Vagner Rocha won the -76kg division of the first North American ADCC 2011 trials, last Saturday, in New Jersey.
Rocha will be company for Popovitch himself, the sitting -76kg champion.
We picked up this fine interview with Rocha at the BJJ Center’s blog.
First off congratulations on your recent win at ADCC North American Trials. How did your matches go at the trials?
Thank you, I had 5 matches total. First 4 matches I won by submission. I submitted each opponent in a different way such as: triangle, anaconda, arm bar and “Pablo’s favorite gogozeira”. The final match was against Tony Tipton, a great friend of mine and training partner. We had a war but in the end I came out on top winning by points.
Was this your first time competing for an ADCC event?
Yes it was. In 2008 I missed the trials due to an MMA fight booked on same day. This year I knew I had to be there no matter what. I have been watching ADCC matches for years. I admire all the guys that compete in these events, they are all great Jiu-Jitsu talents, especially Pablo Popovitch, the one that actually got me hooked to this huge desire in competing for this ADCC event. It would be a dream come true, winning as it was for Pablo.
Being a full time instructor at the BJJ Center in Pembroke Pines, FL how were you able to prepare for this competition? Is it hard to stay sharp and competitive when teaching so much?
To me teaching is a great form of preparation for my fights. When I help my students correct their errors I see possibilities for new positions. I usually teach mornings and afternoons so right about mid day I have enough time to train with the pros. The pro training we have at our school is so intense and effective that staying competitive is not hard at all. I have no problems in staying sharp when training like that.
How much time to do you like to set aside to prepare for a competition? And what is a typical training week like for you?
I usually take about 5 weeks and start focusing on what to do. I train bjj twice a day with physical preparation. Two days training hard with one day of rest. I keep the same rotation all the way up till one week before competition. The week of the competition I drill a lot of things to make sure I’m prepared for “war”.
Will you be fighting MMA events more this year or will you mainly focus on competing at the upcoming ADCC?
2010 is almost over, so most likely I will not fight. Next year I would like to get a couple fights before the event comes around. Taking 3 months to prepare and focus on ADCC.
Is there any sponsors or people you would like to thank for helping you to get this opportunity and win?
First of all I want to thank my Team for providing me with lots of great training. Pablo Popovitch for helping make my dreams come true, being able to make a living off jiu jitsu has been a dream. My wife and kids for putting up with me through this life style sometimes it can be tough. Also I want to thank my sponsor Brawl and Maul and finally all my students for always supporting my career as a pro athlete.
For more info, go to bjjcenter.com