Copa Podio will continue to showcase why it is one the best events in jiu-jitsu with their next Grand Prix. The level of intensity and the level of difficulty that an athlete has to compete at is considerably higher than any other event. For one, the fact that they follow a FIFA style format (ie.- the athlete has to win their group/leg in a round robin style) already tops the difficulty of the bracket style that the IBJJF and UAEJJF use. Of course, Copa Podio is a different kind of event – it focuses a lot more on spectatorship than ranking. However, they are able to accomplish both by putting on a good show and exposing the top talent in the world. The only thing they lack is including all the world champions in their events. It’s a shame that we don’t see Buchecha, Rafa Mendes, Cobrinha and some others, competing in these events more often. If these top athletes competed regularly in Podio, then it really would be, without a doubt, the greatest event. But by having names like Leandro Lo, Erberth Santos, and many others, the competition level is extremely high. One should also try to watch these events live because the vibe is great. Even though the crowd is small (relative to more popular sporting events, like MMA), the intensity is very high and the Brazilians are second to none when it comes to cheering - they treat it like a soccer game – so be sure to get a ticket if you ever have the chance.
This weekend they are holding their fourth Grand Prix season. In the past, this tournament was dominated by the likes of Rodolfo Vieira, but the current heavyweight champion is Felipe Pena (who will actually not compete in this season) opening the way for Leandro Lo as the favorite. Lo is currently the consecutive 5-time world champion, a 4-time Pan-American champion, and a 5-time Copa Podio grand prix champion at various other weight classes.
This Copa Podio also marks another special occasion for Lo since he came off a win over rising star Eberth Santos in the last event. The fight was competitive until Lo managed to snag the back of Santos, earning himself the win. The rematch has been highly anticipated and the pressure will be on Lo to defend himself against a fired up Eberth Santos. Erberth is only 22 years old and is hungry to put everyone’s head on his mantle. In this Grand Prix, Lo and Erberth were drawn to be in the same leg, so their match will be inevitable. In fact, the may face each other multiple times if they both make it out of the leg. So once again, with the possibilities of multiple matches like this, it proves how exciting and dynamic Copa Podio can be to spectate.