Michael Langhi hasn’t tasted defeat since the 2008 Worlds, when he was stopped in the semifinal against Celso Venicius, the only time in six attempts that he didn’t win the championship. Back from England and fully recovered from his injured shoulder, Langhi is enjoying one of the best phases in his life. He bought an apartment and now lives with his fiancee, Roberta de Oliveira, who always supported the black belt through thick and thin. Better still, by mere coincidence, his new pad is just a stone’s throw from the new Alliance branch in São Paulo about to be inaugurated.
“Now there’s no excuse for being late to warmup. I have to be there first to arrive and last to leave,” he jokes.
In his conversation with GRACIEMAG.com, the submission wizard speaks of his goals for next season and analyzes the opposition:
What was the experience in England like?
It’s always an opportunity to meet people and get to know cultures and I from what I could see the technical level in England is really high. I went to three of Jacaré’s affiliates, and they’re doing a great job. I would have liked to have met up with Bráulio and Victor Estima but the dates didn’t coincide.
How’s your shoulder? Are you back to hard training yet?
My shoulder’s been 100% for nearly two months now. I’ve been training normally, full on, and even with the heavier guys on the team, like Bernardo (Faria). What helped was having done physical conditioning with Edson Ramalho after the operation. So, despite the lack of rhythm, I’m doing fine. I’m going along in life normally, thinking ahead to the European Open, in January.
Last year you stayed out of a few competitions. What will 2011 be like?
My project is to compete in and win everything. In 2010, due to my shoulder problem, I had to stay ouyt of the Brazilian Nationals and the World Pro, but I did win the European Open, the Pan, and the Worlds, which are the most important ones. In 2011 I’m not going to miss any of them. I sat down and talked with Fabio Gurgel and my physical conditioning coach and I’m going to the European Open, Pan, World Pro, Brazilian Nationals, and the Worlds.
During your time sidelined, Gilbert Durinho and Augusto Tanquinho stood out in your division. Will they be your main opponents in 2011?
I feel I’m going to have the same adversaries as always, except for the guys who moved up in belt. Durinho is excellent. With exception to the Worlds, where we met in the semifinal, he’s won everything he’s been in this year. Tanquinho is great, too, and he’s seen a leap in his evolution this year. He has enormous potential. That’s how lightweight is, its a stacked division, and alongside middleweight, it’s the one with the most athletes who have what it takes to be world champion. At the last one there were about seven who wouldn’t have surprised anyone if they’d won.