The garb typical of the Brazilian state of Ceará is increasingly becoming the gi. One would have that impression if they wandered into the Marista Catholic University gymnasium for the Ceará Open this past weekend.
With over 600 athletes competing for a respectable bounty, the event got even the most cold-blooded of spectators charged with adrenaline. Big names from throughout Brazil’s north and northeastern states showed up for their piece of the pie.
The big standout was team Nova União MMA fighter Eduardo Cachorrão, who put in a stellar performance on his return to the mat. A onetime opponent of UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, he marched his way to ultraheavyweight gold unleashing an arsenal of armbars. In winning the absolute, he won one of his two matches with a footlock over guard-specialist Gilson “Neném” Nunes and the other with a kneebar. “The trick to the kneebar is to close the figure-four in tight and grab the leg. Once it’s stretched all the way out, there’s no escaping, other than tapping out,” explained Cachorrão after his triumphant return to gi-clad competition.
Another of the days winners, getting his share of fanfare from the crowd, was the aforementioned Gilson Nunes (Evolution, who overcame Wagner Pereira with an armbar from the triangle on Wagner Pereira with just 30 seconds on the clock.
“I like working the open guard and doing that attack. I always grab the knee to make it tight, and if it doesn’t work like that, I go for the arm,” he reveals.