Pan champ Otavio wants 1st Worlds gold as black belt

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Otavio at 2010 Pan-Ams. Photo: Ivan Trindade.

Otavio Sousa is really excited for the upcoming 2010 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Long Beach, California. So excited in fact that he and his good friend Ronis Gracie together put together a video highlighting some of Sousa’s most electrifying matches, from brown belt to present day. “I really like the video,” Sousa says, “Every time I watch it I feel inspired. It gives me good energy.”

Sousa and Gracie put the video on YouTube to share with others. “I wanted my students to feel inspired, too,” Sousa says, “I wanted to motivate them to do well in the Worlds or in their training in general.”

Otavio during his win against Rubens Cobrinha at 2009 Pan. Photo by Alicia Anthony.

Sousa says he can’t wait to fight in the Worlds this year. “I feel very prepared,” he says. It’s Sousa’s third year as a black belt. In 2008 and 2009 he took 3rd place at the Worlds. He says this year he’s going to do his best to bring home the gold medal for the Gracie Barra family.

The medium heavyweight fighter took 1st place in the 2010 Pan and says he’s anxious to step back on the mats to try for a second big win in 2010. “I’m very confident because I didn’t stop training after the Pan,” he says, “Even though I won that tournament, I didn’t slow down in my preparation for the Worlds.”

Sousa says it’s difficult to select just one opponent whom he thinks will be tough this year because he knows he will have to face so many great competitors. “My plan is to not focus on just one guy,” he says, “I’m trying to concentrate on myself and train my own game so that I don’t make any mistakes on the day of the event.”

Sousa’s new nickname around GB is “The Hulk”. He’s also been referred to as “Professor Compressor” and “The Steamroller”.  Whatever his moniker, he will be showing up in Long Beach the first weekend of June to do some major damage at the tournament.

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