam)
Green Group: André Bastos (Nova União) vs. Victor Bomfim (VB Jiu-jitsu)
Yellow Group: Otávio Sousa (Gracie Barra PE) vs. Leandro Lo (Cícero Costha)
Yellow Group: Dimitrius Souza (Alliance) vs. Rafael Formiga (Soul Fighters)

21:00 – SEMIFINAIS

Match 1: 1º DO GRUPO VERDE X 2º DO GRUPO AMARELO
Match 2: 1º DO GRUPO AMARELO X 2º DO GRUPO VERDE

21:30 – PÓDIO SUPER CHALLENGE: Guto Campos (Guetho) vs. Raphael Abi-Rihan (Abi-Rihan JJ)

21:50 – Middleweight GP third-place match

22:00 – Middleweight GP Final*

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