Twenty-one-year-old Márcio André (Nova União) extended his good phase this weekend as he beat the lightweight field at the No-Gi Worlds in California. In order to get the gold medal, André had to beat Gianni Grippo (Alliance), AJ Agazarm (Gracie Barra), Rafael Freitas (Rafael Freitas) and Michael Dewitt (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu).
Marcinho moved up from the featherweight division to test himself against different opponents, and wound up winning it all. He then shared some thoughts with us.
“I know the result could have been better, but I had some difficulties travelling too close to the event,” he said. “I think I had a very good perfomance; I fought right and for the win. This time I went in with the intention of becoming champion, and not to put on a show. I know my potential, and I could have fought better.
“I came down from 90kg, and it was pretty complicated getting to that weight. I gained weight on vacation, after the gi Worlds. My nutricionist did great work with me, and I was able to to lose substantial weight in little time. I looked at the categories and preferred to test myself among the lightweights. I really liked the experience. I suffer a great deal trying to make featherweight. However, with the serious work I am doing, I will go in even better for future events.”
In his first match, André got the public’s attention as he armbarred Michael Dewitt at the end of a 43-point rout. “Before leaving my house, I said I was gonna fight to finish if I had the opportunity,” he recalls. “I tried a lot, and the guy defended against my attempts. When I looked, the score was really high. I managed to finish him at the end with an armbar. The fight was wide open, and the points happened.” André went on to defeat Rafael Freitas by two advantages in the final.