Rodolfo Vieira’s got just what it takes to be top dog at a second major Jiu-Jitsu competition in less than a month.
Following a stellar performance at the 2011 Pan, the Rio de Janeiro native has already won the No-Gi World Pro Cup and is through to the under-92-kg and absolute Gi Jiu-Jitsu finals, to be held this Saturday.
After securing his place in the open weight final, where he will meet the legendary Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”, Rodolfo had a chat with GRACIEMAG.com over Facebook. He addressed criticism of his win over Rafael Mendes last week and how he intends to overcome Cobrinha.
And to wrap things up, the ace remembers the joy of his mother, who according to him “almost died” when she saw her son on the cover of GM (Brazilian edition). He promises to keep up the good work so her mother will keep on smiling.
GRACIEMAG.com: What’s your view on the final against Cobrinha?
Rodolfo Vieira: Tricky question, huh? It’ll be fantastic.
GM: Is there any way he can beat you? What’s most dangerous about his game?
Rodolfo: He’s well-rounded, totally dangerous. I think I have a bit of an advantage when it comes to takedowns. The rest is just sinister.
GM: Who’s more dangerous, Rafael Mendes in the gi or Cobrinha without it?
Rodolfo: I feel Gi Jiu-Jitsu is less dangerous than No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, when you’re dealing with little guys.
GM: There was a lot of criticism following your fight with Rafael, saying you were too cautious. What do you say to that?
Rodolfo: I feel I had the right strategy. I didn’t let him ball up and I kept trying to pass, I just didn’t manage to.
GM: What about against Cobrinha, will you go on the attack to try and finish him?
Rodolfo: I always try for the finish, but carefully, if just because he’s so dangerous. I can’t let my guard down for a second.
Stay tuned to GRACIEMAG.com to check out complete coverage of the World Pro Cup direct from Abu Dhabi.