The Copa Pódio happens this Saturday, at Clube Hebraica, in Rio de Janeiro, and for the menu a succulent middleweight GP, besides two superfights.
At the GP, one of the favorites is Otavio Sousa, Ze Radiola’s pupil who, this year, got the first gold medal at the World Championship in California, in June.
The Gracie Barra black belt has been training at the team’s headquarters in Irvine, California, and arrived in Brazil specially for the competition. Determined to win, the good fella Otavio talked about the early meeting with his teammate Felipe “Preguiça” Pena, Rominho Barral’s student.
“Felipe Preguiça is a great athlete, owner of a Jiu-Jitsu that I admire, and he has been proving that he is really good. Copa Pódio created an event where all participants fight each other, it’s a pretty cool event. Incidentally, after the raffle we both are on the same side of the draw. We fight defending the same flag, but we do not train together, so I’m facing this situation naturally. We are professional athletes, living on it and it will be just like any other fight. I believe he is dealing with it the same way. And the GP has everything to be a show, even because of fights like this”, says Otavio.
Otavio Sousa couldn’t point out any opponent as a stone in his path. And he explains why:
“It’s hard to name which of the nine will be my biggest challenge, after all when it comes to fighting, anything can happen. Moreover, everyone is tough! I try not to focus on just one opponent. For me, every fight be like the finals, and I will give my best fighting until the last second. I am determined to emerge victorious at the event’s night, but what will happen then, God only knows it”, explained, and even analyzed the other black belt and world Champion competing, Leandrinho Lo, from Sao Paulo, that moved from lightweight to middleweight for the GP.
“Leandro is another talent, for whom I have the utmost respect. It won’t be easy to fight against that guard of him, but my strategy you will only know on July 21. I still have to think straight and come up with a strategy not to commit any faults. Readers, please do not miss this event, because the middleweight GP will be something else!”
The GP count on tem fighters, split in two groups of five. In the green one, there are Nivaldo Oliveira, Davi Ramos, Andre Bastos, Diogo Almeida e Thiago Barata. In the yellow one: Otavio, Leandro Lo, Rafael Formiga, Dimitrius Souza and the brown belt Felipe Preguiça. Only the top two from each group advance to the semifinals, held on the same day.
And for you, dear reader, who will win?
To view the full event schedule, click here.