Alex Sodré (Nova União), 21, is the new light featherweight brown-belt world champion. A student under Rodrigo Feijão, Sodré had to tame five opponents to get his gold medal last weekend. In the final he defeated Canada’s Eric Cong (Jiu-Jitsu For Life Team) by one advantage on top of a 2-2 tie on points.
Sodré gave an interview following his victory. “The final was hard,” he said, “but what made it easier was that I was ahead on the scoreboard the whole fight, and that left me calm throughout. I didn’t need to expose myself too much, because the fight was under my control the whole time. I swept and scored an advantage. Then I yielded a sweep but was able to win.”
About becoming champion, he said, “It’s an inexplicable feeling, because I prepared myself a lot for this competition. When I became champion, it took a long time to sink in. I felt very accomplished at that moment.”
As cool as he was during the final, there were some tough moments throughout his campaign. “I did a total of five fights, and in each one I had a bit of difficulty,” he said. “However, the one I had the hardest time was the semifinal, against Pablo Mantovani. It was a very hard fight for me, with a score of 10 each, given the intense sweeping action. We ended up in a tie, and the ref gave me the win.”
After securing his title, the brown-belt champion sat in the stand to watch the black-belts’ light featherweight final, where Mikey Musumeci (Atos) beat João Miyao (Cícero Costa). “It was a very strategic fight,” Sodré said of that match. “The champion kept the rules in mind for the whole fight, and that made all the difference in the fight. It’s not new to me to see myself doing a final at black belt, especially at light featherweight. I felt in that moment that I could be there soon, and doing a very good fight with both athletes.”
[Based on a press release.]