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Piano Malachias highlights the improvement of athletes and analyzes Pedro Marinho at ADCC: “It’s hard for someone to stop him”

Gracie Barra’s leader in the United States comments on the team’s rise and Pedro Marinho’s current phase

Ulpiano
The black-belt uses Pedro Marinho’s success to motivate other talented students. Everyone has the chance to grow. Image: @pianojiujitsu

Through serious work and commitment, Ulpiano Malachias, one of Gracie Barra’s main leaders in the United States, boosts the careers of his athletes and inspires by example. Pedro Marinho, a champion created at Malachias’ team, is living proof that the professor’s methodology, combined with the student’s hard work, has an efficient entry into the main Jiu-Jitsu and grappling tournaments held around the world.

Current champion of the ADCC Trials held in Brazil, in São Paulo, Pedro Marinho started the 2024 season with relevant commitments. In the first of them, at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 6, Pedro suffered a setback. The GB fighter even managed to set a good pace at the beginning of the fight against Mason Fowler; however, a recovery by the opponent culminated in a precise katagatame attack. At ADCC, on the other hand, the black-belt delivered an unstoppable performance, getting the better of Gabriel Almeida in a final that took the audience’s breath away. When comparing the two recent performances, professor Ulpiano Malachias says that the determining factor was the weight division.

“Pedro, fighting in the 88 kg division, I think it’s difficult for anyone to be able to stop him. Many people judge, saying that Pedro gets tired quickly, but just look at his fights, he is always fighting underweight. Mason Fowler, for example, fights at 225 pounds. So, fighting in an explosive way, like Pedro does, looking for the submission all the time, when you’re on the bottom, the fatigue will really set in. I knew he would win in Brazil, because in this 88 kg division, hardly anyone beats him. The person who will face him at ADCC will be Tye Ruotolo. But Giancarlo Bodoni, these other guys, it’s difficult for anyone in that division to beat Pedro if he fights intelligently.”, he states, accurately analyzing the particularities of his athlete.

Talents formed by Piano are inclined towards professionalism

With an increasingly stronger team, Ulpiano mentions names like Henrique Camargo, Matheus ‘Mascote’, Dylan Melton and Josh ‘Cakes’ as some of the talents. According to him, it is important that all athletes under his guidance are aware that the potential of each of them can be strong.

“In almost all the ADCC Opens we had here, in the United States, in the professional open class division, my students were on the podium. They are not heavy, but they are always winning. If they want to level up, they need to become a professional, that guy who is ready to fight at any time, against anyone, with no choice in opponent. I work together with Viktor Doria. So, for the most talented guys, I suggest to them let Viktor help with career management while I help with the other part, with planning.”, he says.

According to Ulpiano, to stand out in No Gi, a strong foundation in the Gi is essential

Piano also shares an opinion that has become common among the community, that the best No Gi athletes have a solid foundation in Gi Jiu-Jitsu as their strength. According to the coach, this mentality is part of the students’ technical development strategy. One of the goals, in competitive planning, is to put them on a collision course with the representatives of John Danaher’s New Wave.

“We try to get athletes to fight as hard as they can in worthwhile events. We focus a lot on the IBJJF, the ADCC Opens and superfights that make sense, which will give visibility to the athlete and provide growth. The guys who are doing better are those who were in the Gi and focused on the No Gi, so they become unbeatable. Of course, there are exceptions, like a guy who comes purely from No Gi, like Gordon Ryan, who managed to stay at the top for a long time. Nicholas Meregali himself, Giancarlo Bodoni, among others, they trained a lot in the Gi, Luke Griffith too. My focus is to get my athletes to fight with the New Wave guys”, he concludes, with his sights set on the valuable target.

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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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