Accustomed to winning, Michael Langhi has long been a standout as a Jiu-Jitsu competitor in the lightweight division, one of the most heavily disputed weight classes in the gentle art these days. In recent years the black belt won all the main events, among them the Worlds, Pan and European Open. Without a blemish on his record in years, earning him the post of GRACIEMAG magazine’s most consistent athlete, Langhi ended up dropping a match to Leandro “Lo” Pereira, who then went on to win the under-74 kg division, at the World Pro. In the following conversation with GRACIEMAG.com, the Alliance ace comments on losing for the first time in so long, heaps praise on Leandro, criticizes the posture of some companions, and points out the biggest standouts in Abu Dhabi:
How did it feel to lose?
I was of course saddened by it. I hadn’t lost in practically three years and was pretty bummed. But it comes with the sport, it’s something everyone is subject to. Two go in, and one leaves the loser. Unfortunately, I was the loser this time.
Sooner or later, the house comes down” Langhi
Where do you think you went wrong? Did you learn anything from it?
I have no excuse. I could have done what a lot of others do and made up a bunch of things. The truth is that my opponent (Leandro Lo) was better than me and had an excellent championship. One needs to have the posture of a champion off the mat. There are those who only have it in victory, but in defeat they don’t know how to deal and assume attitudes that aren’t those of a true champion. The lesson I derived from all this is that sooner or later the house comes down, and it comes down for everybody. Like I said, if you are someone who besides being good at Jiu-Jitsu has a good attitude, you receive praise even in defeat. But if you let things go to your head, when the house comes down it’s an even greater shock. I don’t hide, and I compete everywhere I can. I’d rather lose than not fight. The sting of defeat is something I can live with, but the shame of not fighting and being afraid. . . That was something else that was kind of strange over there, since so many didn’t fighter, but I can’t judge anyone.
What did you think of Leandro?
He’s a humble kid who already has the posture of a champion, he doesn’t talk evil of anyone. I already knew of his potential, because I kept up with his career here in São Paulo.
Was there anyone in particular who impressed you at the World Pro?
A number of fighters impressed me. One of them was Rodolfo Vieira, with whom I’ve had the opportunity of facing in the absolute quarterfinals. He really is something else, with Jiu-Jitsu all his own. He always goes for it and seeks the submission. I had the pleasure of facing him. I can’t leave out Augusto Tanquinho either – he had an excellent campaign. He had a really good strategy and Jiu-Jitsu; he put the stops on everyone. But a lot of others like Leandro and Lucio Lagarto did really well. The championship had a lot of great surprises.
When will you next see action?
I’m going to focus on the Brazilian Nationals and the Worlds. Those are the next CBJJ and IBJJF events, and I’m in. I’m already training even more, I’m more dedicated now so I can make my comeback. God willing, I’ll go have a good championship.
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