Following South American title, Vinicius shifts gears to win GP in Porto Alegre

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Copa Pódio is set to go down December 17 in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, and along with the headlining lightweight GP, there will be further innovations, like modified rules and changes to the point-scoring system. One of the submission wizards in the running for the star-studded GP is Vinícius Marinho, who recently won the lightweight division at the 2011 South American Championship.

“I was really pleased with my campaign at the South American last November. I had five matches in all – three in the absolute and two at weight. I felt I was in great shape and managed to push the pace in my matches. Ultimately I managed to win my weight division and take third in the absolute,” said the GFTeam black belt, who’s preparations for the lightweight tournament are already underway.

Marinho trains with world absolute champion Rodolfo Vieira wherever he can. GFTeam publicity photo.

“Preparations at GFTeam aren’t focused on just one tournament. We train year around to prepare for any and all competitions or supermatches. These last few weeks, though, Master Júlio Cesar and Professor Theodoro Canal picked up the pace in training, placing greater emphasis our conditioning more,” recounted Vinicius, who joined the Copa Pódio fray as a replacement when Augusto Tanquinho (Soul Fighters) was rendered unable to compete due to injury.

“GFTeam and Soul Fighters have always had a good relationship; we even joined forces at the Brazilian Team Nationals. Since we have such a good relationship, it’s easy to deal with this situation. First of all I’d like to wish Tanquinho a great recovery, I know he’ll be back 200% better than he was. I’d also like to thank him for the vote of confidence and say that I’ll give more than my all to win this title. I’d like to thank Master Júlio Cesar for encouraging, motivating, fighting for and helping me. Thanks also goes out to Professor Theodoro Canal for helping me prepare for the competition. To my family and the entire GFTeam for their support,” he said, before praising his counterparts in the GP.

“The yellow group, as well as the green group only has top-tier athletes. All the matchups are tough. I’ve watched some of the matches of the guys in the yellow group, and I can tell it’s going to be really rough fighting with them,” he said in finishing.

Check out who faces who at Copa Pódio:

 SUPERMATCH
19:15 Opening Guetho/Atos (Guto Campos) Renzo Gracie (Tio Chico)
GP Round 1
19:30 Green GFTeam (Denilson Pimenta) Atos (Ed Ramos)
19:38 Green Cícero Costha (Leandro Lo) Alliance (Moacir Mendes Jr.)
19:46 Amarelo Checkmat (Bob Esponja) Soul Fighters (Vinicius Marinho)
19:54 Amarelo Nova União (Eduardo Pessoa) BTT (Leonardo Cascão)
GP Round 2
20:02 Green Cícero Costha (Leandro Lo) Lloyd Irvin (JT Torres)
20:10 Green Alliance (Moacir Mendes Jr) Atos (Ed Ramos)
20:18 Yellow Nova União (Eduardo Pessoa) Gracie Barra (Caloquinha)
20:26 Yellow Soul Fighters (Vinicius Marinho) BTT (Leonardo Cascão)
GP Round 3
20:34 Green Alliance (Moacir Mendes Jr) GFTeam (Denilson Pimenta)
20:42 Green Atos (Ed Ramos) Lloyd Irvin (JT Torres)
20:50 Yellow BTT (Leonardo Cascão) Checkmat (Bob Esponja)
20:58 Yellow Soul Fighters (Vinicius Marinho) Gracie Barra (Caloquinha)
GP Round 4
21:06 Green Atos (Ed Ramos) Cícero Costha (Leandro Lo)
21:14 Green Lloyd Irvin (JT Torres) GFTeam (Denilson Pimenta)
21:22 Yellow Soul Fighters (Vinicius Marinho) Nova União (Eduardo Pessoa)
21:30 Yellow Gracie Barra (Caloquinha) Checkmat (Bob Esponja)
GP Round 5
21:38 Green Lloyd Irvin (JT Torres) Alliance (Moacir Mendes Jr.)
21:46 Green GFTeam (Denilson Pimenta) Cícero Costha (Leandro Lo)
21:54 Yellow Gracie Barra (Caloquinha) BTT (Leonardo Cascão)
22:02 Yellow Checkmat (Bob Esponja) Nova União (Eduardo Pessoa)
SEMIFINALS
22:30 Match 1 1st place in Green Group 2nd place in Yellow Group
22:45 Match 2 1st place in Yellow Group 2nd place in Green Group
FINALS
23:00 3rd PLACE Loser match 1 Loser Match 2
23:15 FINAL Winner Match 1 Winner Match 2

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