Rafael Barbosa, Soul Fighters’s “Formiga,” was the king of Boston until last Sunday. The black belt from Rio had won the absolute in the first two Boston Open editions, in 2011 and 2012, but this year he was stopped by DJ Jackson. But at this IBJJF winter event he didn’t lose, he learned something.
“I’ve learned a good lesson in Boston. I simply can’t, under any circumstances, let DJ put his head on my chin, when he’s trying to pass my half-guard,” said the middleweight champion in conversation with GRACIEMAG.com.
“In the end, it was a positive thing. I won the weight category, submitting, and during the absolute final I made a very tough fight against an opponent of the highest level that just became the light heavyweight champ. Even though I kept my game open and forward, trying my positions, ” he added. (See how the fight was below)
After winning the middleweight category, the professor living in the U.S. was thankful for training with his fellows from Soul Fighters in January in Rio.
“Now the goal is to do well in Pan,” he said. “I will prepare myself with several friends at Caio Terra’s gym in San Jose.”
Formiga also praised the drug test news about Pan 2013.
“I thought the idea of drug test is the best thing IBJJF has done for our sport. Now we will see much more fair fights where the technique will prevail and not the muscles of each athlete,” he concluded.