ADCC: Gurgel talks BJJ training for Zé Mario bout

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Fabio Gurgel, the general. Photo: GRACIEMAG

A four-time world champion of Jiu-Jitsu, Alliance general Fabio Gurgel is retired from competition since the 2010 European, when he won the adult heavyweight division in Lisbon.

As a coach, though, Fabio continues with full force, after leading the team of the eagle in its eighth team world title in June. Gurgel now turns his energy to training without the gi, leading up to his superfight vs. Zé Mario Sperry at the masters’ in the 2013 ADCC in China, on 18 and 19 of October.

The carioca living in São Paulo detailed his Jiu-Jitsu and paraded other teachings that may be useful to the reader.

GRACIEMAG: When does your actual training start for the superfight with Zé Mario?

FABIO GURGEL: From the start of the year I’ve been investing in physical and technical preparation, but the specific training for the fight begins in a few weeks. The event is in three months, so the idea is to go back to Los Angeles to spend a season with Cobrinha. Then I’ll practice with the guys at Alliance HQ in São Paulo and, in the final stretch, we’ll gather everyone in New York, with Marcelo Garcia and company. That’s the plan. To fight with Zé Mario, I think I have in my Jiu-Jitsu my best weapon. Our team today represents what is best in terms of Jiu-Jitsu and technical developments; this is what will count. The only change from the ADCC is that the game gets faster and slippery, but it does not change much.

Zé Mario is another icon of your generation, but this duel has never happened. How is the expectation?

I am honored to have this fight with a guy like him, a true representative of Jiu-Jitsu with a winning history within the sport. He has all my respect. Analyzing a future fight against him is difficult. Zé is an accomplished competitor and has a very solid game. The fight can go in different ways and I need to be ready for all of them. Hopefully my guard passing is strong and will prevail. But as I said before, the fight can go down different paths and all aspects need to be trained and I should be ready for every occasion. I wish my team had guys like him, it would be easier winning the Worlds’ teams tournaments [laughs]. But my students and training partners are excellent; we will try to emulate Sperry in training. We have a good roster in the 100kg range, and they will help me a great deal.

Did you learn something from the 2013 IBJJF Worlds that you can apply to the ADCC?

I’ve been following for many years not only the Worlds, but all the major tournaments, including ADCCs. Of course we always learn a lot by watching what the new generation is showing. But it is so new that we have to select the techniques that actually fit in our game. Besides all this observation, there is another strong trait of mine to use at the ADCC in China, which is my internal motivation. I’m sure we will produce a great fight for the crowd.

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