A few months ago, the Copa Pódio’s event director, Jeferson Maycá, announced that he and his team will be hosting a Grand Prix Jiu-Jitsu competition in Porto Alegre, Brazil, featuring ten different lightweights (167.5 lbs.) from ten different teams on Dec. 17. Well, now the wait is almost over as it is only a mere few days away from taking place. The excitement has been building up for weeks now as many of the die-hard jiu-jitsu fans are intrigued to see how this new tournament system will look, and who will come out the champion.

Competing for the top spot are black belts Leandro Lo (Cicero Costa), Eduardo Ramos (Atos), Jonathan “JT” Torres (Lloyd Irvin), Denilson Pimenta (GFTeam), Leonardo Cascão (Brazilian Top Team), Eduardo Pessoa (Nova União), Helder “Bob” Esponja (CheckMat), Caloquinha (Gracie Barra), Moacir Mendes Jr. (Alliance) and Vinicius Marinho (Soul Fighters). Also, the event provides a middleweight superfight, and a preview for next year’s middleweight grand prix, as two guarenteed spots for next year, Augusto “Tio Chico” (Renzo Gracie) and Guto Campos (Atos), will square off.

This tournament will be vastly different from what we are used to seeing in other major events such as IBJJF-run tournaments and the ADCC because even if you lose a match, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are eliminated…yet. The idea of the tournament is that there will be five grand prix rounds where everyone on the “green bracket” will square off with one another and everyone on the “yellow bracket” will fight. With each bracket having five competitors in each, each round there will be one person with a bye. Also, the grand prix rounds will be 20 minutes in length for each bout.

Once the five rounds have been completed, the semifinals will take place. To get to the semi’s, the two best records from each bracket will advance, with the first place record of the green bracket facing the second place record of the yellow bracket. Then, in the other semifinal, the first place record of the yellow bracket will fighter the second place qualifier of the green bracket to see who will reach the finals. Then once the semifinal winners have been determined, the final will be set for a ten-minute bout where for the first five minutes of the contest, no points will be allowed.

Just this past weekend, the brackets were revealed and the only American of the event, JT Torres, will have his first match against Brazilian National and World Pro champion Leandro “Lo” Nascimento. Remember, JT and Lo have fought before at this past year’s Nationals, where Leandro would advance past the American by two advantage points.

Who do you, the reader, believe will win that intriguing match-up? Also, who do you think will win the entire event? Comment on it and stay tuned for next week’s recap of the event along with a look ahead of what else is to come for the rest of 2011 and the start of 2012.

Photo: JT Torres (top) is the only American set to compete at The Copa Pódio Grand Prix (Kinya Hashimoto/Graciemag International)

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.