Tanquinho and his double journey to second title

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Tanquinho in Rio Open final against Tiago Rocha. Photo: Gustavo Aragão

Augusto Mendes, aka Tanquinho, won his second Rio Open title in a row this year. And, although he didn’t enter the absolute dispute, his worked double-time at the event.

“I felt a bit worn out because, this time, I also worked as refereeing coordinator at the competition. There was a problem and I ended up having to work. My legs were tired but, in the end, it all worked out,” he told GRACIEMAG.com.

“I was hoping to have a good competition again. There weren’t that many top guys in my division. Bruno Frazatto didn’t end up going, so it made things a bit easier for me. But there’s always new guys coming in to complicate things. I faced a Japanese guy no one had head of and struggled to win by 4 to 2. The final against Tiago Rocha wasn’t easy either (3 to 2). I knew it would be rough, but not that rough,” adds the teacher at Soul Fighters.

Tanquinho won the lightweight contest, but it wasn’t long ago that the black belt competed as a featherweight.

“I can’t make it to featherweight anymore. I’d rather feel good at lightweight than do a mediocre job at featherweight. These days everyone is hard and lightweight may even be harder than featherweight. There’s nowhere to run, you have to train well. At lightweight there are about eight guys who can win on any given day, who made it to the quarterfinals at the Worlds. They are: Michale Langhi, Rafael Formiga, Gilbert Durinho, Jonathan Torres, Celso Venícius, Bruno Frazatto, Lucas Lepri and me. I’m not taking anything from the others, it’s always up in the air. You have to see who having a good day when it’s competition time.”

Tanquinho against Jonathan Torres. Photo: Luca Atalla

Now the fighter will replenish his energy for his next commitments.

“I’m going to rest this week to get over some injuries. I’m taking so many anti-inflammatories that I don’t feel anything anymore! But I’ll get right back to training because one of my projects is to compete at the Asian Championship and no-gi events, the Brazilian Nationals, the Pan and the Worlds. It depends on getting sponsorship, but I hope to be able to. I also have some seminars scheduled and anyone interested can contact me at tanquinhojj@gmail.com,” he says in finishing.

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