A week before Christmas, Jiu-Jitsu has already given its gift to Porto Alegre.
The biggest present of all went to the city’s gentle art community itself.
Copa Pódio was an impeccable, well structured event, with the program followed to the tee, no delays, and the massive match area set up in Tesourinha gymnasium was stage to first-rate combat.
São Paulo’s Leandro Lo Nascimento, the cream of Cicero Costha’s crop, also took a great present home with him—5,000 Brazilian reais (2,700 dollars) for winning the lightweight GP.
Voted 2011 revelation of the year by GRACIEMAG (#178, on its way to bookstores around the world), Lo again proved he is one of the very best in the division.
Of the six matches he was in, he won five and fought to a draw with JT Torres. Chief among his victories were his 12-0 thrashing of Denilson Pimento, 7-0 routing of Ed Ramos, and choke submission on Cláudio Caloquinha in the final.
On the title and solid results throughout the year, Lo said the following: “I competed a lot in 2011, since I like testing myself against a lot of different opponents. There were only top guys here but I managed to get my game to click. In the final I fended off Caloquinha’s attacks on my foot and managed to make it to back mount for the choke.”
Despite having won, Lo asserts that he will change strategies in 2012: “This year I competed in everything, and it was really stressful. So much so that I even ended up injuring my foot. Next year I’ll save myself more.”
Runner-up Claudio Caloquinha was thankful for the gift of having been able to compete at such a high level: “This was my first competition in a long time. I tore my left ACL, and once it had healed, I tore the right one. To make matters worse, I even got an infection at the hospital. I felt a bit off, but I’m happy with my performance,” said the jubilant Vinicius Draculino student, who had Rômulo Barral in his corner as coach.
Also gifted were the local athletes, in victory and defeat, with unconditional support.
Guto Campos, the leader of Guetho JJ, took his whole team along with him for the festivities, celebrating his 10-0 drubbing of Augusto “Tio Chico” Mendes in the supermatch.
Moacir Mendes Jr., on the other hand, lost all four of his GP matches but demonstrated tremendous grit and desire to win, with his disciples egging him on throughout with chants of “Go, sensei!” whenever Moacir was in action.
Founder of the event Jeferson Maycá guaranteed that new presents are on the way, but only if the beneficiaries keep it up: “I’m 90% pleased with the event. I feel there could have been a bigger crowd, but I did know there would be some resistance to an event making Jiu-Jitsu into a spectacle. There will be more such events to come, and the public will adapt. The middleweight GP should take place in Rio de Janeiro midway through next year.”
Check out an exclusive photo gallery from the event:
Check out the complete results from Copa Pódio 2011—Lightweight GP:
Guto Campos 10-0 Augusto “Tio Chico” Mendes
Ed Ramos subbed Denilson Pimenta via armbar
Leandro Lo 2 (3 adv) – 2 (0 adv) Moacir Mendes Jr.
Bob Esponja 0 – 6 Vinícius Marinho
Eduardo Pessoa 0 (1 adv) – 0 (0 adv) Leonardo Cascão
Leandro Lo 2 – 2 JT Torres
Moacir Mendes Jr. 0 (1 adv) – 0 (2 adv) Ed Ramos
Cláudio Caloquinha subbed Eduardo Pessoa via kneebar
Vinícius Marinho 7 – 0 Leonardo Cascão
Moacir Mendes Jr. 0 – 4 Denilson Pimenta
Ed Ramos 4 – 2 JT Torres
Leonardo Cascão 0 – 0 Bob Esponja
Vinícius Marinho 0 – 2 Cláudio Caloquinha
Ed Ramos 0 – 7 Leandro Lo
JT Torres subbed Denilson Pimenta via choke from back mount
Vinicius Marinho 0 (1 adv) – 0 (0 adv) Eduardo Pessoa
Cláudio Caloquinha 2 – 0 Bob Esponja
JT Torres 2 (3 adv) – 2 (0 adv) Moacir Mendes Jr.
Denilson Pimenta 0 – 12 Leandro Lo
Cláudio Caloquinha defeated Leonardo Cascão via WO (injury)
Eduardo Pessoa 0 (1 adv) – 0 (2 adv) Bob Esponja
Leandro Lo 5 – 2 Vinícius Marinho
Cláudio Caloquinha 0 (3 adv) – 0 (0 adv) Ed Ramos
Third place match
Ed Ramos defeated Vinícius Marinho via WO (injury)
Leandro Lo subbed Cláudio Caloquinha via choke from back mount