This last weekend we witnessed another edition of the Copa Podio Grand Prix – arguably one of the most exciting jiu-jitsu spectating events on the planet. What makes it so exciting is the intensity at which it makes the athletes compete. It is set up in a group layout where athletes have to face everyone in their group in a round-robin format.
In the opening round things were pretty even, but Leandro Lo was able to have the most dominant performance of the evening with a 2-0 win over Isaque Bahiense. Erberth Santos, the other star to watch in this tournament, had a much harder win over Cassio Francis with a three advantage score. The other performances in this round were good and competitive – there were no easy wins.
The second round was significantly better since two of the four matches ended in submission and the other two matches were clean point victories for Diego Borges and Alexander Trans. Leandro Lo won his match by submission (toehold) and Felipe Trovo won his match by triangle over Isaque Bahiense.
As the tournament progressed into the third round, Nelton Pontes and Alexander Trans were able to win their matches without giving up a point. Both earned 2-0 wins over Diego Borges and Rodrigo Cavaca, respectively. Isaque Bahiense defeated Cassio Frances 5-2 and Erberth Santos defeated Felipe Trovo with a toehold in an awesome match where Trovo used an escape from Santos’ sidemount that immediately transitioned into a crucifix.
As the rounds progressed, the stamina of the athletes began to understandably wane, which means that only the best-conditioned of them stood a chance. This became evident as fewer points were scored in the fourth round and only Alexander Trans and Leandro Lo were able to dominate their matches, with a 9-0 win for Trans and an 8-0 win for Lo. The other matches were decided via advantages.
In the fifth round things started to get dangerous as two of the matches ended in unfortunate injury. Both Cassio Francis and Erberth Santos were unable to continue, giving Felipe Trovo and Leandro Lo the easy pass to the semi-finals. This is also very unfortunate to the fans since Leandro Lo versus Santos was supposed to be the most anticipated match of the event. There was no doubt they will fight again, most likely in a superfight at another Copa Podio.It came down to Leandro Lo versus Alexander Trans, the two favorites of the tournament. The match was competitive and especially entertaining because Trans is considerably larger than Lo. But Lo did not cease to impress and took a 2-0 victory over Trans. Leandro Lo is, without a doubt, one of the best pound-for-pound jiu-jitsu athletes today because he is able to defeat top ultra heavyweight opponents when he is naturally a middleweight competitor.