A present to be remembered for Gabriel Vella

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Gabriel Vella attacks Glover. Photo: Mauro dos Santos www.olutador.com.

One of the black belts with the most mileage in world Jiu-Jitsu’s top flight, Gabriel Vella is still at it making life hard on his opponents. This time, the Ryan Gracie rep took top honors at the Brazilian tryouts for the ADCC, this past weekend in São Paulo. On Saturday, the fighter’s birthday, Vella secured a spot in the semifinals. But his present came on the following day, when he won the event after beating the hard-nosed Glover Teixeira in the over 99 kg division.

“All the fights were really tough and I had to keep focused to not make mistakes. At the tryouts for the last ADCC I ended up in a really thorny bracket and ended up losing to Antoine Jaoude. But now it’s my time!” he told GRACIEMAG.com.

“The final was truly the most hotly disputed one and is the most satisfying. I had to face a great opponent, Glover Teixeira, and I was happy about it. I made it to a dangerous position and only won in overtime. I managed to defend his attacks and always counter-attacked. I took his back and tried for the finish. He escaped, and it was an exciting 15 minutes,” he says.

Now the fighter’s full attention is turned to the ADCC.

“If I were back in the old days I’d compete in everything. But these days I divide my time as a husband, athlete, teacher, psychologist… So I’m going to make a priority of what I don’t have yet. I’ve never won the ADCC, so I’m going there to win,” he forewarns.

But what’s this business about being a psychologist?!

“To be a Jiu-Jitsu teacher you have to be that too. Of course, it’s just a joke I like telling, but in adding polish to professionals in this sport you have to be a complete teacher!” he said in closing.

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