Just after receiving their gold medals, the champions of the 2012 Jiu-Jitsu World Champions spoke exclusively with GRACIEMAG.com.
From Bruno Malfacine to Leo Nogueira, the winners of each weight class put their performances under the microscope, pointing out what they did right and where they had trouble.
Only Marcus Almeida, the ultraheavyweight champ, doesn’t appear in the video, since having won the absolute, he earned a video all for himself.
If you’re looking to brush up on your Portuguese, give the video below a watch. If not, here’s the gist of what the big winners had to say:
“My campaign this Worlds was perfect. Or not perfect because the final with Caio was an ugly match. I wanted to be on the attack, like I always am in my matches; it’s just that there are times where the opponent plays the anti-game.
Now the project is to get the sixth title, God willing.
When I started my dream was to win a world title at black belt. I never imagined I could win five, four in a row.”
He also explained that he competed with a serious shoulder injury, dislocating it several times in the lead up to the competition, but managed to fight well and without any further dislocations during the competition, nevertheless.
“My first fight was with the scale. Tough! I’ve been dieting ever since the Pan to stay at weight. I feel this time I did a better job of maintaining my weight. I was in better shape this time.
The final was against Laercio [Fernandes]. I’ve faced him twice now, but this time I could tell he has evolved a lot. Each time I face him he’s tougher. This final was a lot closer than the last one. Thank God everything worked out.”
It was a perfect way to close out the year. Last year we managed to both win the Worlds at black belt on the same year. Now it will become a bit harder for anyone to beat our record, because now we’re three-time champs.
This time Cobrinha surprised me; he ended up putting me in 50-50, a move he complained a lot about in the past. But that’s how it is, the position is there as a resource anyone can use, and everyone contributes something to it. That’s why I feel you can’t go criticizing a position, speaking ill of it, because down the road you may need to use it. But it was a great match. He’s a great athlete. I’m really pleased, and now it’s time to celebrate, eat a lot. The diet was rough, so now we’re going to eat a lot to celebrate.”
“This is the happiest day of my life. I had a bunch of tough matches. Thank God I managed to win the title. Lucas is a really tight, tough guy. The three times we faced each other it was the same thing; I pulled guard, managed to sweep. The last time he won by an advantage point; this time I won by an advantage, nearly swept.”
“I feel for sure the other athletes will be paying a lot closer attention to my matches, as I wasn’t the favorite before. Now I’m going to keep at it, training hard, competing at all the tournaments that come up.
I feel I was more focused this time around. This time I did a better job of working out, eating, and my teacher came up from Brazil to help out. Last time I was in the States and he was in Brazil.”
“I’d gone through a rough patch; I’d injured my knee, lost my confidence. So I went home, talked to my friends and family, and they said I couldn’t quit, so now I’m back and got my confidence back. I did some other tournaments prior to gain more confidence.
I didn’t perform in the absolute the way I would have like to. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. At weight I was a lot better, much more confident, much looser, carrying less weight on my shoulders.”
I’m overjoyed about having managed to win the title for a second time. But [in the absolute] I fought till the end with Bochecha. It was a great match, but he was better; it was his day. So I didn’t win the absolute, but I did manage to pull myself together and win at weight. I was kind of bummed about losing, but my friends got my morale back up, and I managed to do well at weight and win it.
I was really honored to be in a final with Xande. I’m a big fan of his. I knew it was going to be a good match. We traded grips standing; I didn’t want to be under him at all; I knew he brings a lot of pressure. So I managed to take him down, land on top and do the game I always do. Then he swept me, but I was ahead on advantage points, and I managed the win, thank God.”
“As for tha absolute, I lost in the last 15 seconds. I got taken down, but I feel I did good Jiu-Jitsu, did good on the ground. It was a really even fight. I gave it my best. I trained a lot back in Brazil, so I came here already expecting a good result.”