Guto Campos: “If I hadn’t had faith in myself, I wouldn’t have fought in the absolute”

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Guto Campos was a welcome surprise at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Not for winning his weight class, which is traditionally one of the toughest out there. But for winning the absolute for the first time at an IBJJF event, and displaying attacking Jiu-Jitsu that respects the ultimate objective of the gentle art: the submission. Guto took some time to have a chat with Check out what he had to say:

Guto submits Cavaca in the final of the absolute. Photo: Ivan Trindade

Você nem participaria do absoluto. Qual foi a sensação de vencer?

A galera me incentivou a lutar o absoluto porque treinamos muito e estávamos bem preparados e focados nessa competição. A sensação de vencer o absoluto na faixa-preta, no campeonato Europeu, é inexplicável.

You weren’t going to participate in the absolute at all. How did it feel to win?

The gang encouraged me to fight in the open because we trained hard and were well prepared and focused for this competition. The feeling of winning the absolute black belt in the European championship is inexplicable.

Why weren’t you going to participate? Did you not have faith you could win the absolute for your being in an intermediate weight group?

I don’t like fighting in the open because it comes before the weight classes. There are a lot of tough guys at middleweight, so I prefer to spare myself. But in Europe we took three fighters in my division: Me, Durinho and Rodrigo Caporal. So if all went well, and thank God it did, I would only have two matches at weight. If I didn’t have faith in me, I certainly wouldn’t have signed up for the open, because I don’t go in to lose. When I enrolled in the open I didn’t do so to be just another competitor, I entered to be champion, because my colleagues placed a lot of confidence in me and we were blessed with this victory.

Did your confidence increase with each match? When you reached the final with Rodrigo Cavaca did you have faith you could win?

Certainly the confidence and the psychological side of things improved with every match. Up until the final I had three matches and only didn’t get the submission in the semifinal against Tarsis Humphreys. I was trying for the finish the whole time. I went in very focused and knew the difficulty I would face, because it wasn’t for nothing that Cavaca had been super-heavyweight champion. But I worked out a strategy based on my characteristics with my team a, accelerating the pace of the fight and, thank God, the outcome was positive.

Guto dominated the middleweight division alongside teammate Caporal (photo) and Gilbert Durinho. Photo: Ivan Trindade

And the World Cup, will you venture into the absolute there, too?

That is something I have yet to think about, because my goal and that of the whole team is to win the Worlds in my weight division.

What is your view on the evolution of Atos, which made it to the winners’ stand in several black belt weight categories at this European?

This was the result of a very professional training regime that we have in Rio Claro with Ramon demanding the most of us at every session.  Our trainer, Thiago Mendes, had us in tip-top shape to compete. It’s still January and we’ll have plenty time to work on technical and physical fitness for the Worlds, which is the most important championship of the year and our main focus.

What will you do now?

Now I’m heading home, to keep my focus, discipline and carry on with the work we’ve been done. I’d like to thank the entire Atos team  and my students at Guetho. Also to all my family, my psychologist and pharmacist Camila Dick and sponsors Remaco Buttons, Lojas Octagon, SNC, Dermogral and Keiko, who gave me the opportunity to compete at my first European. And I want to see whether the gang at GRACIEMAG will give me props in the magazine! I want to appear on the cover, how about it? Even if it’s a tiny photo in the corner! (Laughs).

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