Fabricio Werdum’s mind is on MMA but when an opponent enters his field of vision in Nottingham, get out of the way. The two-time ADCC champion had a victorious campaign this Saturday in the ultraheavyweight, over 99kg division, and I’m already dreaming of the title I’m still missing, the absolute tomorrow.
“I think I can do it. I started well today, and now it’s time to finish the job. I’m a gaucho [Southern Brazilian], so now I have to be in tip-top shape for tomorrow,” he said, talking to everyone at the same time, true to his style.
Werdum had the first match of ADCC 2011 facing this year’s brown belt absolute champion of the world, Alexander Trans, right off the bat. He won the match with Trans without any scares (0-0, two penalties to the Dane), tapped out Jeff Monson, and will be facing Cyborg tomorrow. The opponent for the final should be either Vinny Magalhães or Gerardi Rinaldi.
The giants category is sticking with the trend the other divisions are following: three Brazilians “circling” a non-Brazilian. Rinaldi, an American, is the “intruder,” riding a wave of high regard for what he displayed at ADCC 2009.
One division down, at 99kg, Dean Lister is the American between Xande and Assis, who will face off, and Rodolfo Vieira, his rival. “I haven’t competed in two years; I felt a bit off of competition rhythm in my first match but got the takedown and controlled the fight just fine,” said Lister, the absolute champion of 2003. Will he have what it takes to stop Rodolfo tomorrow?
“I didn’t feel I fought that well today, but I think my game will click tomorrow,” said Rodolfo, who managed to mount and finish Joseph Lee by armbar and then pass and get the takedown on Antonio Peinado, winning by 5 to 0. Imagine if he fights well tomorrow.
The most striking win of this division was Xande Ribeiro’s over Lucio Laagarto, who beat Xand in the gi at the World Pro. Today, it was an evenly-matched affair, until Lagarto’s lights went out on mat one at the ADCC.
“I took a penalty from the judges and had to go on the attack. That’s when he got my shoulder and took me down. On the ground, all I was concerned about keeping him from doing was putting in the hooks, since I knew the time was running out, so I opted to defend against the feet and try and free up my neck. It could have worked… but didn’t,” said a cheerful Lagarto.
Check out all the details this Sunday at the GRACIEMAG at the ADCC Blog and on our Twitter accounts.