Sitting champ Bia Mesquita on training with Letícia Ribeiro for the Pan

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Bia Mesquita. Graciemag.com

The town of Irvine, Calif., will welcome on March 15 some of the greatest BJJ fighters in the world. One of the biggest stars of the Pan will be Beatriz Mesquita, a pupil of Letícia Ribeiro who will be defending her lightweight title. This year her rivals will include Fabiana Borges, Jaqueline Amorim and Tammi Musumeci.

Here are some of Mesquita’s thoughts on the upcoming event.

“I don’t feel much pressure for being champion, but of course I place a certain responsibility of wanting to retain the title of the category. I’ve been winning the Worlds and Pan for five consecutive years, since 2011, in this weight class. But in a certain way this makes me want to continue to win, to keep up the good work. As they say, ‘It’s harder to get to the top than to stay there.’

“I’ve fought with all three [Fabiana Borges, Jaqueline Amorim and Tammi Musumeci], and they are all talented. But every championship I only think about giving it my best, playing my game, doing my part. I train to develop my skills in the best way, to win regardless of who my opponent is. The result is just the consequence of our efforts.”

Bia goes on to provide some details on how her camp at Letícia Ribeiro’s San Diego gym will work in preparation for the Pan. “At Letícia’s it’s the same vibe with training, dieting, competition and rest. The training is great, especially because I have Letícia and the other girls to spar with. It is a very good sense of togetherness. Usually we do physical training three times a week and BJJ every morning, with Prof. Fabrício Morango, and in the evening with Letícia. We dedicate a lot of time to drilling and training with one another.”

Bia has also been doing a new type of training. “After starting to do Crossfit I have been feeling stronger. This is the main differential and the most visible thing from my point of view. But Crossfit is a complete type of physical training, from by grip to my conditioning. All of my performance has been improving greatly since I included Crossfit in my routine.”

March 11th in San Diego, Bia Mesquita will face Talita Alencar in a superfight at Five Grappling.

[Based on a press release.]

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