Celso Venícius had been languishing in paradise. A father, husband, head of a successful academy, Celso hadn’t had time for his life’s other passion – competing with the elite.
Ever since the final of the 2010 Worlds, when he lost a decision to Michael Langhi in the lightweight division, Celso has sat at the sidelines, taking care of his life and career.
However, the longing for adrenaline won out and Celso couldn’t resist signing up for the World Pro Cup. In Abu Dhabi the three-time black belt world champion showed his famed grit and pressure in reaching the under-74-kg final.
In an interview with GRACIEMAG.com, he spoke of his campaign in Abu Dhabi, heaped praise on Leandro “Lo” Nascimento (his adversary in the final), and commented on the unprecedented battle with Cobrinha.
GRACIEMAG.com: How’d your return go, you feel alright?
Celso Veníciuis: I’m not 100% yet, but it went well.
GM: Did you feel any lack of gas or technique?
Celso: My gas tank and technique were fine. My body is the thing that’s not responding like it used to. I have to train more, rest more. In the end I just don’t lead the life of an athlete these days because I’m busy with work.
GM: How did your match with Cobrinha go? Had you faced him before?
Celso: No, never, because we’re in different weight groups. It was a really tough match. I had had three really tough matches before that one and was already kind of worn out, but I managed to impose my pace on him more. It ended 0-0, but as I was on top, on the attack the whole time, the ref gave me the win. I admire Cobrinha and am glad to have had the opportunity to face him.
GM: And what about your opponent in the final, Leandro Nascimento, do you know him? Did you get to see him competing and study his game?
Celso: Truth is that I know him from São Paulo. I always see him fighting and I know he’s really tough. I’m positive it will be a great match.
GM: Why did you decide not to do the absolute?
Celso: I’m returning from injury and I felt it was best not to rink it, even though I really wanted to fight.
Stay tuned to GRACIEMAG.com and keep up with all the coverage of the World Pro Cup, direct from Abu Dhabi.