In Porto Alegre, Brazil, Leandro “Lo” Nascimento proved why he is one of the biggest revelations in 2011, and finished off his year in style, winning the inaugural Copa Pódio event. On his path to the title, “Lo” fought in six bouts and won five of them. The only match Lo did not win in the tournament was his first round match-up against Lloyd Irvin prodigy Jonathan “JT” Torres, which ended in a draw. Besides that, Leandro’s most notable wins came against veteran Denilson Pimentia, whom he routed by a 12-0 score, and against Atos’ Eduardo Ramos by a 7-0 score.

On the other side of the bracket, opposite Leandro’s, the crowd was welcome to a big surprise as Vinicius “Draculino” black belt Cláudio Caloquinha made an improbable run to the finals. In the four preliminary rounds Caloquinha fought in, he won each one of them, beating black belts Eduardo Pessoa (via kneebar), Vinicius Marinho (2-0 score), Bob Esponja (2-0 score) and Leonardo Saggioro (pulled out due to injury). In the semifinals, Claudio continued his improbable run by beating Ed Ramos by three advantage points to set up a final match against the eventual champion, “Lo.”

In the final, Claudio could not continue his run of invinicibility as “Lo” proved to be too much and that he was the best man on that day, as he quickly back-mounted and choked the Gracie Barra student nearly unconscious. With the win, Leandro claimed 5,000 Brazilian reais ($2,700 American dollars) that he can possibly save for next year’s big championships in the U.S. (like the Pans and Worlds).

Guto Campos (white gi) vs. Augusto Mendes (Ivan Trindade/Graciemag International)

In the superfight matchup, the battle between two of next year’s middleweight contenders, Augusto “Tio Chico” Mendes and Guto Campos, turned into a one-sided war as Guto dictated the pace and dominated throughout. Right from the beginning it was clear who the better fighter was, as Guto came out strong, sweeping and taking the back of the veteran black belt. In the end, Guto would take the contest by a 10-0 score and let himself be known, that he will be one of the favorites to take the middleweight GP that is scheduled to take place mid-way through 2012.

With the GP champion Leandro “Lo” and superfight champion Guto Campos having been defined, that just about wraps up the competition scene for the year 2011. But with a conclusion to 2011 near, now we have the chance to get ready for more excitement in the world of Jiu-Jitsu in 2012! So stay tuned next week as we take we take a look back at the best moments and matches of 2011 and look at what competitions we have in store for 2012. Osss!

Top Photo: Leandro “Lo” Nascimento (Ivan Trindade/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.