For old times’ sake, Professor Roberto “Gordo” Correa decided to compete in Jiu-Jitsu Pan in California, at the end of this month.
The black belt from Rio hasn’t fought in the competition since 2003 when he competed for the adult gold. This time, Gordo is in heavyweight senior 2, and will enjoy the trip to sharpen the ground game of his pupil Rafael dos Anjos, UFC lightweight who now lives in Newport Beach.
Gordo will prepare for the Pan in a special camp at his partner Sandro Batata’s gym between March 9 and 17, which will be attended by Braga Neto and Rafael dos Anjos, who is preparing to face Evan Dunham in the UFC. Gordo liked the chosen opponent.
“Today Rafa is ranked 8th in the official UFC rankings and Dunham isn’t in the top ten, but it really does not matter,” Gordo said in a telephone chat with GracieMag.com. “The guy is a black belt of Xtreme Couture coming from a win against Tibau and he’s a good name. What calls my attention is that he, like Rafa, likes to go for it all the time, so it’s an interesting challenge. It will be a good fight for the Brazilian fans.”
Dunham (14-3) is a good back taker. He has collected six submissions in his career, especially with the guillotine and armbar. In his last successful win by submission, he grabbed the arm of Efrain Escudero in January 2010 – it was the Submission of the Night. Still, nothing impressive to Gordo when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu.
“I haven’t seen anything he does related to Jiu-Jitsu that impressed me, but I’m going to meet Rafael in California to analyze it better. Rafa will go for it and we will bring another victory if all goes well,” concluded Gordo.
Pan 2013 filled with teachers
Besides Gordo, senior and master divisions of Pan bring many classic names of Jiu-Jitsu. The ones already enrolled are Rodrigo Comprido, Alberto Crane, Raphael Abi-Rihan, Marcos Torregrosa, Renatinho Tavares, Ricardo Franjinha, Bruno Bastos, Fabio Leopoldo, Suyan Queiroz, Bernardo Pitel, Reza Monfaradi, Léo Peçanha, Ricardo Feliciano and Adriano Silva.
To know the names of everyone who will fight in the Pan, March 20-24 in Irvine, Calif., see the official list of athletes here.