Paulo Miyao the last piece of Copa Podio Middleweight GP; Barral withdraws

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Jiu-Jitsu champion Paulo Miyao may meet again with rival Keenan Cornelius in Rio Photo: Erin Herle

The list of ten athletes designated to compete in the Middleweight Grand Prix of the second installment of Copa Pódio, was closed on Tuesday, July 23. The organization agreed on valiant featherweight Paulo Miyao (Cicero Costha), the current absolute brown belt world champion who was recently promoted to black belt. Thus on Sep. 8 Miyao will try to become next in line to the throne of teammate Leandro Lo, winner of the first edition of the Middleweight GP.

“Paulo Miyao enters as a wildcard. With at least ten pounds less than the competition [indeed in June he became one of the lightest absolute world champions in history], he arrives to electrify the tournament. I feel that we have gathered ten great names in the GP, and they certainly will put on a great show for fans of Jiu-Jitsu,” says director Jeferson Mayca. “I think balance will be the hallmark of this tournament. I simply do not see a favorite.”

While Paulo Miyao enters the event, Romulo Barral walks out. Concentrated on his workouts for the ADCC and the No-Gi World Championship in November, the GB professor gives his place to friend Felipe Preguiça. Thus, the ten warriors featured in the Middleweight GP are Yan Cabral, Keenan Cornelius, Alexandro Ceconi, Diego Moreno, Jaime Canuto, Travis Stevens, Kit Dale, Renato Cardoso, Paulo Miyao and Felipe Preguiça.

In addition to the GP, the next edition of the event has other major attractions. The Challenge of Cities, Diego Borges and Clark Gracie will defend Manaus (BR) and San Diego (USA), respectively, while Leandro Lo struggles to maintain his great track record as he stars in a no-gi, timer-free superfight. His opponent, however, is still a mystery. “We are giving some clues through the official website of the Copa Pódio Middleweight GP on Facebook. Here’s a new one: the two have never faced before. Very soon everyone will know who takes on Leandro Lo on September 8,” Jeferson promises.

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