One of Saturday’s most heavily anticipated finals at the World Pro was the under-65-kg one between Rafael Mendes and Augusto Tanquinho. The rivalry between them began to boil when Tanquinho beat three of Mendes’s Atos teammates on Thursday – the final would be yet another bout between Soul Fighters and Rio Claro-based Atos. Tanquinho ended up winning the showdown after fighting to a draw on points and advantage points, with the judges giving him the nod.
In the end, the Atos team members vehemently contested the refereeing in the Abu Dhabi event – Claudio Calasans had already commented about it on GRACIEMAG.com (read here). Rafael Mendes was outspoken in his protests too, over Facebook.
“We’re going to get the videos of the matches today and show everyone what the site’s don’t. We don’t want to make any statements until we can present the videos, so they can’t say we’re sore losers. We know how to lose when an opponent is better, but what happened at this event is unacceptable. Today was a sad day for us because of what happened, but we’ll come back better,” says the black belt.
“I teach my students to attack the whole time, to always move forward, seek victory and not leave it to the judges. That’s what I learned from my master and that’s what I see my friends at Atos doing. It is unacceptable that someone who fights to draw always win. Jiu-Jitsu is attacking! Atos bothers a lot of people and it will continue to do so!” said Rafa in closing.