Copa Pódio: Luiza Monteiro Talks Match with Mackenzie, Requests Female GP

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Luiza Monteiro catches Michelle Nicolini  by the neck in the 2012 Worlds absolute. (Photo: GRACIEMAG)

The 2013 Jiu-Jitsu season kicks off with the Copa Pódio Heavyweight GP in Rio de Janeiro. But before the giants take to the mats on the evening of January 13, the big event opens with the promotion’s first ever duel between couples, with Leandro Lo and Luiza Monteiro of Cicero Costha academy taking on Augusto Mendes of Soul Fighters and his girlfriend Mackenzie Dern of Gracie Humaitá.

The men will lock horns first, while the ladies wait to square off in the decisive bout, where they pick off with the score left off by their boyfriends. Stoked, 24-year-old lightweight Luiza spoke with about how she’s been training for the big day. Check out what she had to say:

GRACIEMAG: How are you preparing for your six-minute match in the Couples Showdown?

LUIZA MONTEIRO: With six minutes to work you have to be more alert and your game needs to be tighter. There’s no time for mistakes. I trained a lot, as always, with Leandro. I’m super excited about this match.

How do you see your match with Mackenzie Dern playing out?

I don’t have a strategy. I always like to do what I worked on in training, my game. From the start I really wanted to be in this couples match. And it will be cool for Mackenzie too, making her debut as a black belt at a cool event like this one. To me it will be a great test to compete at featherweight, one division below where I usually compete.

Your match will pick up with the score left after the men’s match. What do you expect from Lo and Tanquinho in their match?

I expect Leandro to win, because I hate losing. But I’d never put pressure on him to win for my sake; I want him to win because he deserves it. It’s something he really wants.

What are your thoughts on the idea of this couples match? What’s the best part of it?

It’s a great idea, since it works us girls into the mix. I don’t want to be remembered for being Leandro Lo’s girlfried, but for being the athlete Luiza Monteiro. And I feel that like this, both for me and Mackenzie or any other girl who competes, we’ll get to show that we have good Jiu-Jitsu to watch, too. I feel it would be really interesting to put together a GP for girls. It would be beautiful. There are a lot of really tough girls with really great Jiu-Jitsu. For sure it would be a great show for everyone to watch.

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