Daniel “Neguinho” Garcia (Nova União) was flying under the radar in the middleweight division for the 2011 Worlds, but then he blipped up out of the blue – and dropping bombs.
It came down to his stellar performance at the Brazilian Nationals this past May, when he won a division stacked with the likes of Alan “Finfou” do Nascimento, Augusto “Tio Chico” Vieira, and other seasoned competitors.
The Nova União middleweight had faith in himself and came up spades. His first match saw him pass guard and finish with a choke. He went on to win his second while Alan Finfou ended up getting injured and was unable to make the semifinal, so all that was left to do was head straight into the final against Tio Chico – one of the finest gentle art displays witnessed that weekend of May 14 and 15 in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro.
Daniel recounts how it went:
“The strategy that played out in the final was to score and take the lead, to keep him down as long as possible. In the final minute I exploded again, did a reversal I always practice in the academy, and it worked out: I landed on top and won, 4-2,” recalls Garcia, who teaches in the USA.
“The problem is that I had to make some changes for the Worlds. A lot of folks have started to taking notice of my game, so my teacher Rodrigo Feijão decided to switch some things up as a precaution,” said the black belt of one and a half years, providing no further clues.