Set for February 16, 2019, in the Upper Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the 2019 edition of the world famous ‘Copa Podio’, one of the longest running pro-jiu-jitsu events in the world, and one of the sport’s most prestigious promotions.
The success of Copa Podio (CP) is greatly owed to three key factors: It’s exciting Grand Prix format, being one of the only gi friendly professional BJJ events – covering a big hole in our market, and it’s ability to make ‘out of the box’ style matchups. The forthcoming event is following this exact recipe for success with a very interesting lineup.
From this stacked card of outstanding competitors, however, one athlete is likely to steal the headlines. That is 15-year-old Maciel “Mica” Galvão, the Manaus born recently promoted blue belt.
A product of the Alliance team, Mica is one of the top juvenile athletes in the world today, who recently submitted black belt competitor Leandro Rounaud in a super-fight that took place at a CP-sponsored event named The Orange League. The concept for that January match was explained by Copa Podio’s figurehead, Jeferson Mayca on January this year in an interview to BJJ Heroes (here), and its premise fell on Mayca’s mission to challenge a few BJJ tabu subjects. The gist of that Mica x Leandro bout was an agreement in which, had Rounaud won the match, he would be added to the lightweight GP happening on February 16. Instead, Galvão took the win with a dominant performance which generated a heated discussion: “Would, placing a 15YO blue belt in Copa Podio’s Grand Prix be the right move?” questioned many on social media and on the backstages of CP.
The element of safety for the boy had some inside the Alliance governing body uneasy with the thought, and rightfully so. This is a young teenager facing some of the scariest men in combat sports. The ball was ultimately on Mica and his father’s court – the patriarch, Melqui Galvão, a black belt in luta livre esportiva and BJJ decided to accept the challenge, as did Mica who is headed towards the biggest challenge of his life.
The Grand Prix card for the Copa Podio lightweight edition looks outstanding with plenty of rising black belt competitors such as 2019 European champion Levi Jones-Leary, UFC standout Charles Oliveira, three former Brazilian black belt national champions – Luan Carvalho + Yan Lucas + Jhonny Loureiro, to name a few. For more details on GP’s names, check below.
Also on the show will be a mini preliminary tournament. This championship’s winner will fill out a vacancy at the Middleweight GP, which will take place in June-July this year. This preliminary set up will feature exciting names such as Rio de Janeiro’s Ruan Oliveira (Soul Fighters), Salomão Ribeiro (Alliance Rio) and Rômulo Azevedo ‘Caju’. 3 big players on the international circuit.
Micael Galvão (Melqui Galvão BJJ) vs Zach Kaina (Art of Jiu Jitsu)