Celso: “I grow to the occasion when underestimated”

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Celso Venícius’s story in the Worlds black belt division began back in 2005. Since then the Rio de Janeiro native who relocated to São Paulo went through a roller coaster of emotions. The highs were the titles he won on the year of his debut and in 2006 and 2008. By the same token, he fell to Lucas Lepri in the semifinals in 2007 and took runner-up in 2010, following a 0-0 draw that the judges awarded to Michael Langhi. He only refrained from competing in 2009.

Some weeks ago Celso announced the 2011 Worlds could be his final attempt to lay claim to a fourth lightweight world title, an unprecedented achievement in the division. In an exclusive GRACIEMAG at the Worlds Blog interview, the heir to the São Paulo academy of the legendary Ryan embodied the controversial spirit of the late Gracie in the intensity with which he responded to questions pertaining to his retirement, past, present and even his future.

Spilling his heart, Celso criticized the current framework for Jiu-Jitsu championships, identified his greatest adversary, remembered his finest hour at the Worlds (when he took the chance to jab at another of the gentle art’s big names), and revealed that his retirement may not be final, as he has not yet fulfilled some of his aspirations in gi-clad competition.

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