After winning nine matches in Abu Dhabi, Claudio Calasans Camargo Junior won his weight and the absolute divisions at the World Pro 2010 and made it to the peak of his Jiu-Jitsu career. But, to him, an owner of an ever-more respected closed guard, there is still another range to cross. Check out the exclusive interview with the 26-year-old black belt on GRACIEMAG.com.
What was easier, beating Bráulio Estima twice or giving back the gold belt over there?
(Laughs) I didn’t feel at all inclined to return it. I took it to the Officers Club & Hotel and the promoters went to get the belt in my room at five in the morning, one hour before the bus left for the airport. I gave them the run-around in returning it but there was no way, they had already warned me earlier that I need to win three absolutes to take it home with me.
And what if GSP wants this belt, can he get it from you?
(Laughs) Look, it’s not even mine yet. I have to train a lot if I want to take it home with me. It’s just that there are a lot of championships coming up; I’d rather take it step by step, “without putting the cart before the horses.” I understand that with a lot of training I’ll reach my objectives; I have a lot to conquer.
How did the two finals with Carcará go, in your view?
I went into the weight final thinking the same thing I did in the other fights. I wasn’t thinking I was going to fight Bráulio Estima, but that I’d face someone tough.
Of course after the match it hit me, and to beat him twice adds a lot of value to the result. In the first match, the ref made a mistake at the very start since we both pulled guard and he got up to pass. As I understand it, that was worth an advantage point, but the ref gave him 2 points. Thus I had to go for it and expose myself, until I managed to throw him off balance with five seconds to go. When the match ended I hadn’t even noticed he’d taken a penalty and I thought the score was tied. That’s why I celebrated so much (laughs).
Now in the absolute final, I started out much better and managed to push the pace the whole time, keeping ahead on the scorecards throughout and the end was sheer joy and jubilation.
What was that sweep at the tail end of the under 83kg final like?
Truth is I think it as a takedown. I was playing guard and I got up to go all or nothing because it was the end of the match. I was losing, but I found room to land a takedown going for his legs. It was a variation on the judo throw known as “tatu-bola.”
You earned 28 big ones, with 20,000 dollars coming from the absolute and 8,000 from the weight division. What are your plans now?
I’m going to use this money to buy an apartment. I’ve been wanting to for some time and there was always something holding me back. Hopefully now I’ll manage to begin the process and stop paying rent, give my daughter and wife somewhere more comfortable to live. My wife is a big part of my results, holding down the fort so I can concentrate only on training and competition.
To whom do you dedicate this title?
I thank everyone involved in my results. The whole Atos team, both in São José dos Campos – my city – and Rio Claro, where we get together for the burly training that’s coming up with results not just for me.
My family, my parents, my father who was my sensei, sponsor and coach; my brothers and friends who are with me at all times, not just in victory but also during the day-to-day hardships an athlete encounters.
I also want to thank the folks from my old team, Liga Jiu-Jitsu, my teacher with whom I trained from white to black belt, Erivaldo Junior. And also to the one who taught me judo, my uncle Carlos Augusto, with whom I started training at 3 years of age. And my sponsors Red Nose, Construtora Oliveira Roxo, Fadenp of São José dos Campos and Calasans Camargo Academy.
Check out the under 83 kg final between Calsans and Braulio Estima: