Braga Neto and the absolute in the Gramado Trials: ‘I’m rediscovering my Jiu-Jitsu’

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Antonio Braga Neto was the big name in Gamado

Antonio Braga Neto was the big name in Gamado Photo: Carlos Ozório/Archives.

He was simply the best. After flying from Manaus to Porto Alegre, crossing Brazil, and fighting on the same day, ace Antonio Braga Neto (Gordo Jiu-Jitsu) won the absolute and over 92kg category in the Gramado Trials held last weekend .

It even included a flying triangle and all, in the absolute semifinal against Agnaldo Silveira (Gracie Barra).

The fighter, who had won the ticket to Abu Dhabi in the Rio Trials, arrived in Gramado right before the competition with a mission: get confidence for the main competition in Abu Dhabi this April.

In an interview with GracieMag.com, Braga Neto commented his victory over Tarsis Humphreys (Alliance) in the absolute final, the tie with Rodrigo Cavaca (CheckMat) and many other thrilling subjects. Check it out!

GracieMag: Was the experience of fighting exhausted worth it?

BRAGA NETO: In the end it was quite rewarding, but it’s always like that. I’ve done several of these trips, for me the greatest pleasure is fighting Jiu-Jitsu. This time, the trip was very tiring, I left Manaus early and arrived in Gramado at 6 p.m. It was a rush, but I only had that opportunity thanks to a friend who knows my will to fight and sponsored me. And it all worked out.

After winning the weight category and the absolute, do you see yourself on one of the best stages in your career?  Is the double world black belt champion more mature?

I feel I am rediscovering my Jiu-Jitsu, but still far from my best. But I’m looking for it. I was seven months without training due to injury, and that left me unsure of how well would I return. Thanks to all the support staff of Cia do Movimento in Porto Velho, where I did my rehab, I got back well. I’ve been training hard for some time, my will to win and submit was what made the difference. Fernando Pessoa’s organization is excellent, so it encourages us to put on a show for the audience. The result is only a result of our work.

What do you think was lacking in the tied fight against Rodrigo Cavaca in the weight category?

Yes, the fight with Cavaca was tough. He is very good and strong, and managed to neutralize my game. I should’ve attacked more, get loose. After this fight, I saw that I lack a lot to be fine. Anyway, he is one of the best in the super heavyweight and fighting him was excellent.

Before ensuring the absolute, you had to beat Tarsis in the final. How was the fight on Sunday?

Another tough combat. I highlight two moments of it: first, when I applied the clock choke, a strong position that I had been training a lot and managed to submit. And another one: I was a little frustrated about missing my omoplata and not being able to submit. But I kept my focus and I won. I learned that the confidence we gain in training and during the competition is nothing but a preparation to become a winner.

Any details on how to apply the clock choke well?

The main thing is to use the right hand precisely on the neck, it can’t be too far out nor inside. You must take in the exact position of the jugular and tighten!

Aren’t you competing in IBJJF Pan, in March?

Not this time because I prefer to fight now, thinking about the six minutes in Abu Dhabi. I don’t want to get confused. But next time I’ll be there, I liked the drug testing measure.

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