It’s a new year and that means a lot of new and exciting events. Every year, Copa Podio improves their roster and the quality of their events. To kick off 2016, Copa Podio is holding a jam-packed event with some big names.
To start, Copa Podio is having a ‘team’ dispute, consisting of three fights between Norway and a specific territory of Brazil. Representing Norway are Espen Mathiesen, Tommy Langaker, and Ida Floisvik. For Brazil, we have Yan Pica-Pau, Rafael Vasconcelos, and Kessy Pereira.
The truth is, these are all new names but it’s interesting to see how the Norwegian team will fare. Northern Europeans are known for their athleticism and strength. So even though in jiu-jitsu matches Brazilians are usually the favorites, one shouldn’t expect it to be a clean win for Brazil - expect at least one upset.
The real draw for this event is the lightweight grand prix, which literally has the best names in the game competing. It’s going to be very exciting. The names listed for the grand prix are the following:
Leandro Lo (defending champion)
Now, the three main names to look out for here are Leandro Lo, Davi Ramos, and Lucas Lepri. These are literally the top guys in the game right now. Both Davi Ramos and Lucas Lepri usually compete at a lighter division than Leandro Lo at IBJJF tournaments, in this case however, they wouldn’t have to cut much weight because this is a 77 kg division.
Lucas Lepri is a multiple time world champion and is best known for his methodical, practical, and precise game. He prefers pressure passing than speed passing, unlike Leandro Lo who uses his speed and stamina to get his guard passes. What makes this even more interesting is that Lucas Lepri is coming off a highlight-reel loss to Davi Ramos at the last ADCC. In the finals, Lucas Lepri was sitting in open guard and Davi Ramos was standing. In the blink of an eye, Davi Ramos jumps over Lepri’s legs and straight into a super tight armlock. This submission will be in jiu-jitsu highlight reels forever. Surely, Lucas Lepri will be looking for revenge in this event, which will make things only more heated (even though Lepri’s loss was in no-gi and this event is gi).
Some other names to look out for in this grand prix are Diego Borges, who is a very dangerous veteran, and Edwin Najmi, a very talented new black belt from Romulo Barral’s academy.