A veteran amid the talent at the World Pro tryouts that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Delson “Pe de Chumbo”Heleno secured a spot for himself in Abu Dhabi in the under 83kg division. Although he has been dedicating more time to MMA lately, the black belt doesn’t let his gi collect dust and, when he shows up at a competition, he tends to surprise people.
“The last time was at the Brazilian Team Nationals (2008), where I won. I think I’m going to carry on with this strategy for the next two or three years; it’s working!” he jokes.
Also a capoeira practitioner, Pe de Chumbo tends to show off his skills after his triumphs. In Abu Dhabi, the fighter wants to do the same.
“I came up against a tough bunch and I liked competing against the kids a lot. The new kids are coming in full of health and energy, with a different game from mine. When we return we don’t have the same edge as these kids, but, if you train well, like I do with Gordo and Bitta, you can become champion. Now I’m going to conquer the Arab Emirates, with all it takes to be champion there, too,” he warns.
“I know there’s going to be a tough group of kids over there, like Marcelo Garcia, who is excellent. It’s been years since I’ve faced him. It would be a great honor, God willing, to be in a final with him. Everyone’s going to be tough, but I’m going there to win. I don’t want to just appear, I want to win,” he says in finishing.
The fighter continues dedicating himself to MMA, but is won’t leave out his grappling.
“MMA really is what I do most in my career these days. But, when I get the chance to compete at an important Jiu-Jitsu event, I dedicate myself to that. Truth is that I never stopped training Jiu-jitsu, just as I still play capoeira, too. That’s why I’m always ready, up to date,” he says in finishing.