Registration is now open for the South American tryouts for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup, an event offering thousands of dollars in prize money. Confirmed for tryouts in Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, on the 13th and 14th of March, is Rio de Janeiro’s Rodolfo Vieira. Rodolfo was one of the highlights of the competition in 2009, when, while still a brown belt, he made prey of several seasoned black belt. Besides winning the reward for the tryouts – a visa, travel and expenses to compete at the World Pro in Abu Dhabi – Vieira was crowned champion of the main event. In addition to the $ 7,000 award, the dynamo earned a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu upon landing in Rio de Janeiro. Check out the chat with the champion:
You became champion while still a brown belt. What do you think of this opportunity, in addition to blacks, the guys at brown and purple also fighting for the big-money prizes?
I think it’s great. The fact that match duration will be six minutes improves the lot of the lower belts. There are a lot of tough guys at the lower belts. I remember last year’s Jose Carlos, who was purple and fought on even terms with everyone. I was really well trained for the tryouts and beat two purples and three blacks. I hurt my rib, but still won in Abu Dhabi and it was wonderful. I hope to repeat the feat this year.
And what about the prize money you received in Abu Dhabi?
It was awesome. The events with payouts are a relief for us who make a living off of Jiu-Jitsu. The trend is to just get better because this year saw further increase in the reward. The absolute alone is worth 12 thousand dollars. It’s great.
Did the fact you won as a brown belt get you some good visibility?
Winning the tryouts and the World Pro put me way up there. I was in all the magazines and was an awesome boost for me.
How do you feel about this Selective? Are you well prepared?
I’m in very good shape indeed. I’ve never trained so much in my life, man. At the end of the year I was bogged down with injuries, but I started 2010 well, training hard. The staff at GFTeam is helping me a lot and we’re taking a crew that’s going to win everything. At 65kg there’s Denilson Pimenta, who’s awesome. At 75kg there’s Vitinho, and at 85kg there are Jose Carlos and Vinicius Marinho, me at 95kg and some others. We’re going in strong!
Besides the tryouts in Gramado, there will be another in Rio de Janeiro, with registrations open starting March 10. In the mean time, check out the Abu Dhabi World Pro final between Rodolfo Vieira and Antonio Peinado: