Comprido brushing up on ground game with Brock Lesnar, in photo from archives
Absolute world champion in the years 1999 and 2000 Rodrigo Comprido showed he’s still got it when it comes to competition Jiu-Jitsu. In Lisbon, Comprido got the submission in four matches and closed out the ultraheavyweight adult division with Igor Silva, another Brasa rep.
“I had four matches in all and got the finish in all of them. One was an armbar, one a footlock, and two were chokes. The weight group semifinal was the toughest, since the guy had a really good guard and I had a hard time passing. But experience made the difference and I was able to make the most of my opportunities,” says the fighter turned MMA coach.
“Last year I had to dedicate myself more to my work as a coach and owner of an academy in Chicago and I ended up not competing at the Pan nor the Worlds. I competed at the Chicago Open, where I won my weight group and the absolute, and competed at some smaller championships. It was my first time at the European Open and it’s always nice winning I title I hadn’t had before. And sharing the podium with Igor was gratifying. I remember him as a juvenile at Brasa Gávea Gym, and I’m proud to have helped him a bit in his conquests. Igor is a dangerous fighter and, if all goes well, he’ll do some damage at the Worlds,” said the teacher in assessment, having taken runner-up to Igor Silva’s gold.
Comprido says he will now return to competition at the Chicago Open and then the Worlds. But his focus in 2011 is on MMA and the UFC. “I have a student fighting in the UFC on the same day as the Pan, so I’ll miss that one. And I’ll be watching TUF closely, of course. I feel the fight between Brock Lesnar and Junior Cigano will be fantastic for the MMA scene, since Brock always drew a large number of spectators to the sport. Thus it will be interesting for Brazil and Brazilians, as Cigano will get a lot more visibility. And I’1ll try and show the world just how much our Jiu-Jitsu is important in MMA these days,” he says.
And he concludes: “The fight itself will be exciting. They’re two super athletes who want more than anything to get their hands on Velasquez’s belt and as quickly as possible. I can tell you that Brock will be totally well prepared and I expect nothing less than a breathtaking fight – of course, with Brock winning it.”