Tough black belt Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes has recovered from elbow surgery and is getting back to competition to give the rest of the lightweight division a hard time.
“I’m getting back to competition. I’ll be at the New York Open on May 5. It will be my first competition since surgery. I was out for five months and I got back to training two months ago. I feel I’m ready to get back at it,” he told GRACIEMAG.com with excitement.
“I’ve been training with Master Alvaro Mansor and some of my teammates at Soul Fighters. I’m catching up on lost time and I’ll be ready to fight for the title at any competition to come up. But my main focus is the Worlds. The NY Open will be about getting back into rhythm. Then I’ll compete at the Brazilian Nationals, where Soul Fighters will go in with a full team. The Brazilian Nationals will be at Tijuca Tennis Club, where I teach,” says Tanquinho.
The last two competitions Tanquinho entered, the Rio Open and Brazilian Team Nationals, he won. And, even after having been out of competition for so long, he hasn’t kept off the mat. Besides being a teacher, he’s one of the IBJJF’s main referees, and tells of what he did with his time while on ice.
“I took the chance to strengthen my mind an study new moves. I know how tough the lightweight black belt division is, but I think I’ve proven I have what it takes to make it to the title and that I can hold my own against anyone. I trained a lot to be prepared to face anyone anytime,” he warns.
Wherever he goes, whether to referee or to compete, in Rio de Janeiro or Abu Dhabi, Tanquinho makes friends. The fighter is thankful for the support he received while away.
“I’d like to express my gratitude for all the messages that came in from all over the world wishing me a healthy recovery. That just gives me more strength and motivation to get back to training! I’d also like to thank Mazwar, who made it possible for me to compete at the NY Open,” he says in closing.
Want to compete at the NY International Open? Sign-ups end Saturday, so click here.