Augusto Mendes, better known as Tanquinho, had a conquest-filled 2010, winning the Rio Open and South American Championship, among other accomplishments. The latter earned the Soul Fighters black belt a trip to Lisbon for the European Open.
“I’m going to do the European Open and the World Pro tryouts early in the year. I’m already hard at training. I took a short break after the South American Championship, just to heal up some injuries, but I’m already focused on training and physical conditioning to start the year at full speed,” he tells GRACIEMAG.com.
In 2011, Tanquinho will carry on competing at lightweight, one of the most stacked divisions at the moment.
“It’s the weight group where I’ve had the best results and one I’ve grown into well. There are a number of hard-nosed competitors in there and I’m not thinking about any one of them in particular. All I’m thinking about is getting in there and facing any of them,” he says.
“I think (Rafael) Formiga will return to lightweight in 2011 so we can face each other. The division has a number of tough guys. There’s Michael Langhi, the world champion; Durinho; Celsinho, who returned to competition; Claudio Caloquinha; Leandro, who’s a really tough Cícero Costha student who’s been winning everything… I want to be the champion regardless of who shows up,” he adds.
The main goal is the Worlds in California. The fighter breaks down what could make the difference in achieving the so hotly-disputed title:
It’s a set of things. You have to be in good physical shape and I think everyone will show up well trained. I read a recent Rodolfo Vieira interview on GRACIEMAG.com and I agree with him. You have to fight happy. When you do, things flow. That’s perhaps something not a lot of people think about. Everyone’s training to win,” he says in closing.
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