“If Cobrinha enters the absolute at the Worlds, he’ll beat a bunch of people…”

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O bravo "Lalau" e seu mestre, Givanildo Santana. Foto: Acervo Pessoal.

… However, he’ll likely stop at two monsters a cut above the rest. That’s the breakdown provided by a light featherweight who’s been causing a stir in the Gi scene lately.

Laercio Fernandes (Lotus Club) won the absolute division at last weekend’s Phoenix Open, and now he’s breaking down the recent winning spree little guys have had in Jiu-Jitsu’s thorniest division.

Essence of the art:

“I feel it’s sensationalism when everyone makes a big deal out of a little guy beating big opponents in the absolute; the ‘weak’ overcoming the strong has always been the essence of Jiu-Jitsu. Grandmaster Helio Gracie always emphasized that. The fact that little guys have been beating big guys happens for two main reasons: 1) the efficiency of the gentle art, and 2) little guys being used to getting squashed by and training with much bigger guys ever since white belt. That means the big guys’ strength is nothing new to us in championships.”

Worlds 2011:

“I’ll compete at light feather at the Worlds; I don’t know if I’ll do the absolute, but I think in June in California a light fighter may very well surprise everybody. If Cobrinha enters the absolute I’d bet on him to beat a lot of big and good guys. The problem – no offense to other athletes – is that there will be two guys from another planet at the Worlds: Roger Gracie and Rodolfo Vieira. Those two are a cut above the rest.”

Next challenges:

“Before the Worlds I’m going to do the Samurai Pro in California, Werdum’s event. I’ll be in the under-165-lb division.”

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