After sitting out the Pan, the World Pro, Brazilian Nationals and the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship this year, due to a knee injury, Rodolfo Vieira returned with a bang. He won his weight and the open weight division at the Rio Open and now took the absolute division of the National Cup that took place this last weekend in São Paulo.
“I’m all beat up!” he tells GRACIEMAG.com.
After beating Sérgio Moraes and some other adversaries on Saturday, Rodolfo earned the right to fight for the belt against Bernardo Faria. In order to save himself for the match, the GFTeam rep dropped out of the heavyweight division final against Alexandre de Souza.
“I was really weak; I’d dropped a lot of weight to compete in the weight division. Even after the five matches I had in the absolute on Saturday, I was still over weight. I also had to train with the kids at Barbosa’s academy, where I was staying, and I slept really poorly, without eating. Good thing I won two more matches, against Léo Nogueira and Alexandro Ceconi,” he explains, then going on to comment on his fight for the belt.
“In the match against Serginho (Moraes) I was lucky to land in a good position. I grabbed his leg, slid to his bac and managed to keep the point-scoring in check till the final. It was also really tough against Alexandre de Souza, as it was with Alexandro Ceconi. I’d lost to him in Gramado, but I managed to get him down this time. The final against Bernardo Faria was another war. I had several final matches there!” he says descriptively.
On his time out of action, Rodolfo shares some pointers for anyone in recovery who wants to get back at full force.
“A lot of people said that when I’d get back I’d be better. But one always has his doubts. Getting bummed out is normal. One has to be patient and really treat one’s self. You have to do everything just right to be back, then God helps you!”
Now the fighter hopes, with his gi, to achieve the goals that have escaped him. According to him, there are a lot of them.
“There are a lot of big events I haven’t yet won as a black belt. I’ve never been in a Brazilian Nationals, for example, which I really want to win. I want to do the Pan, too, but my biggest dream is to win my weight division and the absolute at the Worlds.”
Does anyone doubt him?