By Guilherme Cruz
Report and photos by Eduardo Ferreira, directly from California
The highlight of the World Championship of Jiu-Jitsu, which ended last Sunday, in Long Beach, California, was Roger Gracie. Finalizing all his opponents with a choke from the mount, the black belt won the second title in open class and the sixth in weight. By leaving the mat, Roger couldn’t hide the feeling of happiness with completed duty.
"All the other times I got to the final were good, but of course winning is much better, but this is already the seventh final of open class and the emotion slows a bit. But of course I’m 100% happy and couldn’t be more, because of the result and the way it was, with my performance", celebrates Roger, who showed that isn’t for joke when got Rômulo Barral in the open class final and, as against all previous opponents, submitting from the mount.
"I’m 100% against this thing of the guy reach the final and have to give the medal to someone else, this is too much for me. It doesn’t enter in my head an athlete give or receive the victory, it takes away the merit of any medal", let clear the champion, who respects the opinion of athletes who decide to close categories. "I’m against, but there are people that do this and I have to respect their will".
Repeating the brilliant performance of the 2007 World Cup, when he won the weight and the open class, Roger highlights the evolution in his game. "The more the time passes, I think I’m better, more fair, but of course there are championships that you’re more prepared, and others that tire you more. This time, I trained 100%, gave the maximum that I could and knew that, if I lose, it wouldn’t be for lack of training or physical conditioning... I came to give 100% of me and happened what happened", ended, with a champion smile on the face.