Athlete from Nova União Ana Michelle Tavares stole the show by winning the up to 60kg category in the ADCC Trial in Rio on Saturday in Maracanãzinho.
After securing the package to the main event in Beijing in October, the black belt told the details of her achievement to GRACIEMAG. Check it out:
GRACIEMAG: What made the difference to beat so many tough competitors?
MICHELLE TAVARES: I think it was my day. Everything seemed easier, I was feeling really good. I just didn’t want to miss anything. I reminded myself the whole time of my training partners, my daughter and how happy they would be if I won. When it’s your day and you’re prepared to fight, and you breathe, it all happens perfectly. Actually, what also makes a difference here is that most of the athletes want to fight Jiu-Jitsu, but the sport without the gi is different. Since my first fight, I entered each match like it was the final. I faced, for example, Jessica Cristina, who has also been winning great fights, and managed to turn a tough fight into a simple win. It was my day. I felt worthy and prepared for any fight.
In your opinion, how was the fight against Michelle Nicolini?
For me, Nicolini is the best competitor right now. I could see everything that happened, I had to have patience and control myself not to make room for her strong positions. Of course, we are always aware to the strengths of our opponent but today I have a student who does the same sweep that Nicolini does very well, and so we train for it. In order to pass, I just used the classic bear hug (laughs). It is the grip to hold her. Anyway, I held her or I would be in a danger zone. What I did was to hug and pummel, dominating her to pass.
You ended up facing your friend Ana Maria India (GFTeam / Team Nogueira) in the semifinal. How did it feel?
Fighting with Ana was an emotional evolution, since she is like my sister. I was sure that the fight would be beautiful,. She likes to play her game without lacking any aggression. I played by the time and the rules. In short, I felt like being at a good party with my friend. I really like you, Ana!
Now do you want to compete again with the gi on to keep the momentum?
We are studying a lot. I have worked extensively teaching. And the pace of competing girls is frantic. I won and I’m back to teaching, and I’m committed daily!