Who’s going to be the first three-time absolute world champion? That’s what GRACIEMAG.com has been asking readers ever since Xande Ribeiro confirmed on Twitter that he’ll be at the toughest championship in the world.
Xande? Current champion Roger? Ronaldo Jacaré and Pé de Pano, who are now MMA fighters?
We passed the question on to our special reader, himself a two-time champion (1999/2000), Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros. Could he be up to the task?
Rodrigo backtracks, and places his bets, indicating that, should he participate, he’ll just be sticking to his motto, “what’s important is to compete.”
“I’m here in New Zealand to inaugurate Brasa NZ, headed by a student of ours from BJJ Camp, Keatha Banan,” begins Comprido, via email.
Xande wins by success rate, Roger by consistency. And I win the dispute of who is the most handsome” Rodrigo Comprido
“Aside from that, I’m working hard with my students in Florida who are going to the Worlds, and with both Brock and Mike Rusow, who faces Todd Duffee at UFC 114,” he says.
“I’m sending a bunch to the Worlds in June, and there are about three I have faith will win, aside from Felipe Costa, my old black belt who is always at the head of the pack,” he wagers.
I ask what chance he feels Felipe has to overcome the current roosterweight champion, Bruno Malfacine.
“I’ve known Bruno’s game a long time, since he and Felipe have fought on four occasions in the past, and it’s tied at 2 to 2. Malfacine has also beaten Caio Terra, who is also my student. He’s a tough kid with a lot of competition trickery, a quick game and he positions himself well. I helped Felipe put together a strategy to stifle his game, and I have faith in Felipe winning.”
Nice, nice. And what will the absolute in the Long Beach Pyramid be like?
“Roger constantly makes it to the final. But there are several tough guys besides Xande. Romulo, Braga Neto, Braulio, Demente, Cavaca, Telles… I feel this year we’ll have some great surprises at the Worlds, but not in the absolute; my money’s on Xande vs Roger,” he says, later adding:
“Obviously, the one who’s better on the day takes it. It’s hard to predict. Roger is always a favorite, but Xande always has a strategy for the final. If the criteria is consistency and number of finals, Roger takes it; if it’s success rate, it’ll be Xande. But if it’s who is the handsomest, I win hands down! (Laughs),” he jokes.
Comprido says he can’t comment on Brock Lesnar’s Jiu-Jitsu training in his preparations for UFC 116, on July 3, but he didn’t skirt giving his analysis of the giant champion’s opponent, challenger Shane Carwin.
“All I can say about Brock is that he’s in great shape and will have a good showing. I think Carwin is a great fighter, who is used to winning his fights quickly. He’s beaten good really good Jiu-Jitsu guys and is held in high regard. He’ll certainly be a tough opponent, but even so I can see some weaknesses in his game. It’ll be a battle that can’t be missed, two of the heaviest hands in the UFC, and that’s not marketing. One is undefeated, the other doesn’t even consider the possibility of losing his belt. I think it will be one of the greatest battles in the UFC,” he concludes, in grand style.