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Claudio Calasans analyzes the grappling scene and talks about Meregali: “I don’t see anyone who could beat him today”

4th degree black-belt, idol of the sport, celebrates vast opportunities in grappling

Claudio Calasans
Claudio Calasans went through a grappling phase without so many opportunities. Image: @claudiocalasansjr

With a firm place among the most legendary figures in sport, Claudio Calasans can today analyze from the top, in a privileged position, the behavior of emerging athletes. Five-time champion of the Jiu-Jitsu World Pro, in Abu Dhabi, absolute champion of the ADCC and first place in the Worlds and PanAms, both of the IBJJF, Calasans is the voice of experience when it comes to the beginnings of grappling.

Ten years ago, when the black belt spent energy in grappling training. The field of opportunities had no comparison with today’s reality, not even on a 1% scale.

“I never needed to specialize in one or the other, the grappling and gi training that I did throughout my career was always very natural. What changes in the grappling scenario is that today the modality is experiencing a huge increase. With more and more events and more people training.”, analyzes the experienced fighter who lived through a phase where only the ADCC was taken into consideration; obviously due to the prestige of the event, but also due to the lack of competing organizations.

Calasans technique is unique, like a brand of his own

A black-belt in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, Calasans developed a technique exclusively his own throughout his training, a brand that defines a style and provides a sense of recognition. “With the background I had in Judo, I was able to develop a standing game, adapted for me. A style that most people recognized, but couldn’t distinguish whether I would use more Wrestling or adapted Judo techniques.”, she explains, highlighting the importance of the surprise factor.

Wrestling training, in fact, made a big difference in Calasans’ technical development. Between 2007 and 2008 he trained in the United States, at the Olympic Center and also spent a two-month season in Bulgaria.

Among the most recent events that have heated up the world of grappling are the Fight Pass Invitational 5 and the AIGA Champions League, competitions at a very high level, with very good financial rewards. Nowadays, renowned grappling athletes, listed in the main events, receive fair remuneration and can finally say that they can make a living from the sport. “I wish, at the height of my career, I could have counted on events like this. There were events, but they weren’t on the same scale as they are today, with big prizes, with real professionalism, capable of changing an athlete’s life.”, he admits in an interview with the VF Comunica team.

“I wouldn’t even bet on Gordon (Ryan)”, says Calasans about a possible defeat for Nicholas Meregali

As an athlete shaped by years on the road, Claudio Calasans’ opinion always matters. Assessing the competitive scope of Jiu-Jitsu, with and without gi, the first name that appears in the lead is Nicholas Meregali. For Calasans, there is no competitor capable of unseating Nicholas Meregali, not in the short term.

“Honestly, today, at the level he is at with and without the gi, I don’t see anyone who could beat him. I see people who could put on good fights. There’s Nick Rod, who I believe is improving and can put up a good fight against him. Victor Hugo himself, but winning, saying for real that such a guy can beat him? I wouldn’t even bet on Gordon (Ryan), honestly. I say this today, at the level he is at, I’m not talking about Gordon who fought in the last ADCC and the previous ones. Currently, it could even be that Nicholas is beating Gordon in training.”, he says.

Claudio Calasans
Jiu-Jitsu training and grappling have always been part of the routine, without distinction. Image: @claudiocalasansjr

Considered one of the best middleweight athletes of his generation, Claudio Calasans has a habit of observing the game of the main fighters, but those who are in his same weight division. Tainan Dalpra, Jansen Gomes, Mica Galvão and the Ruotolo brothers were names that appeared in his selection.

An admirer of old-school Jiu-Jitsu, of traditional techniques that work, Claudio Calasans says he is open to superfight proposals. With or without the gi, it doesn’t matter the modality as long as the invitation is attractive. “What I like is fighting. So, if anyone wants to invite me, I am available to study proposals. The objective of superfights is different, you don’t need to worry about the next fight, you can worry more about the spectacle, about the entertainment of letting the game flow. So, I want to take advantage of these opportunities because there are many superfight events.”, he concludes optimistically.

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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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