Copa Pódio gets UFC ace on board; builds sand statue on Copacabana beach

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Caio Magalhães in action at Rio Open 2011 / Photo by Gustavo Aragão/

The Heavyweight GP card for the next Copa Pódio event has gained a big-name reinforcement. Caio “Hellboy” Magalhães got permission from his employers at the UFC and will find himself back in the gi, competing for for top honors at the tournament.

The athlete will represent the Fortaleza Brazil chapter of team Nova União and is thrilled to be taking part in Copa Pódio.

“I found out Caio was interested in participating in the event and, despite not always being able to count on MMA fighters, I had no doubts: I contacted him and he spared no effort to get permission to join the contest. I’m overjoyed,” said Jeferson Maycá, the head of the Copa Pódio promotion.

Soon the complete card will be announced right here on

This war cry from Rodolfo Vieira could end up on Copacabana Beach. Photo by Jonh Cooper.

Another newsworthy item is the unusual way the organizers have come up with to publicize the event. In the month of October a statue made of sand will be built on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach as a tribute to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“The idea of the beach sculpture in Copacabana arose when we decided to try and bring Jiu-Jitsu closer to the people of Rio de Janeiro and reinforce the association between the style and Brazil, the country where it first became popular; as well as to create publicity for Copa Pódio and its athletes,” Jeferson explained.

Two images are in the running to get recreated as a sculpture following a poll being held on the event’s Facebook page: one is a photo of the Middleweight GP match between Leandro Lo and Felipe Preguiça taken by our own Gustavo Aragão, and the other is of Rodolfo Vieira’s celebrating after winning the 2011 World Championship, taken by John Cooper. readers can weigh in with their own picks between the two pictures here.

The poll will remain open until the 30th, and work on the statue will begin near the Globo Rio kiosk between Posto 5 and 6 on Copacabana Beach during the first week of October.

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