The 2013 IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu World Championship begins on May 29 in Long Beach, California, and the black belt monsters are preparing to take the Pyramid of Cal State Long Beach by storm.
In the middleweight division, the dispute promises big emotions with defending champion Otavio Sousa, DJ Jackson, Victor Estima, Tanner Rice, Claudio Calasans, Diego Borges, Clark Gracie and maybe Marcelo Garcia, who is not yet confirmed.
“This year, what I want the most is to see my students become world champions,” Marcelo says as he takes the spotlight off of himself.
Among the favorites for the gold, there’s also Lucas Leite. The Checkmat professor is sticking to training under Leozinho Vieira in California. He also counts on the help of absolute world champion Marcus Buchecha.
He told us how the training is going. Check it out:
GRACIEMAG: How is the preparation for another World Championship, Lucas?
LUCAS LEITE: The training is excellent, and at full speed. Leo Vieira solved his visa issue after five years and is here to train us and correct some mistakes we were making. I’m happy now. I’m well prepared both on top and bottom. I hope it will show at the Worlds.
Are you healed from that injury at Pans?
Yes, during the last six months I was hurt and I even got discouraged, but thanks to my teammates I kept taking care of it and now I’m fine again. I’d like to thank Buchecha, Marcelo Lapela and João Assis. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be fighting anymore.
How are the back attacks? Sharp?
I’m ready for war and the attacks will come. Taking the back is always my goal, it’s in the blood. Whoever gives the back will have a problem (laughs). The goal is to get there with cardio and explosiveness to reach the back and submit.
In the Pan you fought in the heavy category. Why did you lower your weight now?
In Pan, I was third in the heavy, but I didn’t lose any fights. I opened the semifinal with my partner, Nivaldo Oliveira. He was better than me in training and I was still afraid of the injury. It was good for me to gain confidence again. I’ll fight in the middleweight category now, it’s my real weight. I want to go to win [and] am very confident with my body now.
How do you evaluate the middleweight division?
I’m always saying that it’s the toughest category. You never know who is going to do well. The guys are strong, quick and technical. So it’s always a war in the middleweight and I hope to take that title, God willing, always with a lot of training, focus, discipline, humility and determination!