Luiza Monteiro, another tough cookie in the mix

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Luiza in action at Worlds / Photos: Personal archives

Luiza Monteiro has been standing out in competition Jiu-Jitsu and has a slight preference for No-Gi tournaments. Having won the No-Gi Worlds as a purple belt in 2009, she repeated the feat last year against a black belt opponent. Get to know a bit about this Rio de Janeiro native living in Santos, São Paulo, promising to give the other tough girls a hard time this season, in this interview:

How did you end up in Santos, being from Rio and all?

I’ve been in São Paulo since 2009, training with Leo Vieira. I spent some time in the USA with Lucas Leite and Rodrigo Cavaca made me an offer to train with him. Now I live in Santos with athletes like Michelle Nicolini.

What are your objectives for this season?

I’m going to do the World Pro qualifiers in Gramado and for sure I’ll go to the Pan and Worlds. I also want to do the ADCC tryouts. But I’m going to focus most on the No-Gi Brazilian Nationals and No-Gi Worlds because I like that kind of competition. Those two are among my biggest objectives. I was a world champion while still a brown belt, competing against blackbelts. Now I want to get the title a second time, wearing a black belt!

Who is the main opposition in your way?

I competed against Penny Thomas twice. I lost to her in the gi and I beat her without it. Hannette Staack is returning this year and she’s a headache for anyone in the middleweight division, she’s a great champion.

Luiza and faithful companion Michelle

Are you planning to do anything differently to stand out at black belt?

I’m not going to do anything any differently. I’m evolving with each training session and, thank God, I have Michelle (Nicolini) to train with; she’s a great fighter. Besides that, I always have the help of Lucas Leite and Cavaca, who correct my mistakes. I feel I’m in constant evolution. I used to make it onto the podium in second, third place, and now I’m winning. I’m going to try and impose my game and see what happens. I’m focused on physical conditioning and we’ll keep ironing out the technique.

What is your view of the current female Jiu-Jitsu scene?

Female Jiu-Jitsu has evolved a lot and the hardships we encountered a few years ago have diminished a great deal. We have fighters like Nicolini, Gabi Garcia, and Luanna Alzuguir, who are doing great. Female Jiu-Jitsu is pure technique, it’s beautiful to watch. We still need a bit more attention and better prizes, but I don’t see our division as having stagnated. I feel it’s growing by leaps and bounds.

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