Duda Tozoni talks about her current athlete status and remembers title at the Grand Slam Miami

Black-belt from The Match Champ Academy wants to expand performance at international level

Tozoni celebrated her gold performance at Grand Slam Miami. Image: @dudatozoni

Maria Eduarda Tozoni, better known as Duda, began to attract attention reserved for black-belt competitors even before reaching that level. It was at the UAEJJF championships, the United Arab Emirates organization responsible for the Jiu-Jitsu Grand Slam events, that Duda shined most brightly. On the mats of the high-level tournament, the competitor formed by Marcos Cunha, from the TMC team, emerged beating famous and more experienced opponents, some with black-belts tied around their waists.

The events of this federation occupy a special place in Tozoni’s heart, and she makes a point of mentioning the excellent structure as a differentiator. “The UAEJJ championships are definitely competitions that I love fighting in, I like the organization and event model, I always feel good fighting. I’m happy to have won another Grand Slam title. My goal for 2024 is to be able to travel again to compete around the world.”, she projects.

Moving to the USA made Duda a better prepared athlete

In an interview with VF Comunica, the competitor said that she is going through a phase of missing fights in Brazil and Europe, due to the fact that she has focused more on competitions in the USA in 2023.

Born in Santa Catarina, the black-belt says that she has evolved a lot in all aspects since moving to the United States. The difficulties of change, combined with her daily Jiu-Jitsu obligations, made her a more resilient athlete. “I feel like I’ve evolved a lot as an athlete and I’ve also developed my teaching side a lot more. I had new experiences that made me learn more about the world of teaching. I evolved a lot technically this year. I’m looking forward to developing my passing game further in 2024.”, says the fighter who has always shown a very sharp guard game.

Participation in the PanAms No Gi made the athlete more interested in grappling. Image: @dudatozoni

With technical and personal maturity, Duda saw potential in another job: as referee. Performing this function, she assumed an important role within the space restricted to fighting, but from a different perspective, absorbing more about the rules and evaluating techniques.

“I love refereeing, it’s a part of my career that I definitely intend to dedicate more to. I feel that refereeing gave me a lot of maturity, improved my fighting strategy and also my way of teaching.”, she says.

Grand Slam title, still at brown-belt, is among the favorites

When asked about notable fights she had throughout her career, Tozoni immediately mentioned her first Grand Slam title, back in 2020. At the time, she was a brown-belt who did not go unnoticed, causing concern and a lot of work to the more experienced ones. According to her, her most recent achievement, winning the Grand Slam in Miami, was also very significant. “It also impacted me a lot because I had a very difficult year related to competition, due to the change of country, training and routine, but being able to end the year with a title like this certainly meant a lot to me. I was able to prove to myself that despite the difficulties, God continues to bless me, you just need to dedicate yourself and trust.”, she analyzes with a feeling of accomplishment.

The athlete’s goal for 2024 is to expand her competitive reach and, following a tendency in women’s Jiu-Jitsu, seek effectiveness in each training session, with more aggressive moves in the search for submission. In October, she competed in the PanAms No Gi in America. The experience and the result, the bronze medal, left her wanting to immerse herself more deeply in the grappling scene. “This year gave me a desire, which I never had (laughs), to fight No Gi. I immediately ventured into PanAms No Gi to test myself and have a first experience, I felt very good and I enjoyed fighting without the gi, however I still need to train a lot and prepare myself for new challenges.”, she states, certain that progress in No Gi will enrich your gi performance.

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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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