Is Celso heading into his final competitions?

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Photo: Ray Santana

A three-time black belt world champion with plenty of wins in the intermediary belts too, Celso Venicius’s name is etched into the annals of great gentle art champions. The fighter is now heading to the World Pro, in Abu Dhabi, and will later compete at the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds, in California. And these events may very well be the last chance for people to watch him in action. In a conversation with, Celso admits the possibility of retirement.

Check out what he had to say:

How are things going for the World Pro?

I haven’t competed since last year’s Worlds. I’ve been recovering from injury and now I’m better. Just after I recovered I caught conjunctivitis and couldn’t train. So I’ve been training hard for three weeks, and now I’m heading off to compete.

Do you feel you may lack competition pace against the opponents you have ahead of you?

I’m physically in good shape and don’t think I’ll feel a lack of pace. My head’s screwed on straight, I’ve got stamina. . . I’m fine.

What will you do in terms of competition after Abu Dhabi?

I’m thinking about fighting at this Worlds and then retiring.

So the 2011 Worlds may be your competition farewell?

It very well may be my farewell Worlds. I have to take a break. I’ve been at it for 13, 14 years and there comes a time when it gets to you. There’s no more government financial backing for athletes, that’s been taken away. These days I make my living teaching, not competing. Competing is entertainment, I don’t make money from it. I’ve got my Atama sponsorship and nothing more. I kind of lack motivation to keep at competition rhythm without support. I think I’m going to become more and more involved with things at the academy. I can’t go on paying to compete anymore. I’m mad competitive, but now I have two kids and have to think about money.

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