But black belt Jonathan “JT” Torres (Lloyd Irvin) has already taken a peek at the lightweight division on the IBJJF website.
After checking it out, along with his own name, the names of Lucas Lepri and Michael Langhi (Alliance), Jonathan Gurgel (ATT), Jonatas Novaes (Brasa), Bruno Amorim (Gracie Barra-BH) and a number of others are all on the list of those who will be there:
1) “I’m in the toughest and most difficult division, along with the middleweight one.”
2) “I’m fully prepared, both physically and mentally.”
The reason for his confidence in a category full of Jonatas’ and Jonathans is, of course, the strong pace he is keeping in practice.
“Training for the 2010 Pan is going great!” JT tells GRACIEMAG.com. “Here at Master Lloyd Irvin Academy in Cambridge Springs, Maryland, we\re training hard three times a day and everyone is giving their all; we are very focused on this tournament. I have about 60 training partners always coming in; we don’t mess around!We expect a number of gold medals for the team.”
JT has been training with compatriot Mike Fowler, also signed up (but as a middleweight), but not just with him.
“I’ve been training with a lot of really good guys, it’s even hard to list them, but the main ones are Master Lloyd Irvin, Fowler, Mike Easton, Nakapan Phungephorn among the black belts, at brown, Jimmy Harbison and Nyjah Easton; at purple Jon Delbrugge; and blue belts DJ Jackson, Frank Camacho, Willie Leonard, Tracey Goodell and many, many others,” he recalls.
The thick-skinned with Puerto Rican blood has been coming up with the results. He’s current world no-gi runner-up, and this year put on the gi to win the Miami Open.
“I closed out the middleweight division with Fowler in Miami, but the main thing is that I felt the tournament was an excellent warm-up for the Pan and the Worlds, my biggest goals in 2010. My expectation for the Pan is the gold medal,” he emphasizes.
Regarding the category, Torres gives his assessment: “There’s a lot of talent there, I checked. I’ll present really solid tactics and fight plans, I know I’m fully prepared physically and mentally. In my opinion it’s the toughest and most difficult division, along with the middleweight.
Yes, as you can see, Lloyd Irvin’s team is ready. But what about the master, he’s not going to get out there and pursue another medal for the collection? “Look, as far as I know Master Lloyd will not be competing this year. But you never know,” says Jonathan smiling in farewell.