João Costa after shining at ADCC trial: “The goal is to become champion at the main event”

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João Costa is one of black belts from Roberto Cyborg. Photo: Milena Maldonado/Divulgação 


João Costa is as confirmed as it gets for the 2022 ADCC Worlds, scheduled to take place in September in Las Vegas. The owner of one of the best campaigns from the qualifier promoted by Mo Jassim in Balneário Camboriú two weeks ago, the black belt from Fight Sports is excited for the big one.

The owner of enviable physical vigor and a robust grappling game, João will be going in during the best phase of his career to fight for the gold medal in the biggest ADCC show ever.

“I believe I have very good wrestling for jiu-jitsu! Because it’s very hard to take me down, and I’m able to impose a pace of constant aggressiveness, which makes a difference! I feel very comfortable playing on top, and even if I can’t pass, I know it’s very hard to sweep me! I always keep up the aggressiveness to be able to open up my opponents’ game. But if needed, I’ll also play guard. [Laughs.] For the main event, I’m gonna focus even more on my physical training. I felt well, but I know that things get really competitive over there. The goal is to win the ADCC!” says João, who’s been a black belt for just over nine months.

During his golden run at the ADCC trial, João was forced to face his teammate Luccas Lira. He says that that was the toughest part of the tourney.

“Fighting my teammate was quite complicated, because ever since he first showed up at Fight Sports, we’ve always been very close! So I’ve always had great affection for him,” says João, who then goes on to analyze his win over Henrique Ceconi in the -99kg division.

“My desire to win spoke very loudly! Since 2019, when I attended the ADCC, I put it in my mind that I was going to one day take part in that event. I could be the next year or in ten years, but I was gonna be there! When I went into the final I knew it was my shot… At no point did I stop attacking or trying to get the fight going! Thank God it all worked out,” says the new grappling star.

Not having trained in Brazil since 2019, João points to the main change in this period of training in the U.S.

“In August 2019, I fought in a championship in the interior in the gi where I became champion and coincidentally my dad was also watching me, the old man’s been giving me luck! [Laughs.] Certainly today I’m a much more mature and experienced athlete. Probably, the only thing in common between those two athletes is the heart that has an immense desire to win!” he wraps up.

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