Carla eyeing Gabrielle and Luzia

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Carla at Rio Open. Photo: Gustavo Aragão

Trained by Gracie Barra Méier’s Maguila, Carla Cavalcante is also a regular at training sessions at GB headquarters in Barra da Tijuca. All the hard work paid off for the black belt when she won her weight group and the open weight class at the Rio Open this past weekend in Rio de Janeiro. Having fought in all six matches, Carla tapped out every single opponent. The lack of coverage for the fighter on the first day of the tournament inspired anger from one of our readers: “Where are the photos of Carla? This won’t do,” was posted on the website.

“It was my husband! He told me he sent a message complaining!” said Carla in amusement, when asked about it by a reporter.

“I really enjoyed the championship. This is my first year as a black belt. I came in off a loss to Luzia Fernandes at the World Pro tryouts and was unable to sign up for the Brazilian Nationals, so I was focused on this championship,” she adds.

Carla on bottom against Luzia. Photo: Carlos Ozório

With two medals hanging from her neck, Carla has her eyes on two major forces in her weight group, two fighters who always make it to the top of the winners’ podium.

“There are a lot of good girls competing, among them Gabrielle Garcia, who has been in the spotlight this year, and Luzia. The two are in my weight group and they are my focus. We have to be prepared to always face the best,” she remarks.

Now she achieved victory, it’s time for well-deserved rest. But not for long:

“I have to set my priorities, if just because of my sponsors. But the Brazilian Team Nationals and the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals are goals of mine this year,” says the champion in finishing.

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