Lightweight double world champion in 2009 and 2010, Michael Langhi returns to the largest event of Jiu-Jitsu relieved and happy after fixing his visa, a problem that kept him out of the Worlds in 2012.
The prodigy who is a student of Rubens Cobrinha at Alliance already dreams of returning to feel the weight of the gold on his chest, in the Worlds that begins by the end of May. And if possible, Langhi wants to have an “easier” work.
“Alliance is coming with a squad in the light division. It would be nice to close with my teammates. It is a pleasure and makes the work easier,” he says. See what else we learned from him:
GRACIEMAG: You were the world champion in 2009 and 2010, got the bronze in 2011, in the reign of Gilbert Durinho, and finally saw Leandro Lo at the top of the category. How has your training changed since 2009?
MICHAEL LANGHI: I’m training a lot more than before, but I’m smarter too. My training is very well designed and divided; I’m able to train all aspects the best possible way. I’m back stronger than ever and willing to fight. The strategy is to go for it and stay ahead of my opponents the whole time.
Is “maturity” the key word this year?
I’m certainly more mature and experienced, that’s why the goal is to always be ahead of my opponents, both on the scoreboard and the positions. But in fact, the difference will be the desire to win. I couldn’t fight last year due to some problems with my visa. All settled, I’m back and I’m sure nobody wants that gold more than I do. You can expect a lot of will and Langhi doing his best to win another Worlds. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get out of there as the champ. I’m training all aspects and all situations that may occur in the fight, so I’ll be prepared for anything.
How do you see this rivalry with Leandro Lo, who will also be fighting for the lightweight gold?
Actually, there is no rivalry. Lo is an excellent athlete whom I have fought three times and have yet to defeat, but that’s it. I don’t think we have a rivalry; we get along really well and have had the opportunity to talk a lot. He has my respect, and the greatest way I can prove this is to prepare myself as much as possible if we fight again. If the fight happens, I will do my best and I won’t think about anything but the victory. He will also come with the same thought, so who will gain from it is the public, because they will see a war.
Who should decide the category, in your opinion?
My goal and Alliance’s goal is to close the lightweight category. We have several athletes enrolled in this division and it would be nice to close with my teammates. I’m eager to get there, after all, as I said I lived a nightmare and I couldn’t fight. So with that, I’m willing be world champion.
What’s on your mind minutes before facing an opponent at the Worlds?
I just try to think of everything I have done to be there. I think about my training and outlined strategy for that fight, I recall that I gave my best and I prepared the best I could. I have nothing to fear. The psychological side is covered in my training. The more I train, the more confident I get. I try to talk a lot with my family, wife and my coaches. Fabio (Gurgel) is always advising me and helping me closely. And another person who helps me and gives me a lot of confidence is my professor, Cobrinha. He always says I need to listen and keeps me confident always.
And you, do you know the feeling of fighting a World Championship? Tell us about it!