Cyborg comments on Rolles match and remembers unforgettable Worlds

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Photo: John Lamonica

GRACIEMAG reported first hand on the Gregor Gracie-Pablo Popovitch matchup to take place at the August 27 and 28 Fan Expo in Boston. Tuned into the site, a reader by the codename of “Triângulo” posted a comment shortly thereafter: “Rolles Gracie will be there too, against Cyborg Abreu”

Following the lead, we had a talk with Cyborg, who confirmed the matchup:

“That’s right, my brother. I’m going to fight Rolles and Pablo’s going to face Gregor. We’re training hard as always. We have a really good camp going on here in Florida, and we train the whole year. The UFC Fan Expo, in partnership with Grapplers Quest, is a huge showcase for Jiu-Jitsu. I’m going there to put on a spectacle and show what I do! There’s not much I can say about Rolles, I respect the Gracie family and I’m certain we’re going to have a great match,” he says.

This season Cyborg was one of the standouts at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, placing second in the ultraheavyweight division. The event provided the black belt with a lot experience and emotions spanning from joy to sadness. Cyborg will never forget the 2010 Worlds.

“This Worlds was a great experience for two reasons. Right off the bat I was in really tough brackets both in the absolute and my weight group, hard fights from start to finish. At weight, first off I faced Tozi, then came Gabriel Vella, Braga Neto and Rodrigo Cavaca. Couldn’t have been a better day, right? (laughs) I went developing match after match and then after an historic showing against Braga Neto I reached the final. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be; Cavaca got the better of me that weekend and managed to bump me out of the event twice. Full credit to him, besides being champion he’s a great person,” he says.

“On the other hand, I lost my best friend, Peter Bivona. Peter was my friend and student; he went with me and the rest of my group to the Worlds. He fought on Thursday and was there egging me on every day till Saturday. Suffering from a sharp pain in his shoulder, he was taken to hospital Saturday night. Sunday, during the finals, I lost my friend without even knowing how it happened. The doctor’s told me he was fine, and then he died. That was my biggest loss. And that’s why I’ll never forget that World Championship. My brother fulfilled his dream of competing and seeing the whole gang in excitement. It was his passion for Jiu-Jitsu!” he continues.

Cyborg and students. Photo: personal archives

Cyborg is proud of the work he’s been doing in the United States. Harking from the Pantanal, in Central Brazil, he now heads two academies in Miami.

“Work is going great. The Jiu-Jitsu academy is called Fight Sports. There’s a really big new wing and a gigantic matted area. The academy is complete, in a hotel and facing the ocean. The hotel is part of FS Miami Camp and is for Jiu-Jitsu guys from around the world who want to do intensive training on the beach front in South Beach, a dream come true that worked out. Thank God, it’s been a success,” he says.

“The other one is Legacyfit (legacyfit.com), geared towards MMA and grappling. We’re producing great fighters there. Soon I’ll have a number of MMA beasts, too. I thank God and my master Toco of Nova Geração for that,” he says in closing.

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