Marcelo Lapela gears up for No-Gi Worlds with win at Nationals

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Marcelo “Lapela” of CheckMat wanted to prepare himself for the upcoming N- Gi Worlds, so he signed up to compete in the No-Gi tournament at last Sunday’s American Nationals. He had two matches in his middleweight division, facing Pedro Enrique from Caique BJJ in the first match and Vitor Henrique of GFTeam in the final. He beat both by submission – a kneebar and a footlock that came in just 13 seconds. Lapela won gold.

Lapela taking on Fabiano Monteiro / Photos: Deb Blyth

Lapela then entered the open class and defeated Fabiano Monteiro of American Top Team but lost to Caio Terra of Gracie Fighter in the semifinals, earning him third-place honors in the absolute.

Lapela wanted to be at the ADCC but was not extended the invitation. He wasn’t sure why he didn’t get invited but hopes he’ll be at the next one, in two years’ time. “More than being disappointed for myself, I’m disappointed that Lucas (Leite) wasn’t invited,” Lapela says, “I want to be like him, so I’m sad I didn’t get to see him go.”

Lapela is now setting his sites on the No-Gi Worlds and says he will train over the next six weeks with his CheckMat team to ensure the best results possible. “I train with Lucas, João Assis; I have great teammates,” Lapela says, “I have also been training with Robert Drysdale, Fabricio Werdum and others. We train a lot and a lot of conditioning. We train mind, balance, and body. We train everything.”

Like other Jiu-Jitsu athletes, Lapela is getting his feet wet in the MMA world. Next month, on October 22, 2011, Lapela will be in Oklahoma for his second pro fight. “I won my first fight in 45 seconds,” he says, “So, I will do my pro fight in October and right after that will come back and compete at the No-Gi Worlds.”

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