Now in the final stretch of training for the Jan. 13 Copa Pódio Heavyweight GP, Alexandre Souza has taken to studying his opponents.
The native of the Southern Brazilian city of Florianópolis was placed in the Green Team alongside Bruno Bastos, Antonio Braga Neto, Lucio Lagarto and the brown belt João Gabriel.
GRACIEMAG: What about your game changes when doing six-minute matches?
ALEXANDRE SOUZA: In my opinion, in a match like this, the first thing you have to do is take the lead at the outset and avoid stall positions like the half-guard, 50/50 and closed guard. I’m really focused in training and am doing a good job of studying my opponents’ games in order to impose my Jiu-Jitsu at will in the GP.
What’s your assessment of your group?
It’s really strong. Most of them have great competition experience and broad techniques repertories, as well as plenty of titles on their CVs. It won’t be easy. I’ll come up against a variety of different games, but I feel that deep down it’s more important to have your head in the right place and a mental strategy than to have “physical” tactics. And to tell you the truth, I’m brushing up on my takedowns a lot, since there are some opponents against whom I want to play from top position.
In your very first match you’ll be facing Gracie Barra’s Lucio Lagarto, according to the Copa Pódio draw. How do you see that match going?
I know he has an excellent guard and is really effective with his attacks, so intend to avoid getting caught in his game.