This past weekend at the 2014 IBJJF Las Vegas Spring Open, the female black belt division welcomed the return of Ana Laura Cordeiro. After being out of competition for many years due to a back injury, she came back to the competition mats and earned gold. The Gracie Barra Upland instructor is undefeated in her Jiu-Jitsu tournament career and now the streak continues.
We talked to Ana Laura about her return, if she had any anxiety about it and what it felt to remain undefeated.
GRACIEMAG: Were you worried about stepping on the competition mat after so many years?
ANA LAURA: I wasn’t worried at all. The tournament is the easy part for me now. The hard part is to be able to train hard every day. My body is not used to it anymore, but I’m getting there.
How was your match with Charlene?
That was awesome. I could enjoy every single minute of the fight. I was very calm and focused, and Charlene is a pretty good and active competitor, so I could get a good warmup to get even stronger to compete at the Worlds 2014. Can’t wait!
How did it feel to be back and with the gold medal once again undefeated?
For me now, after overcoming my injury I’m already a gold medalist every time I step on the mat. Of course winning on the mat and stepping up to the highest spot on the podium makes me very happy, but winning and losing are part of the competition. Even though I’m still undefeated in competition, I’m not worried about it. Nobody is invincible.