This blog was written by Peter, Connection Rio house manager. He’ll be blogging weekly on life and training BJJ in Rio de Janeiro.
A strong heavyweight line-up, lots of speculation about how Keenan Cornelius would fare, the Lloyd Irvin rape affair and a number of interesting matchups made sure that for all of last week Copa Podio had been creating a lot of buzz in the BJJ community.
Thanks to Dennis Asche’s far reaching connections, everyone in both houses had the opportunity to go to Copa Podio. The event was held in Hebraica, close to the legendary Fluminense football club, known for their spectacular architecture on the inside.
16 of us hopped in taxis and arrived there in just under half an hour. Outside a venerable who’s who of BJJ had gathered with Gordo, Terere, Caio Terra and Gigi Paiva just a few of the names around. The room had a single central elevated mat with bleachers on both sides. Both sides filled up quickly. Xande and heavy favourite Rodolfo Viera had the bigger, more vocal support groups.
Diego Borges and Rodrigo Reis kicked off the event in style, Borges getting the armbar quickly. Next up was the couples fight involving Leandro Lo, Tanquinho, Mackenzie Dern and Luiza Monteiro, which was an interesting concept. The scores of both matches were added to come up with the winner.
Soon after, the heavyweight tournament commenced. It’s hard to pick out standout matches, but my personal favorites were Keenan’s draw with Léo Nogueira, Rodolfo Viera vs Xande (the crowd went bananas for this one) and Rodolfo Viera vs Léo Nogueira. Leandro Lo and Felipe Preguiça put a fitting exclamation point on the event, won in the dying seconds of the match by a Leandro Lo guard pass.
All of us went home on a jiu jitsu high, the action leaving us with enough talking points for days.