Piano Malachias celebrates Team Kazai’s qualifying victory at Aiga

The team has qualified for the organization’s main event, which will take place in February in Kazakhstan

Team Kasai won the Aiga Global qualifiers in Brazil.
Team Kasai won the Aiga Global qualifiers in Brazil. Art:

The winners of the Aiga qualifiers in Brazil were the members of Team Kasai, a group led by Matheus Lutes and Ulpiano Malachias, who is responsible for coaching. In the final of the qualifiers, against the Vouk Elite Team, the group composed of athletes such as Pedro Marinho, Fabrício Andrey, Roberto Jimenez and Andrew Tackett were superior and secured a spot in the main event with a 7-0 score.

With dominance and impeccable interaction between the members of Team Kazai, the collective performance resulted in an impressive number of 21 victories with 20 submissions. Piano Malachias, in an interview with VF Comunica, said that the group’s synergy was fundamental to the good result. All of them will participate in the final round, in Kazakhstan.

“It was a fantastic experience, because we put together a team with people from different teams, including guys who fight among themselves. We were all very united, with a very positive vibe. This was reflected on the mat. We had 21 wins with 20 submissions. It was a very good team harmony, I’ve been in Jiu-Jitsu for years and I’ve never seen the synergy we had there, together.”.

Ulpiano Malachias is also confirmed to fight in the main event, which will pay out one million dollars to the winning team in early 2025. According to him, the coaching role he took on in the Brazilian qualifiers, in addition to helping the athletes, prevents them from worrying too much about instructing their teammates during each fight, reserving their energy for their own performances.

Pedro Marinho, Piano athlete from Gracie Barra, contributed to the Kazai’s submissions at Aiga

His student Pedro Marinho, described by his professor as a “natural finisher”, impressed the audience with his aggressive style during the competition. For Piano, what makes the biggest difference in Pedro’s game today is his calmness and maturity, qualities that have taught him how to conduct a fight more wisely.

“Pedro has always had a very high level of Jiu-Jitsu, he has a unique style, very aggressive. The biggest evolution he has had was in his mind. He has matured and understood that he doesn’t need to get on the mat to break the guy in 20 seconds, he always wants to finish. He has to fight more intelligently and now he is doing that. He submits, but when he can’t, that’s it. He is a natural finisher who will still improve a lot. I’m sure he will be ADCC champion.”.

Pedro Marinho and his winning performance at the Aiga qualifiers in Brazil.
Pedro Marinho and his winning performance at the Aiga qualifiers in Brazil. Image: @francois.foto

Speaking of ADCC, Ulpiano Malachias gave his opinion on the Craig Jones Invitational, a grappling event that is gaining notoriety for competing with the biggest grappling tournament in the world, for being scheduled in Las Vegas and on the same weekend in August, and for the not-so-modest prize for the champions: it’s another million dollars on offer, just like the main event of Aiga. Pedro Marinho is still at the ADCC, as reported by Piano, because, according to him, what matters is the prestige of a traditional competition.

“The development of the sport revolves a lot around wanting to fight for money. Pedro and I are going to stay in the ADCC because I believe in the legacy. This Craig Jones championship only brings money. We live here in the United States and, to be honest, I don’t think a million is going to change anyone’s life. Thinking about it, you can buy a house, set up a gym, it’s good, but I don’t think it changes a life. The ADCC has been around for several years, it has a legacy. For example: Olympic athletes don’t earn a large amount of money. I think this can impact the industry in both positive and negative ways. This type of prize won’t happen all the time. I think he’s doing it to provoke. I respect whoever is going to fight, but Pedro and I are concerned about the legacy.”, Piano confirmed.

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Written by Emmanuela Oliveira

Emmanuela Oliveira é faixa-marrom de Jiu-Jitsu e formada em Comunicação Social. Dentro do tatame, aprendeu que é possível conjugar Jiu-Jitsu, escrita e o gosto pelas artes visuais em um só pacote.

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