Copa Pódio Heavyweight GP card released, surprise in store

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Xande Ribeiro e o arrocho aéreo no braço. Foto: Ivan Trindade

Xande Ribeiro and the airborn move that brought the crowd at the 2012 Worlds to its feet. The Jiu-Jitsu professor living in San Diego, California, is confirmed for Copa Pódio. Photo by  Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG.

Nearly all the pieces are in place for the next Copa Pódio event, featuring a Heavyweight Grand Prix certain to be a memorable one that includes some of the best under-98 kg fighters in the business.

Initially planned for the month of December, the event was transferred to January at some of the athletes’ behest. The chosen date is January 12, and the location will be confirmed in the coming days.

According to Jeferson Maycá, chief director of the Copa Pódio promotion, end-of-the-year events are more complicated.

“I think most athletes are used to competing during the first half of the year and dedicating the second half of the year to seminars and other activities. Soon, with other big events on the rise, we’ll likely have major tournaments year round. And that’s great for appreciators of find Jiu-Jitsu and athletes,” he explains.

Today the organization announced the supermatches and nine of the fighters comprising the Heavyweight Grand Prix, leaving a single berth empty for the surprise athlete who will be announced shortly. Could another absolute world champion show up in the mix?

What do you say, gentle reader, who’ll get the final place in the GP? Share your predictions with us and check out the card below.

PÓDIO SUPER CHALLENGE

Guto Campos vs. Wancler Oliveira (Guto Campos defends his title for the third time)

DOUBLE COMBAT (COUPLES)

Augusto Tanquinho vs. Davi Ramos
Mackenzie Dern vs. Marina Ribeiro

CITIES CHALLENGE

Diego Borges (Manaus) vs. Murilo Santana (São Paulo)

SPECIAL MATCH

Leandro Lo vs. Felipe Preguiça

HEAVYWEIGHT GP

Alexandre de Souza (Gracie Floripa/Florianópolis)
Alexandro Ceconi (Ceconi Team/Criciúma)
Braga Neto (Gordo JJ/Porto Velho)
Bruno Bastos (Nova União/USA)
Caio Monstro (Nova União/Fortaleza)
João Gabriel Rocha (Soul Fighters/Rio de Janeiro)
Léo Nogueira (Alliance/São Paulo)
Rodolfo Vieira (GFTeam/Rio de Janeiro)
Xande Ribeiro (Ribeiro JJ)

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