Cobrinha: “I had the training of my dreams for the ADCC”

There aren’t many athletes qualified for or invited to the ADCC who have a CV quite like Rubens Charles Maciel’s.

Cobrinha, a five-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion who in 2007 captured featherweight gold without so much as an advantage point scored against him, will put it all out there at ADCC 2011, as he told in an exclusive interview: “The event itself has lost a bit of importance to me. Of course I still like the championship a lot and will put in an effort to become champion. I always liked the ADCC, but what I liked most was preparing for the ADCC”

On Joel Tudor's back in 2009

Taking the post of runner-up in the under-66kg division in 2009 after an historic, 40-minute final with Rafael Mendes, Cobrinha decided to innovate in preparing for the 2011 event: “This year I did things a bit differently. I started training in Los Angeles with Michel Maia and Pedro Lott and then headed for New York, where I trained with Marcelo [Garcia], Lucas Lepri, Antônio Peinado, Piui, Gabi Garcia and the other Alliance students there.”

If the stay in Manhattan already featured such a stellar cast to train with, what’s to say about Cobrinha’s subsequent training tour? He tells it himself: “To wrap up I came to Abu Dhabi at the invitation of Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed [founder of the ADCC]. Here I had the welcome surprise of a dream training camp, with Renzo and Rickson Gracie, as well as the Sheikh himself.”

With Marcelinho in NY

The training and time spent with such a select group furbished Cobrinha with extra weapons with which to take on the other aces of the under-66kg division when competition time comes in Nottingham: “Having gone through all these preparations, I’m more than ready to face my opponents. And I even added a few more secrets to my game.”

Being the champion he is, Cobrinha is always in it to win it, however, as he reveals candidly, “After all this training, what will endure in my memory forever is the knowledge I acquired from these legends of the sport. To me that’s worth even more than an ADCC title.”

Don’t forget to stay tuned to the GRACIEMAG at the ADCC blog for all the latest and greatest on ADCC 2011.

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