Written by Gench Gordo of skatesurfjiujitsu.com who reported from Rio:
This passed Saturday in Rio was no different then the others – action packed & fun – However this Saturday was the day of Copa Podio’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. The event was held in Batofogo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Slowly but surely solidifying it’s place along side ADCC, and Abu Dhabi Combat Pro as the premier grappling and Jiu Jitstu even in the world, Copa Podio did it again. Surpassing the latest Middle Weight event held earlier in the year in terms of number of spectators and the level of excitement as well.
The Heavy Weight Grand Prix filled to the top of with World Champions and new upcoming starts of the Jiu Jitsu World. On the Grand Prix front Erberth Santos, Tim Felipe“Preguiça” Pena and Delson “Pé de Chumbo” Heleno were among the few that showed their skills that brought them to the event. On the Super Fights side there was Edwin Najmi from the USA, Gregor Gracie and the fight everybody was looking for Alliance Super Star, World Champion and MMA fighter Sergio Moraes went head to head with another World Champion and a legend in his own right Leandro Lo.
If you were super lucky you were in the crowd feeling the excitement overcoming you as you yell, cheer for this amazing display of skill, technique and determination.
The level of Jiu Jitsu was taken to new highs in Copa Podio. There were obvious winners and not so obvious. The Champion (again) Felipe Pena managed to get a submission with less then 30 seconds left on the clock to solidify his place as one of most exciting and talented black belts in the world in any weight class now. (He won the tittle in the Middle Weight Grand Prix against a super tough Luis Panza in a nail biting fashion.)
Delson “Pé de Chumbo” Heleno showed everybody what a champion is made of. Despite fighting against some tough competition, the world champion managed to get wins and won the hearts of the crowd cheering relentlessly for him with his Jiu Jitsu as well as his cartwheels!
Erberth Santos the student of Luiz “Guigo” Guilherme was a brown belt in the earlier episode of the Copa Podio. Now a little older and with a new color belt he displayed all is skills and his heart that earn him a rightful place on the podium. There is no doubt that Erberth – who recently got engaged – will be on the podium for many years to come.
The rising star from the United States – Edwin Najmi – made quick work of opposition in his 1st ever appearance on Copa Podio. Famous for his flying triangles – of all things – Edwin showed his maturity that compliments his Jiu Jitsu to earn a submission victory against the Spain’s Alex Cabanes
In the last Super Fight of the Copa Podio, the best of the best of the best Sergio Moraes fought with Leandro Lo. They put a show with their Jiu Jitsu as well as their comments and “Special Dance” that pleased the fans in the arena as well all around the world. No wonder these two charismatic fighters are loved and respected all around the world. In the end it was Leandro Lo who was the winner on the mat. However the consensus is still debating about their dance battle results. We have to see more.
The champion of the night was no doubt the talented and not so lazy Felipe Pena but the star of the night was an unknown to many up until the event. Victor Honório of the GFT stole the show in Copa Podio Heavy Weight Grand Prix. He was invited to the show as a brown belt from the champions factory GFT here in Rio de Janeiro. Coached by his master Julio Cesar , team mates and Rodolfo Vieira Victor seemed unstoppable with his energy and determination. In the end almost the whole arena was cheering for him to win the Copa Podio Heavy Weight Grand Prix but the brown belt who won everybody’s love , admiration and respect came short just seconds before the fight was over. Regardless of the results in the books Victor Honório was the name that nobody will be forgetting any time soon after this magical night in Rio de Janeiro.
Here are the best matches from last night’s Copa Podio Heavyweight GP: