On the Labor Day holiday, not everyone put their toil aside.
With the city of São Paulo empty, hundreds of Gentle Art aficionados headed for the Unitalo gymnasium, in the Santo Amaro borough, for an afternoon of a lot of technique and sweat.
In the six match areas, the troopers at the SP Cup were fighting with a more-than-just compensation for so much effort. The promoters distributed 30 complete travel packages for the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, to take place June, in Long Beach, California.
The gold medal in 30 divisions meant a round-trip ticket, board with breakfast and car rental.
Such ease drew a number of top-tier fighters: “It’s always good when it doesn’t have to come out of your own pocket,” joked “capitalist” Guilherme Mendes.
This Saturday, the main attraction was the black belt weight groups.
At featherweight, nothing new went on and Bruno Malfacine had two submission wins. In the final, he squeezes on the neck of Ivaniel Cavalcanti.
At light featherweight, Guilherme Mendes put on a show and choked Pablo Silva in the final to secure his travel package.
At featherweight, Theodoro Canal scored 2 to 0 in advantage points over Eduardo Ramos in the decider.
At lightweight, Claudio Claoquinha submitted everyone and caught Paulo Ledesma by the foot in the final.
At middleweight, veteran Pé de Chumbo came up spades. Delson Heleno relied on his takedown skills to make it 6 to 4 over Tiago Alves.
At medium heavyweight, Orlando Zanetti annulled Eduardo Telles’s turtle guard and scored 8 to 2 for his trip to the USA.
At heavyweight, Bernardo Faria and Leonardo Nogueira closed out the division.
At super heavyweight, Daniel Azevedo gave Luis Bonilha a 10 to 0 drubbing.
At ultra heavyweight, Rodrigo Cavaca guaranteed his place at the Worlds by beating Luiz Felipe Theodoro by judges’ decision.
Beyond all that, it was great to see Fernando Tererê hanging around the match areas, smiling and taking photos with athletes too young to have remembered his heyday. Welcome back, Tererê.
This Sunday there’s more. The beasts return to the matted area for the absolute black belt division.
Check out the photo gallery from the SP Cup.