Alliance will have a respectful reinforcement in 2013, in its campaign for another team title at the Pan Championship.
After staying away last year due to problems with his visa, Michael Langhi will be back to fetch the gold among the lightweights. Champion in 2010, silver in 2011 (after closing out with his partner Lucas Lepri) and bronze in 2008, Langhi is eager to fight again at UCI’s Bren Events Center, in Irvine, Calif.
Relieved with now having the visa to travel to the United States, the fighter from Sao Carlos, Brazil gave an exclusive interview to GracieMag.com. During the chat, he spoke of his preparation, and if something has changed in his game since the last time we saw him in action on American soil. He also praised the new drug testing and assured that he is prepared for the usual hardness that best describes the lightweight in major championships.
GRACIEMAG.com: You have spent time away from competitions in the U.S. due to your now-solved visa problems. What happened and how did it feel to receive a positive response this week and to know that you will compete in the 2013 Pan?
Michael Langhi: I had a problem with my visa in 2011 because of a misunderstanding, but thank God I explained everything and the problem was solved. I’m happy to return to the world stage of Jiu-Jitsu. This was an even greater motivation for me to train even more.
How is your preparation for the Pan? Is Michael Langhi in 2013 any different from the fighter we know?
The preparation is being great, I am very anxious to compete again in the U.S. and meet some friends. I also really want to train with my professor Rubens Cobrinha. I will finish my camp with him. There’s nothing different about me because I was always very professional, and prepared myself as best as possible. I’m doing it again and the changes are some technical details that we evolve day by day in the gym. I have extra motivation to be back to Pan.
The IBJJF will perform drug tests in the Pan and should go on with it in other big events. What do you think of the measure and what extra care do you take now so you don’t get surprised with a positive result?
Langhi: It was a good measure. It’s good to professionalize the sport. The care that I’m taking is to train, train and train. No substance replaces hard work.
The lightweight division in which you are enrolled for Pan brings some new names, like Tanner Rice and Oliver Guedes, besides old acquaintances such as JT Torres, Tanquinho, Lo, etc. How do you evaluate the category?
Langhi: The lightweight catagory is always very competitive and that’s why I like to fight at this weight. I expect a very tough league and I’m certainly keeping an eye on everyone. It is always good to have tough opponents as you engage in further training. I hope to have a good championship.
Have you registered for the 2013 Pan yet? Do it now at ibjjf.org