The city of Long Beach, Calif., received last weekend the IBJJ Worlds Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the popular local university pyramid. Among the female’s black belts refined Jiu-Jitsu, the biggest highlight was Bia Mesquita, Champion at lightweight and absolute divisions after winning seven fights.
The star of Gracie Humaita conquered the greatest achievement of her career, at the open weight final, by defeating Michelle Nicolini (5-0) and winning the absolute gold at black belt. To get there, Bia sweeped and passed the guard of the Checkmate phenomenal athlete using a leg drag. In a conversation with GRACIEMAG, the student of Leticia Ribeiro analyzed her achievement. Check out and learn:
GRACIEMAG: What have you learned from this conquest in Jiu-Jitsu?
BIA MESQUITA: Did not sink in yet: that I’m the best in the world today. It’s a dream come true. On Saturday, I was flawless in my struggles, managed to finish three of my fights in the absolute and two in my weight division. In the finals, I knew the duels require more strategy. I just knew it would not come out winner if God thought it was not yet time. The defeats and the mistakes I made in the WPJJC Abu Dhabi made me improve and felt better about my game for the World in California. My Jiu-Jitsu is even more complete. I trained a lot of guard pass for this World, not because I didn’t know how to pass, but because I wanted to have more confidence passing – wanted to have the same confidence that I have sweeping. I’m enjoying becoming a guard passer [laughs].
What went on in your mind before the big final against Michelle Nicolini?
I’ve fought a few times against Michelle and we always have beautiful fights. Among us, whoever makes fewer errors wins. Because it was a match between lightweights in the female absolute, I knew it would be electrifying. The will to win was fixed in my head, no matter who my opponent was. In this year and every year. I always fight forward in search of victory and it was no different in this final. And finally, the much desired absolute title arrived. I always knew it would arrive, so I patiently waited my turn. I’m Brazilian and therefore never give up!
And how did you get through Michelle’s guard?
Having not yet watched the fight, I cannot remember for sure. I think it was with a leg drag with the foot on the bicep. I was trying to do it during the fight, but because of the adrenaline I do not know exactly how I finished the position – if it went exactly as planned or if I improvised [laughs].
In the lightweight final, you faced Luiza Monteiro, the opponent you submitted at the absolute semifinal on Saturday. How were these two fights?
We face each other a lot, but we get along and we know how to leave the rivalry on the mat. She’s tough, and I know that all our fights will be great battles. In the absolute semifinals, the arm bar from the 50/50 came out of nowhere. Not sure how I adjusted that position – I have been training it for a little bit in Brazil, but it is not a position that I typically use. Fortunately, I did it with the necessary pressure to finish. In the lightweight final, I placed emphasis on my guard passing. I felt very confident on top once I sweept.