Moments before the final match, Roberto Cyborg revealed his strategy, “I don’t think he’ll want to fight standing, so I’m going to pull guard first. But since a fight is a fight, we’ll only know once we get our hands on each other’s gis. He’s really tough, lost by just one advantage point to [ADCC 2009 champion] Pablo [Popovitch]. And Pablo’s the toughest guy I’ve ever seen.”
Cyborg (Fight Sports South Beach) was referring to Alliance teacher in New York Lucas Lepri, who had won two frenetic matches to make it to the final, in the semifinal undergoing a bout of sweeps and attacks with Guybson Sá (East West Combat Club), who ended up getting submitted by Lepri with a choke from the half guard a few seconds from the end of a bout Lepri already led by 10 to 8.
ADCC under 99kg runner-up Roberto Cyborg made it to the final with two lighting quick submissions. His victim in the semifinal was the tough-as-nails silver medalist at the European Championship Renan Borges (BTT Boston), who was unable to overcome the weight difference of nearly 30 kgs (66 lbs). Cyborg finished him from the back and immediately, with only one arm, hoisted Renan up onto his shoulder, to the delight of the crowd in attendance at Queens College this Sunday, March 7, in New York, watching the latest installment of Milton Regis and Eloi Santos’ Long Island Pride.
In the decider, Cyborg fulfilled his promise of pulling guard, and the tactic started out well, as he was the one to score the opening two points with a sweep. But Lepri wasn’t intimidated. He insisted on throwing Cyborg off balance even after his initial attempts hit the dead end of his opponent’s solid base. As the match played out, the plan proved effective, since Lepri managed to tie the score, and then take a 6 to 2 lead, even landing a sightly overhead sweep followed by an arm attack, and a choke attempt from the back. All of which Cyborg defended.
In the end, Lepri took the win, driving his students who went to see him into delirium. And his partner, another Alliance professor, Fabio Clemente, who shouted, “You did it, Lucão!”
“Was it the best match of your career?” the reporter asked.
“No. My best match was against Lucas Leite [in the semifinal of the No-Gi Worlds 2008]. But this one was really good, too,” he said in celebration. And added, “And you can call it an excellent ‘warm-up’ for the Pan, can’t you?”
That’s what everyone with their eyes on the competition coming up April 10 (for which sign-ups are already open at www.ibjjf.com) hopes. In the meantime, check out the photo gallery from Long Island Pride:
1st Emerson Souza BJJ
2nd Kioto BJJ
1st Kimura BJJ
2nd Kioto BJJ
3rd Emerson Souza BJJ