Marcio André on returning to featherweight to win 4th European title

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Marcio André.

[Based on a press release.]

A star of the new generation, this month Marcio André once again triumphed in an installment of the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Back in the featherweight division after dominating the Berkut GP, the black-belt under Fabio Andrade defeated three opponents in Odivelas, Portugal to win his fourth consecutive European title.

In the final, he swept twice and controlled the guard of Gianni Grippo (Alliance), who had eliminated Isaque Paiva (Saikoo). Before clashing with Grippo, Marcio had gotten past Isaac Doederlein (Alliance), a student under Rubens Cobrinha, on points.

This week, Marcio analyzed the final against Gianni and the moment the Alliance fighter chose to take on his guard early on — something that hadn’t happened in their two previous encounters.

“In reality,” he said, “I’ve always enjoyed being on the bottom. I have a very versatile, dangerous guard, except in my division they always pull me into their guard, so I started staying on top often and ended up improving my passing game.

“I feel my opponents feel a little threatened by the way I pass guard, so now they go up. This makes it easier for me, because when I sweep, I get ahead. Afterwards, I know I have many weapons to be able to prepare my guard passes.

“Now to defend against the sweeps, I’ve always had good balance and a good base. I train a lot without making grips when I’m on top, and I let the guy try and sweep me — this helps a lot with balance. Then, when you start using the arms, you get a very good base.”

After four months, Marcio returned to the featherweight division — the one he had been fighting in since he was a blue-belt. “I felt a big difference,” he said of this. “Featherweights are more prone to getting in scrambles, and I had forgotten that. In the matter of my weight, I did very well — my nutritionist, Rita Cadiz, helped me a lot in this, and I managed to hit the weight feeling good.”

“As I said,” he added, “it’s very different, and it had been a long time since I last hit this weight. My performance was satisfactory, but I know it could have been better. I did everything I had to do to walk out a champion.”

Marcio will be back this Friday, Jan. 26, fighting Lucas Lepri (Alliance) in the superfight at Absolute Championship Berkut Jiu-Jitsu 10 (ACBJJ 10) in São Paulo, Brazil.

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