A phenomenon of Jiu-Jitsu, black-belt Leandro Lo, 24, won another trophy last weekend at Copa Pódio. The Cicero Costha pupil fought a no-gi superfight against Cláudio Calasans (Atos) in the gymnasium at Tijuca Tennis Club, and once again showed his aggressive, slippery style. He won 7-0 after sweeping twice and passing Calasans’ guard in the last seconds. It was his 21st win at Copa Pódio.
GRACIEMAG : How was the superfight with Calasans?
LEANDRO LO: It was a tough one. Calasans is very good at no-gi and explosive, besides being very accurate in his moves. Early on, he set up a leg lock on my knee, but I was fortunate to escape. Then I shuffled and swept, and I was on top for a while. Then I wound up on the bottom again and managed to sweep. Toward the end of the fight I was on top, I put my knee in the middle there and passed the guard. I played the game just right so as not to get guillotined and foot-locked, and it worked. It was one of the toughest fights of my career.
Two weeks before the fight, you were invited by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed to train with him in Abu Dhabi, where you practiced without the gi against Bráulio Estima. What did you learn?
Bráulio Estima really opened my mind to being more concerned about foot locks, knee attacks and overall movement. This helped me in the fight against Calasans and will help in my first ADDC, in China.
What can you tell us about these final training sessions for the ADCC in October?
I’ll train just right. Murilo Santana will help me a lot without the gi – we have been training hard. I will pay attention to foot locks and the leg lock, in order to arrive there in top form. I try to use my gi game at no-gi. My guard is a little different, I fight sideways more. The guard pass is almost the same – what changes is the location of the grips, so I still have to adjust the passing some more, as it is still not as good as in the gi.
How important is professor Cicero Costha in your corner?
Cicero Costha knows everything that I’ll do. Everything my opponent was thinking of doing, he warned me first. It is important to have him there; I’ve been training with Cicero since white belt. And I still train with him, but Cicero kicks my ass! [Laughs.]