Heavyweight Felipe “Preguiça” Pena had a great performance in previous belts and now tries to put his name at the top of the black belts. He’ll look to hook his first title as a black belt at Pan, which goes on between March 20 and 24, in Irvine, Calif. Preguiça, star of the competent team of Gracie Barra, has a difficult mission until the gold. He is in the light heavyweight category beside Tarsis Humphreys, André Galvão, Abmar Barbosa and Guto Campos. The Brazilian athlete talked to GracieMag.com and detailed his plans to win the Pan, spoke about Rominho Barral, pointed a possible opponent that can beat Keenan Cornelius and more. Read on!
GracieMag: How is your preparation for the black belt premiere in IBJJF Pan?
FELIPE PREGUIÇA: The trainings are the best possible. I’ve trained hard and I am very happy and excited to fight among these big names in my category. I’m eager to win. Nobody likes to lose, but I learned a lot from every defeat and I will be better in the coming combats. It has made me stronger.
Do you plan to do something new in the tournament?
Man, I try to stick to my game plan all the time and not fall into the strong game of the other athletes. I learned that as a black belt there is no room for errors. I love modern Jiu-Jitsu and different positions and I’m always training that. If the opportunity arises I will definitely try to apply these positions.
You and Rominho are in the same category. What will you do if you reach the final or semifinal facing each other?
Rominho always helped me in everything I needed and I am eternally grateful to him for everything he did. He became a brother to me and if we meet in a final we won’t intend to fight. I don’t know yet who would take the gold because there is a long way before we get there. But regardless of who takes the gold, closing a tournament of this size will be a joy and huge satisfaction for me.
How do you see your category?
I think it’s one of the toughest categories and will certainly have several exciting fights for the crowd. I fit in that category as a rookie and I like that feeling. I’ll do my best to win every fight.
Who do you see at brown belt that could beat Keenan Cornelius?
Man, Keenan has a very versatile and modern game. I love watching his fights. I think Jackson Souza would make an interesting fight with him.