Last Saturday, Cascais, Portugal’s Pavilhão dos Lombos gymnasium hosted a leg of tryouts for the Abu Dhabi WPJJC, a professional tournament paying out in big-money prizes next April.
Promoted by black belts Sergio Vita and Zé Marcello, the event featured over a hundred athletes, and the standout among them was midddleweight fighter Victor Estima, a Jiu-Jitsu teacher from Brazil now living and teaching in England.
GRACIEMAG.com had a chat with the champion, who explained his last-minute decision to compete in Lisbon, the move he used to wrap up the final, and much more.
GRACIEMAG.com: Were you training hard for this leg of the WPJJC Trials?
VICTOR ESTIMA: Not exactly, although I was well trained. My trip to Portugal was a short one, as I decided to compete at the last minute. I arrived there on Friday just in time for weigh-ins, and I returned home on Sunday, one day after the tournament. But I had no problem making weight, as I normally weigh 80 kg, so all I had to do was show my Jiu-Jitsu, like I always do.
What was the final, against Mathias Ribeiro, like?
To me it was the best match I was in. I missed passing his guard on two occasions, and I learned that I need to be a bit more patient in such positions. I was going for the tapout, and so I tried passing guard on speed. So I ended up not passing, but I did channel the fight to my best game and ended up tapping him out with a footlock–the “Estima-lock” (laughs).
Of those qualified in your weight class, the under-83 kg division, who is the sternest test in your opinion?
There are so many first-rate opponents, like Lucas Leite, Claudio Calasans, Keenan Cornelius, who did great at the tryouts in the USA. I’m really confident in my game and have already started training for this competition. I know I’m going to need to do some tough matches but I’m focused on my own Jiu-Jitsu, and I’m preparing to fight anybody.
Besides Abu Dhabi, what are your plans for 2013?
I plan to compete at the big Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, like the Europeans, Worlds, Abu Dhabi WPJJC as well as the ADCC–to do that I’ll also have to do the tryouts too. For the second half of the year, the plan is to do a seminar tour in the USA because I’ve gotten a number of invites.