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Caio Terra makes history

Caio Terra of Gracie Fighter is a Jiu-Jitsu name everyone knows for one reason or another. He’s a world champion in the gi, he’s the little light featherweight who competes in open classes everywhere and wins them regularly, showing us all the true nature of what Jiu-Jitsu is really about, and he is the outspoken black belt who can sometimes stir up controversy with the things he says.

Photos by Deb Blyth, photo on homepage by Dan Rod

Well, this year at the No-Gi Worlds, he can be known for one more thing: Caio Terra is the only black belt to have ever won the No-Gi Worlds a whopping four times in a row. He won 2008, 2009, 2010, and now in 2011 he has won again, making history within the event.

Caio has had a rough year. He says there isn’t a place on his body that isn’t injured. Coming into the No-Gi Worlds his hands were completely bandaged because he burned the skin off of them while trying to train before the event; not to mention both his shoulders are damaged, one completely separated; he has a rib injury, a knee injury, and a foot injury among other things. He says he’s only been able to train something like 60 days this whole year. “I feel bad that my performance has not been up to par lately,” he says, “I want to apologize to everyone for that, but now I need to take some serious time off to heal my body. I will be back for the Gi Worlds next year, but hopefully before that if I can.”

Caio says that he doesn’t have plans to compete at the 2012 Pan, but he probably will. He can’t resist competitions, which is part of the reason why his body has steadily fallen apart over the course of the last year. But with all that being said, Caio turned up at the No-Gi Worlds and had three matches in his light featherweight division and won them all. In his first match he submitted his opponent with an armbar, and he beat his second opponent on points. In the final he faced Laercio Fernandes of Lotus Club, saying that it was a good, tough match between the two.

Laercio trying to pass Caio's guard

“Laercio was smart and got a takedown right away,” Caio says, “I was losing by two points and I was getting desperate. I got a sweep and attacked his foot a few times. I also had him in a kneebar. They were all deep. It was incredible how he didn’t tap. Did you see how flexible he was?”

Caio in 50/50

Caio and Laercio scrapped for a little while longer, Laercio sweeping Caio back and getting him in a really tight position. Caio swept Laercio at the end of the match and Laercio almost swept him back, but Caio held on. “I got my foot stuck in his uniform,” Caio says, “I couldn’t stand up, but I was able to keep my balance.” This allowed Caio to pull off his 4th big, history-making No-Gi Worlds gold medal win.

Caio's hand raised against Fabio Passos

“With all the injuries I’ve been dealing with, this is a really important win for me,” Caio says, “I was out of shape before coming here. I hadn’t trained much and had only rolled lightly at the seminars I’d given recently. My MMA coach, Kirian, told me to start working on the VersaClimber to help me get ready for the No-Gi Worlds. It was helpful in getting me here today.”

“I really just want to give a shout out to Laercio,” Caio says, “He is a really tough opponent.” Caio goes on to say, “I don’t need to prove anything here today. I’ve already proven it, but I like to come to these events to learn more so I can teach my students the best Jiu-Jitsu they can get.”

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