GRACIEMAG.com stopped by the warm-up area just as the female finals were about to kick off. While Penny Thomas warmed up in her blue gi, Gabi Garcia was standing in a white gi with a look of concentration on her face, surrounded by her allies from team Alliance. The opponents in the over-65-kg division avoided trading glances. We asked Penny what the strategy for beating her much bigger opponent would be. She replied: “I have to stay on top at all costs.”
That’s why the South African shot in on Gabi’s legs for a takedown in the opening moments of the match. Gabi imposed her will, though, sprawling and quickly moving to side-control, without allowing her opponent the slightest chance at carrying out her strategy. Gabi attempted a number of holds from the top and finished the bout 9-0 in her favor.
The other female match was the under-65-kg divisional final. There wasn’t much action in the match between Luanna Alzuguir and Bia Mesquita. It ended tied on points, but with a great deal of opportunism Luanna managed an advantage point with 10 seconds left on the clock, thus becoming the two-time winner of the weight class.
From the group of fighters that paid a visit to the dreaded roller coaster at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi (the fastest roller coaster in the world!), Bruno Bastos was by far the least fearful black belt. All the others were trembling in their boots.
Well Bruno showed the same bravery in making it to the under-92-kg final against the locomotive Rodolfo Vieira. At this crossing, though, Rodolfo prevailed, scoring 15 to 0 and securing his first gold medal o Saturday.
Vieira’s second gold medal would come in the afternoon, in the absolute final against Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”. Rodolfo was rampant: he got back mount, then mounted, and ultimately finished with a choke 35 seconds from the end. Rodolfo Vieira is unarguably the big name of the 2011 World Pro.
Now the big name of the 2010 installment of the event, Claudio Calasans, had his own victorious campaign this year, he just didn’t snag the absolute. Calasans won the under-83-kg division, beating Vinicius Corrales by 2 advantage points (the bout was tied 6 to 6 on points).
“I think I was a lot better in 2010 because I had more focus. I trained specifically for the World Pro, I was better adapted to the rules and less worn out. . .” explained Calasans. “This year I did a number of championships before the World Pro, so I lost a bit of the focus and these details count a lot in the absolute division.”