Rodrigo Damm and UFC 147: “Being spooky is for the cemetery”

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Rodrigo Damm and his unusual rear-naked choke on Gasparzinho at UFC 147 / Photo: Josh Hedges/UFC/Publicity

Last Saturday at UFC 147, Rodrigo Damm used his Jiu-Jitsu to put away Anistávio Gasparzinho and pocked a hefty bonus for submission of the night.

Besides the exciting end to the fight, there were undertones of rivalry. All because Damm didn’t like Gasparzinho’s fooling around in the TUF Brazil house.

“In the TUF house, I saw first hand how the place for being spooky is the cemetery [Gasparzinho” means “Caspar the Friendly Ghost” in Portuguese]. Jokes aside, it was in that fight that I could see really clearly how you have to be concentrated, focused on the fight and the opponent,” said the native of Espirito Santo State to GRACIEMAG.

“The fight with Gaspar went as we’d imagined it would. My coaches and I put together a game plan and it went to the tee. I worked hard on my hands, and the moment he felt them land, I got to put my Jiu-Jitsu to work on the ground and finish him,” he added.

But it wasn’t all that common a rear-naked choke. On the move, the brother of female fighter Carina Damm explained how he fastened the choke without touching his hand to his opponent’s head.

“I like doing it that way because it goes in tighter. When I grab my own head I get leverage and cause my opponent tremendous discomfort,” explained the fighter, who went on to offer a tip for our reader/practitioners to further improve their gentle-art skills.

“My tip for beginners is to practice it daily and do the position over and over agin. From repeating it so many times, they’ll iron out their back control and it’ll come to them automatically. Be patient and do go off halfcocked. Stabilize the position and from there start working from their back, where you have a number of options for finishing,” detailed the black belt, who took the chance to send out thanks.

“I’d like to thank my coaches for the dedicated work they’ve done with me and their patience. My family and friends for the support and for rooting for me. My sponsors for believing in me and helping me fulfill my dream. And above all to God for being faithful,” said the featherweight in closing.

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