At São Paulo international airport, before taking off for California, where the Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American is to take place, Antonio “Batista” Peinado contacted GRACIEMAG.com on Wednesday: “I’m about to embark to go throw some weight around with the big guys. Whoever’s there to watch will have a lot of fun. Alliance is coming at full force,” warned the black belt, who will enter ultraheavyweight action.
“There’s a good gang in the division. I saw Big Mac and Gabriel Vella at weight; two tough fighters,” he remarked.
Gabriel Vella, now on Ryan Gracie team, is a former training partner of Peinado’s at Alliance. At the time of the conversation, the fighter had not yet seen the brackets. Should he make it past Asa Fuller, his next match will be against the very Vella.
“If we cross paths in the bracket, we’ll have to fight. But he trains with us, is good people and he’s always been 100% with me. He helped me a lot. We’ve helped each other out a lot. We’ve trained together a lot, even when I was still a brown belt. But we have to maintain our professionalism and fight, regardless of who the opponent is. That’s what we train for,” he said.
After the Pan, Peinado returns to Brazil, where he will get no down time before preparing for his upcoming challenges.
“I’ll compete at the Pan; that’s what I’m focused on. After that I’ll return to Brazil and continue my preparations for the Brazilian Nationals and Worlds. My goals are the IBJJF and CBJJ championships,” he says in closing.
To check out all the brackets at the Pan, click here.