Two weeks prior to the cancellation of the IBJJF’s Pan and Worlds, Ricardo Evangelista was preparing to compete in the biggest events of the calendar. At the Houston Winter Open, the GFTeam black-belt had won five matches between the ultra-heavy and absolute divisions, achieving four submissions between and armbar and some foot locks.
Ricardo, 34, later had a chat with Fight Talk. “My adaptation in the U.S. was important for this championship,” he said, “because I’m already used to my new training, physical preparation and supplementation. I’ve lived my life in Brazil and Abu Dhabi and now, six months later, I’m starting to feel at home.”
He added: “In this tournament, as per usual, I let my game flow with no fear of losing. I closed out the weight division with a friend from my team and in the absolute I beat two strong names — Roberto Jimenez and Eric Newton. It was nice to win ‘at home,’ as I teach in Lake Houston.
On how he defeated Ecuador’s Jimenez, Ricardo said: “I train to be prepared and face the most varied types of opponents we can find in a fight. Given that foot locks are generally seldom used, I always get to surprise some opponents. Against Roberto, I was able to visualize the space for the submission why he was trying to leg-drag. That was the moment his foot became free and I applied the foot lock.
Ricardo is currently working at a much slower pace due to Covid-19. “We had the cancellation of several tournaments, like the Pan and the Worlds, and this affects our community a great deal, because we’re all used to an intense routine of training and contact with nature,” he said. “With this hiatus, athletes have grown frustrated due to all the investment they put in. But I understand that everything that’s being done is necessary for the health of everybody. The risk would be of much greater importance than a cash prize or ranking if things had gone on as normally. I’m sending out some good energy to the whole world and rooting for this crisis to go away as soon as possible. Let’s keep eating well to keep our body immune. Take care of yourself — that’s what matters most right now.”