Leandro Lo wins in Sertãozinho; Miyao loses in absolute

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With less than two years at black belt, Leandro won the Abu Dhabi World Pro. Photo: Luca Atalla.

Cícero Costha black belt Leandro Lo of São Paulo has been racking up win upon win this year. On Sunday, in Sertãozinho, São Paulo State, he reigned supreme in the absolute division of the sophomore Copa Sertão Kamikaze Jiu-Jitsu tournament, which broke its sign-up record with 834 competitors from 32 different teams. Lo had four matches, three of which he won by submission. In the grand finale, against Evandro Nunes (Ryan Gracie/Marcio Borão) of Ribeirão Preto, victory came in the form of a choke from back mount in less than three minutes.

“I’m really pleased with the way things are going. Today was a really special day, as I’d never competed at Kamikaze before. It’s a high-level event with tough competitors.

Without the company of his brother João Ricardo, Paulo Miyao (Cícero Costha), one of the big draws at Copa Kamikaze, conquered his featherweight category and went into the purple absolute a firm favorite, but he fell to a referee decision in the semifinal when up against Rafael Parmesão Neves (Núcleo Ribeirão), 12kg (26.5lbs) the heavier.

“I’ve trained with the Miyao brothers in São Paulo before. They were all over me; I can’t even believe I won today,” said Naves. Paulo left the mat in tears. He was circled by friends and admirers, who reaffirmed what the public has been saying at gymnasiums everywhere, “This kid and his brother are the greatest examples of love for Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve never seen a more brilliant performance than this one,” said retailer Paulo Rodrigues, who was watching the match from the stands.

A few minutes later, Paulo Miyao spoke with journalist João Augusto, the publicist for the event, explaining his outpour of emotion. “I fight with my heart, my reason for being here. It wasn’t because I lost, it was because I always compete to outdo myself. And that’s why I’ll never stop wearing my heart on my sleeve in this sport,” he vented. In the decider, Rafael closed out with Maurício Floripa Antunes (Núcleo), who got the tapout in all four of his prior matches.

This was the seventh Copa Kamikaze event, with five stages prior to the two in Sertãozinho taking place in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo state. In all, Kamikaze paid out 20,000 Brazilian reais in prize money and gathered nearly 4,000 competitors.

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