Brazil’s best fighter gets free trip to California

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Panorama in Tijuca during Brazilian Nationals. Photo: archives

The 2010 Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship is just around the corner. The 17th installment of the traditional tournament kicks off May 8, and the first round of sign-ups ends Monday. The championship will be covered by Brazil’s Sportv network, providing further reason for athletes from white to black belt to give it their all.

(Find out more here, in Portuguese)

The black belts join the action on the 15th and won’t just be fighting top-tier opponents. In pursuit of the title of best Jiu-Jitsu player in Brazil, the domestic aces (including some foreigners) have to undo a hex: a lack of two-time champions, especially in the men’s absolute division. This year, adding to the competitive fervor, winning the division comes with a plane ticket to California, where the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship is to be held this June.

Last year, Tarsis Humphreys took the title after closing out the division with runner-up Gabriel Vella when the two were teammates at Alliance.

Both Tarsis and Big Mac are two of the favorites to break the curse. Should Vella win, will he confirm or break the curse? And will Pan absolute champ Bernardo Faria stay at the top of the heap? What about Alexandro Ceconi, who was once a promise and now reality?

Brazilian Nationals – Absolute champions

1994 – Amaury Bitetti
1995 – Fabio Gurgel
1996 – Antonio “Nino” Schembri
1997 – Roberto “Gordo” Correa
1998 – Saulo Ribeiro
1999 – Murilo Bustamante
2000 – Marcio “Pé de Pano” Cruz
2001 – Fernando Augusto “Tererê”
2002 – Alexandre “Café” Dantas
2003 – Fernando Tererê
2004 – Alexandre Ribeiro
2005 – André Galvão
2006 – Marcelinho Garcia
2007 – Luiz Felipe “Big Mac”
2008 – Alexandre Souza
2009 – Tarsis Humphreys
2010 – ?

I’m in this one to take the title,” said São Paulo’s Gabriel Vella to “I’m set to train for the championship at the academy of Roberto Gordo in Rio with Celso and the rest of the gang.”

Among the Americans, Rafael Lovato Jr and Mike Fowler should come down once again. As you can see, the championship is set to go off in Rio de Janeiro. Secure the best spot at the Tijuca Tennis Club – in other words, on the mat.

Sign-up here!

And who will be the standout of the 2010 Brazilian Nationals? Comment below, here on

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