Undefeated since the 2008 Worlds, GRACIEMAG didn’t vote Michael Langhi last season’s most consistent athlete for nothing. In 2011 the fighter kept on the winning path, winning the lightweight division at the European and at the Pan, where he closed out with his teammate Lucas Lepri. About to embark on his flight to the World Pro, Langhi had the following conversation with GRACIEMAG.com:
What did you think of the Pan? Your division was extremely competitive. . .
I only enrolled on the last day because I’d pulled my groin and when I read about how the lightweight division would be one of the best of all times, with all the top guys, I made an extra effort. I always like testing myself, seeing whether my Jiu-Jitsu is efficient and evolving in step with the rest of the gang. The division was burly and, thank God, Lucas Lepri and I had some good matches and managed to close out.
What about this duo of you and Lepri?
We managed to close out the second major championship of the year on the IBJJF calendar, which is our priority. Our goal is to always make it to the finals together. In recent years we managed to do it at the Euro and the Pan, but, unfortunately, we didn’t make it at the Worlds. But this year we’re dead set on doing so, and any time we enter a competition it’s to win.
Was there any match in particular that caught your attention at the Pan?
There were a bunch of good matches, hotly-disputed finals. I really liked the finals between Bernardo and Rodolfo, both at weight and in the absolute. Those were two tough matches, two wars. Rodolfo was technically really good, with excellent base, and Bernardo fought hard until the very end, not going down without a fight. Bernardo put up a fight for as long as it lasted, and that will and desire to overcome serve as an example. I also liked my brother’s (Michel’s) performance, winning his third Pan-American title, second as a brown belt. He had an excellent tournament, getting the quick finish in three of his four matches. That too made me happy, and I could see how he’s evolved a lot since he started training with the team in São Paulo.
What do you expect at the World Pro?
The World Pro will be at about the same level as the Worlds, with practically all Jiu-Jitsu’s biggest players. For example, Rômulo Barral and Celso Venícius confirmed, as well as everybody who qualified at the various tryouts around the world. There will be a lot of athletes with a shot at becoming champion.