Interview: Fepa Lopes on what to expect from BJJ Stars this Saturday

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Fepa Lopes and his students at Pedra 90.

In addition to an electrifying GP, with eight stars in search of a prize of 100,000 reais, BJJ Stars on Saturday, October 19, will have five other fights with potential to bring down the house at Hebraica Club in São Paulo.

Event organizer Fepa Lopes spoke to the GRACIEMAG team and commented on the card tweaks, as well as revealing what you can expect from the show, which can be watched live at BJJStars.tv.

Read on for our interview.

GRACIEMAG: What can you say about the new GP members and the prizes?

FEPA LOPES: Jiu-Jitsu has some great fighters, and the athletes who bowed out due to injury have been replaced with equivalent talent. I’m sure those who took their places have lots of desire to show what they’re there for; I know we’ll have a great show. The prize is something never seen here in Brazil, and it could be a double-edged sword, because the guy may not want to risk too much not to lose. Thus we created a particularity in the rules to just add more action to the fights, because in case of a tie, the guy who tied the fight by positively scoring last (advantage or point) will be declared the winner. Therefore, a minimum advantage will not be enough to make the athlete comfortable, forcing him to fight as offensively as possible until the end.

Are you excited for a particular duel?

What I can say is that there are some rivalries that can spice up the GP even more, such as Gustavo Batista and Leandro Lo, since Gustavo is a former student of Lo and they both know each other’s game well. The only time they faced each other after going their separate ways, Lo won, but he had to resist a tight armlock. Not to mention Nicholas Meregali vs. Leandro, which is the fight everyone wants to see. But the match-ups will be set only on weigh-in day. Follow everything @graciemagoficial’s Instagram too!

Exactly… And what can we expect from the women’s fight?

It is a rematch of the last Worlds, in which Ana Schmitt came out with the victory in a very close fight. This immediate rematch is something the public likes very much. It will be Bia Basilo’s chance to hit back in front of her fans, if she can beat Ana. I admired Ana’s attitude of readily accepting the fight, even though it’s the first time after the Worlds that they will face each other.

Do you think masters fights, which you’re featuring on this card, were in need of getting more attention than they normally get?

Look, I’m suspect to talk about this, because the championship I like to go to the most is the Masters World Championship. The guys exchange standing up and then go hard at it, even with a big advantage already, as is the case of Adriano Silva — even though he was winning the Worlds final with eight seconds to go, he took a risk to finish! On our card, Adriano will face Luís Marques, who in this year’s World Master finished a fight that everyone expected to be defined by a detail! We’ll put them face to face now, before their loud cheering sections, to see who is indeed the best.

And Godoi returns to the card as promised, after sweeping Babalu in the last installment…

Yes, Roberto Godoi vs. Gustavo Ximu is a fight that was supposed to have happened in Rio at the Masters International, but it turned out that they didn’t cross paths in the bracket. It will be a very interesting fight, a born finisher like Ximu, face to face with “Jason”, who is coming off some wonderful campaigns over the past five years.

What to expect from Barbosa vs. Juquinha, both avid gold medal collectors?

The match Marco Barbosa vs. Admilson Juquinha will also be awesome, one of my favorites in this edition. Barbosa, after fighting in the first BJJ Stars, seems to have regained his will to compete. He won the Brazilian Nationals, weight and absolute, and the Master Worlds, weight and absolute as well. Juquinha is one of the greatest medalists in IBJJF history, a guy I have never seen lose. I won’t lose a second of this fight!

What about holding the weigh-ins at Ibirapuera Mall? Do you think it attracts an outside audience?

The idea of ​​doing it at the mall was very much that. Let’s take an unusual experience to the lives of people who do not follow the fights; this will generate interest by many. We’ll bring tickets so people can go. I would like to leave a message for those who love Jiu-Jitsu: be sure to attend this show, if not in person, through our pay-per-view on BJJStars.tv. I am sure it will be a great show, attended by many special guests and the greatest athletes of today.

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