Rio Open: champion comments on match against teammate

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Young Nivaldo Oliveira (CheckMat) is one of the best Jiu-Jitsu competitors in Brazil today, and even so he doesn’t have a single big sponsor. Two indicators that companies are missing a grand opportunity with him:

1) Nivaldo won the heavyweight division at the Rio Open, a division where absolute runner-up Igor Silva, who has been on a tear, only managed to get bronze.

2) Nivaldo made it to the final with his teammate Robert Fonseca, who had eliminated Igor Silva. And the two didn’t just leave it at that; rather than simply “close out”, they treated the public to a Jiu-Jitsu spectacle.

Nivaldo further elaborates:

“So I had three matches. The first I won by armbar, after sinking a triangle, and in the second I made it past Nova União’s Nilson Ricardo. We drew 3-3 on advantage points,” he begins.

“The final was against my teammate Robert, and it was even harder because I’m not really a heavyweight. I’m a medium heavyweight; I fought at heavy because I had an injured elbow that prevented me from losing weight…” said Nivaldo, who fought Robert to a tie and took the judges’ decision.

On the lack of support, he’s serene: “It’s a problem quite common with athletes, this lack of interest from business people, but I’m in the battle. I’ve been amassing great results without a sponsor, so imagine if I had such backing. But I have great support from my family, especially my mother, who always supported me. I dedicate this win to her,” he said in finishing, now getting ready for the No-Gi Worlds, the No-Gi Brazilian Nationals and the South American Championship, in Santa Catarina.

The match between friends at Rio Open / Photo: personal archive

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