SP Open: Celso Venicius student to go guard heavy

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Diogo Almeida against Davi Ramos at Copa Pódio Middleweight GP / Photo by Gustavo Aragão/GRACIEMAG.com

The São Paulo International Open is coming up August 25-26 at José Correa Gymnasium in Barueri, greater São Paulo. The fledgling IBJJF tournament looks set to draw in a number of big-name gentle-art competitors, and August 16 is the deadline for getting in on the action.

Of the Jiu-Jitsu stars and up-and-comers gearing up to go, black belt Diogo Almeida of Ryan Gracie academy has already confirmed he’ll be doing combat at the tourney. “I expect the best. I’ll be fighting at home and will have the crew from Almeida JJ project rooting for me. I want to throw some strength around,” said the Celso Venicius student.

“Training is grueling. Twice a week I train MMA and Jiu-Jitsu with Celso, Viscardi and Udi Lima. The other days I’m in Itaquera with the black belts Caio Almeida, Kitner Moura, Jorge Azevedo, Bolo, Ricardo Almeida and Gaúcho. I do lots of specific training every day plus physical conditioning with André Aliveira,” added the fighter.

Diego also recollected his campaign in the Copa Pódio Middleweight GP.

“Shoot, Celso got mad at me for dropping three points in my match with Pedro Mello. That’s why I didn’t make it to the semifinal with Dimitrius Souza. That was the big mistake. The other matches were surprises. I couldn’t expect much; they were all aces. (I got carried away when I tried stalling in half-guard and got penalized. That’s why I didn’t go through.) I want to face Ricardo Bastos some other time. He’s tough,” he recalled.

“With Davi Ramos it was awesome. What a tough match! Celso was hollering at me telling me to have faith with 10 seconds left in a match where all I did was defend the whole time. Then he turned on all fours from the pressure from the pass, and I slapped on my best finish—a collar choke from the back.”

Watch the bout below:

Diogo also addressed what else he’s been practicing for upcoming competitions. “After my match with Ricardo Bastos, Saulo Ribeiro suggested I use my legs more; that’s why I practiced a lot of spider- and de la Riva guard. I’m going to do a lot of guard at this São Paulo Open, if just to test it out for the Abu Dhabis qualifiers in Natal. If I do something wrong, they’ll still have to get past the half-guard (laughs),” he said in closing.

Do as Diogo Almeida is doing, sign up for the IBJJF tournament.

For further information and to sign up, click cbjj.com.br.

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