Two Worlds monsters back: “I want to see if I’ve still got some wood to burn!”

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Pé and Vella want to return at 2011 Worlds. Both are looking to take the ultraheavyweight throne, now held by Cavaca. Photo: Gustavo Aragão.

They’re heavy, really heavy. Both have more than one World Championship gold medal. Both dropped out of competition rhythm, concerned with their gyms, their MMA fights, the everyday things.

But now they’re back, and their opponents best know about it. Who better to tell them but

The first of the two is recovered from injuries that kept him out of competition in late 2010. Now, Gabriel Vella has already set a date for his return: the Paulista Championship at the end of February. “I’m training normally and feel ready to return to competition. I saw how great the European Open was, the gang put on a great show. The way new talent is coming up through the ranks has me even more motivated to compete,” says the two-time world champion, with his sights on two more important tournaments. “I want to compete at the Gramado World Pro tryouts and at the Pan.”

The second is Marcio “Pé de Pano” Cruz, a two-time absolute world champion in 2002/2003. The Brazilian living in Florida is already back training hard in the gi, has been making trips to Brazil to test himself, and if he’s not thinking of winning a gold medal, his sights are on placing in the ultraheavyweight division.

“I want to see if I’ve still got some wood to burn or if I’m all ash. I’m training hard in the gi, I just don’t know how far I can make it. All I know is that in California I’m going to set someone back, you can be sure of it,” says Pé de Pano.

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