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Gabriel Almeida wins belt and arrives motivated for the ADCC Trials: “Repeat the achievement of 2019”

Athlete delivered a good performance at Copa Elite 3, a North American professional grappling event

Returning to the competitive scene after surgery, Gabriel Almeida wins a cash prize and a belt in the Copa Elite, a professional grappling tournament. Image: @copajiujitsutournaments

Considered a finisher, Gabriel Almeida, representative of Checkmat, was included in the BJJ Heroes website ranking as one of the top finishers of the 2022 season. Gabriel appears in fifth position, being defined as one of the most interesting athletes on his team. In the ranking, he appears ahead of stars such as Mica Galvão, Fabricio Andrey and Kade Ruotolo. Coming from knee surgery, which forced him to stay away from competitions for full recovery, Gabriel Almeida is back with a title won at the beginning of the season. On February 10, Gabriel won the belt from Copa Elite 3, a professional grappling tournament based in Virginia, in the United States.

“It was a good experience. I’m coming back from surgery, I’ve been out of action for a long time. I have been doing intense recovery and strengthening work, so I have been competing trying to feel good enough to return to the competitive scene. Not so focused simply on the final result of the fights, but on my performance, how I feel in each part of my game.”, he says in an interview with VF Comunica.

Even after the hiatus due to surgery, Gabriel’s performance in this tournament shows that his finishing rhythm has not slowed down. To win the belt and a check worth two thousand dollars, he overcame two opponents with performances that resulted in two submissions.

“There were two fights, equally good, but different strategies. I tried to play the game to see how I would feel in different situations. My first opponent liked to do two in one and I saw the guillotine choke opportunity. From there, I connected with a good takedown and finished on the arm. The second opponent was already stronger and was waiting for me to get under his feet so he could grab me with the guillotine choke. I tried to apply weight to his head to tire him out. From that point on, he ended up pulling me to his guard, that’s when I mounted and submitted him.”, he reveals, dissecting the winning strategy.

Gabriel Almeida does not plan to fight in the gi for now

Aware of the growth of grappling around the world, Gabriel Almeida stated that he is fully committed to establishing himself and evolving in the No Gi. For now, gi fights are not on his radar. However, training in the gi is a fundamental part of his career as an athlete. An opportunity that makes sense cannot be refused.

“At the moment I have no plans to fight in the gi. My next commitments are all in grappling. But I trained my whole life in the gi, it’s where I come from, so the technique is there. When the right opportunity arises, I wear the gi again. There is certainly much more financial incentive at No Gi today, which helps. But I think the gi will always have its place if we think that Jiu-Jitsu became popular in this way, even though MMA is its biggest propagator.”, he analyzes.

Champion of the ADCC Trials in São Paulo in 2019, Gabriel, who now lives in America, is ready to arrive in Brazil to compete in the ADCC Trials in March. “I’m going to Brazil to fight the ADCC Trials next month. The entire focus of my recovery was to fight in the next ADCC, so I will try to repeat the achievement of 2019 and, if God allows, win this Trials again.”, he projects, promising to dedicate himself entirely to his post-injury goals.

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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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