Tanquinho & the victory over Cobrinha: “I didn’t let him make the cross sleeve grip”

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Augusto Tanquinho on top against Rubens Cobrinha, in WPJJC final. Photo: Erin Herle/ GracieMag

Augusto Tanquinho won the featherweight category in WPJJC Abu Dhabi 2013 last Friday, and confirmed again that he is on the same level of top division superstars like Rafael Mendes and Rubens Cobrinha.

It was precisely against Cobrinha, who had won the last two times they have fought, that Tanquinho made the final of the 70kg division. A sweep gave the gold medal to the Soul Fighters professor from Rio.

In an interview with GracieMag, Augusto Tanquinho listed what he learned in the tournament, analyzed his fight and highlighted the main recipe for success:

GracieMag: You and Rubens Cobrinha have fought several times and know each other very well. How do you analyze the WPJJC 2013 final, in Abu Dhabi?

AUGUSTO TANQUINHO: It was a strategic fight, in my point of view. I went in with a strategy and followed it until the end to win. Cobrinha is very dangerous when he takes the cross sleeve and I knew I couldn’t let him make this grip at all. Thereafter I went for it, I just didn’t let him take the fight to his game; after all, a dangerous guy like Cobrinha with his main move would be deadly. I know his game well and I know the danger when he grips the cross sleeve.

What was your strategy in details?

In a 6 minute fight, the main thing is not to start losing. My strategy was to get ahead, sweeping or taking him down. And when I was on top, the tactic was to break his cross grip all the time and look for spaces to pass. In the end, it worked out (laughs). Cobrinha has a very good base and it is also always difficult to sweep him. People are used to seeing me fighting more on top and think I have no guard, but at the gym I train much more bottom than on top. So I could sweep and win.

And you lost to him earlier in IBJJF Pan.

I think my star shines in Abu Dhabi (laughs). I believe that both in European and Pan I lost by detail. In European, I lost by 2-0, and in the last minute I attacked standing up, I was on bottom and took the points. In the Pan, I lost by advantages, I thought I had to get two points when I attacked the foot and we left out of the fighting area, but the referee didn’t give me the points. Anyway, I’m not complaining about the referee, but this time the win came by detail too, I missed less and took up the opportunities more. That made a difference in this championship.

Did you have other memorable fights in WPJJC 2013?

I’ve had some pretty tough fights; I had four until the final. I was happy because I evolved during the championship. In the first fight, I submitted Felipe Cavalcante with a wristlock. In the second fight, I won by decision against Gilson “Neném” Nunes. He surprised me a lot, and showed a very complicated guard to pass. Since I attacked from start to the end, I guaranteed a place in the semifinal. In the semifinal, I fought with Michel Maia, a Brazilian who has taught in Abu Dhabi, and it was a great fight. I was losing by an advantage but I got a takedown and won by 2-0. Michel is very technical and strong in featherweight.

Besides the gold medal and the prize money, what knowledge have you brought home?

I learned that you should believe in yourself from beginning to the end in all fights. And to have enough confidence in your game is essential to train and train. That is the simple secret of success.

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