Not many professional athletes get to do a winning streak in the sport of BJJ. The brutal competition and the fact that in most major tournaments you get to face 4 or 5 guys that are at the top of the food chain makes it almost impossible to get many consecutive W`s. There are some exceptional fighters like Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Gordon Ryan, Rodolfo Vieira who run through everybody Gi or No-Gi. Those guys have proven that a winning streak is possible in BJJ and grappling, but none of them are 40 years old and have 13 fights without a loss in a year that is marked by an ongoing pandemic which led to the closing of many BJJ gyms and prohibition to train our favorite sport. Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is this crazy guy who has done it by non-stop competing this year and it seems like he might finish 2020 with an unbeaten record.
The multiple time ADCC and IBJJF World Championships gold medalist is the epitome of the old saying “age is just a number”. In three months he turns 40, but he still regularly beats up the young guns with his extreme tactical awareness and insane physical preparation.
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“I`m here competing with these kids half my age. For them to grow, they gonna have to go through me. I`m still here, I feel great……I just want that to be an inspiration to everybody out there who is struggling. I`m not any different, my school in Miami is suffering, but I came here to prove that I can do it despite everything”, Cyborg says after winning Third Coast Grappling Kumite IV and going through Arnaldo Maidana, Roberto Jimenez and Felipe Andrew in one night.
Cyborg`s run started early this year before COVID-19 hit USA. He won the KASAI Pro 7 Heavyweight tournament in which the only guy that didn`t take an L from Roberto was his rival Nick Rodriguez. The young phenom and Cyborg went toe to toe and exchanged some very nice attacks, but this rematch ended in a draw. Despite that result, Cyborg was crowned as a champion after beating the former IBJJF world champ Lucas Barbosa and fellow veteran of the sport Bruno Bastos.
Cyborg went on to defeat Rafael Lovato Jr. in a very close super-fight that went to overtime at SubStars. The Brazilian once again proved that he is a master of strategy, game planning and that his wrestling is top-notch. He managed to steal the victory with a takedown in the end of the fight and celebrated passionately as always after he got his hand raised.
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🦍👑 Honored and grateful. 🙏🏽 Thanks @lovatojrbjj for the amazing battle. I knew it wouldn’t be different. All the respect in world to you my brother. Thanks my Team Fight Sports, all students and family who came to support. Much love, Happy to fight for you. Huge congrats and a big Thank you to @sub.stars for putting together such amazing event. We did it again 🤜🏻🔥🤛🏻 @fighterschoice @kingzkimonos @skyorganics.us @bjjworldchamp for believing my work. On to the next one 👊🏻👊🏻🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 🦍👑 Honrado e grato. 🙏🏽 Obrigado @lovatojrbjj pela incrível batalha. Eu sabia que não seria diferente. Todo o respeito do mundo por você, meu irmão. Obrigado a Minha equipe Fight Sports, todos os alunos e familiares que vieram apoiar. Feliz por lutar por vocês. Parabéns e um grande obrigado a @ sub.stars por organizar um evento tão incrível. Ganhamos mais una 👊🏻🔥 #heyyy @fighterschoice @kingzkimonos @ skyorganics.us @bjjworldchamp por acreditarem no meu trabalho. Manda o próximo 👊🏻👊🏻🔥🔥 #fightsports @fightsportsmiami #jiujitsupantaneiro @juan.sanchez.ph 📸
On May 16th Cyborg manhandled the current ADCC -99 kg. silver medalist and hot prospect Vinicius “Tractor” Ferreira. On this day he won his second belt of the year – the Fight to Win 115 kg. title.
“It`s good to be undefeated this year, but I know that I`ve lost many times and I am going to lose again.All I want to keep the fire in my heart an keep on coming. We are doing something that we love and I am blessed that after 20 years of competing I am on top of my game”, says Cyborg who has been competing at black belt level for 15 years now and has battled with the best of the best in the Gi and without it. He has 139 wins and 39 losses as a black belt. In his years as an elite competitor he managed not only to become a force to be reckoned with on the mats, but also an outstanding team leader and head coach. His team “Fight Sports” is extremely successful and Cyborg can sure be proud with his many affiliated academies around the world. The headquarters of the team in Miami, Florida are chosen by many active BJJ and MMA champions for a place to do a prep-camp for upcoming big competitions.
Cyborg went on to win the aforementioned TCG Kumite IV and won the grand prize of 10 000 US dollars. His stellar performance put him again in the talks of pound-for-pound Number 1 in No-Gi grappling. Winning an 8-man tournament with a huge cash prize was nothing new for him as just an year ago Cyborg won the IBJJF Heavyweight No Gi Grand Prix and his bank account bubbled up with 40 000 US dollars .
As Cyborg thought he was going to enjoy his vacation with his fellow black belt girlfriend in August, he got a call to become a last-minute replacement at Who`s Number 1 event in Texas. The opponent in front of him would be Lucas “The Hulk” Barbosa, who was already down 2-0 in the score between the two heavy-muscled grapplers.
“Jiu-Jitsu keeps me motivated. Life keeps me motivated…just for me to be still competing shows that it`s out of love of the art. There`s nothing else I`d rather do. Coming up here it`s just another day in the office. I`m always ready”, says Cyborg after accepting a super-fight with The Hulk on a 2-days notice.
The third time was not the charm for Barbosa and he lost again to Cyborg. More interesting than the fight itself was the thing that the “Fight Sports” leader said afterward.
“Maybe we can roll with Craig Jones later. Before him I would like to fight the champion Matheus Diniz or Yuri Simoes. I would like to fight the champions and then maybe Craig one day”, then when asked about fighting Gordon Ryan he added “Man, finding peace with Gordon was so hard for me. I`m not here to prove a point, more important for me it`s to be at peace. I don`t want to fight him, because I wouldn`t like that vibe ever again…..If i win the absolute at next ADCC I would fight him or would love to run it back with Galvao”
Writing Gordon out makes the list of people who can give Cyborg trouble in near future much smaller. One of the people who was thought to put an end to Cyborg`s streak was Kaynan Duarte, but he got heel-hooked by Abreu on September 6-th at an invitational event in Brazil. Even if Cyborg signs up for the upcoming Pan-Americans (which he hasn`t) he won`t face the dangerous leg-locker Craig Jones or the much lighter Matheus Diniz there. The 2xADCC champ Yuri Simoes is completely focused on his MMA career, so we probably won`t see him on the BJJ mats anytime soon. This leaves us only with the hope that some organization matches up Cyborg with Craig Jones (who has also been killing it this year) or with Victor Hugo for a rubber match between them. Victor was the last man to submit Cyborg and is also on a winning streak of his own.
Cyborg ended his interview after defeating Lucas Barbosa with saying that he will make another run at ADCC gold next year. Maybe that will be the next tournament that we see him lose. Or maybe not? One thing is for sure, Roberto feels better than ever and he will fight as long as he can. His passion for competing and desire to lead by an example is truly inspirational. Cyborg may not be the perfect guy with the perfect record, but his is a “guerreiro” and will bring the heat anytime, anywhere.
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is one of the most accomplished grapplers on the planet. He is an ADCC open weight Champion.
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