FEBRUARY 19, 2017 and Copa Podio’s lightweight Grand Prix has just taken place. As per usual the famous jiu jitsu promotion delivered high level grappling like few other shows can, in two very even groups that were fought tooth and nail until the very last round.
One of the big names to come out of this event was Espen Mathiesen. The Norwegian athlete repeated the deed of Victor Honório by reaching the final of the tournament as a brown belt, and placing #1 in his group (green). Making better use of his tricky open guard. The student of José Carlos of Kimura/Nova Uniao showed the crowd he will be a real threat in the lightweight division’s world circuit when he gets his black belt in the near future.
Earlier in the week promoter Jeferson Maycá had a tough last minute problem to solve. One of the favourites to win the show, the American Michael Liera Jr. suffered an injury during training and was forced to pull out. With very little time to find an appropriate replacement, the Brazilian looked into Sao Paulo’s homegrown talent (where the event took place) choosing local athlete Caio Almeida for the vacant spot. The head coach of Almeida Jiu Jitsu, an academy that has grown tremendously over the past 12 months, didn’t have time to prepare and that lack of preparation proved to be a tough handicap to overcome – even though Caio showed his toughness in the group stages.
Among the athletes in the GP, none stood out more than the champion Isaque Bahiense, who fought bravely through a very tough group he made look easy on his rise to the top. The Alliance Jiu Jitsu prodigy put on dominant performance after dominant performance, facing everyone with an urgency to finish quick. An attitude unmatched by his peers throughout the tournament. Epic performance by the young black belt.
On a side note, it should be noted that the referees made a few mistakes (particularly damaging to Pedro Ramalho who saw two match wins slip away thanks to these inaccuracies). They also failed to penalise stalling athletes as much as they had in previous Copa Podio shows, this was a shame as we witnessed a few slow matches, and scoreboards with very low numbers. Be that as it may, good event overall. For the full results check below:
COPA PODIO LIGHTWEIGHT GP
VENUE: Ginásio do Clube Sírio
ADDRESS: 1 Ceci Street, Planalto Paulista – São Paulo
10 of the top BJJ athletes met at Podio’s 77 kilogram Grand Prix. They were:
Diego Borges (Zenith – Manaus, BRA)
Hugo Marques (Soul Fighters – Rio de Janeiro, BRA)
Espen Mathiesen (Kimura/Nova Uniao – Egersund, NOR)
Renato Canuto (Zenith – São Vicente, BRA)
Pedro Paquito (Focus – Porto, POR)
Diego Borges def. Hugo Marques: 0x0 pts, 2×0 adv
Espen Mathiesen def. Renato Canuto: 2×2 pts, 1×0 adv
Espen Mathiesen def. Hugo Marques: 0x0 pts, 3×2 adv
Diego Borges drew Pedro “Paquito” Ramalho: 0x0 pts, 1×1 adv
Espen Mathiesen def. Diego Borges: 2×0 pts
Pedro “Paquito” drew Renato Canuto: 2×2 pts
Diego Borges def. Renato Canuto: 4×2 pts
Pedro “Paquito” def. Hugo Marques: 2×2 pts, 1×0 adv
Pedro “Paquito” drew Espen Mathiesen: 0x0 pts, 3×3 adv
Hugo Marques def. Renato Canuto: 0x0 pts, 2×1 adv
COPA PODIO NO-GI CHALLENGE
Dany Gerard (TAH) def. Joaquim “Mamute” (BRA): DQ (knee-reap)
COPA PODIO BROWN BELT CHALLENGE
Fellipe Trovo (BRA) def. Phillippe Pomaski (SUI): over time, sudden death pts
COPA PODIO FEMALE CHALLENGE
Match 1 (gi): Raquel Pa’aluhi (USA) def. Renata Marinho (BRA): pts
Match 2 (nogi): Renata Marinho (BRA) defeated Raquel Pa’aluhi (USA): kneebar
Renata Marinho became the challenge winner.
COPA PODIO COUNTRY CHALLENGE
William Dias def. Nic Ruben (NOR) by 2×0
Eirik Gulbrandsen (NOR) def. Max de Been (AUS) by armbar
Eirin Cathrine (NOR) def Hope Douglass (AUS) by armbar