The 2011 US Open this past weekend was an awesome event, even though I wasn’t able to secure the result I had hoped for.
I ended up winning my first fight 5 to 0 and losing my second fight 4 to 2 for a bronze medal. I then went on to fight the open division with a similar result of winning my first match and losing my second.
I felt strong and well conditioned but I could definitely feel that I’m still getting back into my rhythm after my injury. I still really enjoyed competing though, as always, and I feel that I’m a better fighter now than I was beforehand. I always love to step onto the mat and give an exciting show for the crowd, though I must admit that losing this time was a bit of a frustrating experience for me. I believe I’m at the top level of brown belt competition and I was looking forward to this chance to take home another gold medal before the end of 2011, but things didn’t go my way this weekend and I’m already looking forward to World NO Gi and possibly Grappler’s Quest in Las Vegas.
Theodoro Canal and Alberto Ramos, two of the Brazilians from GFTEAM who had been staying with me at my home over this past week, also competed against very tough competition and both went home with bronze medals as well. Wallace Castro, the third member of GFTEAM from Rio de Janeiro staying at my home right now, won the Master heavyweight black belt division and closed out the Master Absolute with fellow Coalition 95 fighter Carlos Melo. Wallace Castro will be staying with me here in Santa Cruz for the next two weeks teaching classes and training and will also be holding a seminar on the 30th of this month at Claudio Franca’s Santa Cruz academy.