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Qualified for Abu Dhabi, Caio to defend MMA belt

Caio Magalhães in action / Photo: Carlos Ozório

Undefeated in MMA, black belt Caio Magalhães is also one of the main forces in the Northeast Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scene. After some time away, the SAS JJ rep made his competition return by taking gold at the Rio Open and followed up by securing his spot at the 2012 World Pro, winning the tryouts for the event in Natal, Brazil.

“It was the first time that I participate in a World Pro tryout, and it was awesome. The fact that it was in the Northeast, where I’m from, was great; I got to feel the crowd’s excitement.”

Check out what he had to tell GRACIEMAG.com:

How are you going about dividing your time between Jiu-Jitsu and MMA?

I have the Amazon Fight belt to defend in November. That’s why I’m going to have to lay off training in the gi for a while, but later I’ll get back to it full time for Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.

And why did you decide to return to competing in the gi?

I spent two years away because of MMA and came back this season. I decided I wanted to focus on gi competition as well. I saw a lot of my friends competing and winning – guys I’d already faced as a brown belt –, so I thought I could win, too. This year I also competed at the Rio Open and won, and now I had five matches and won the tryouts.

For some years now the folks iin the Northeast have been having a hard time winning major Jiu-Jitsu events. Has that changed now?

These days things are easier in Brazil. Getting plane tickets is easier, and companies are supporting athletes. It’s not ideal yet but it has improved a lot, mainly for higher-ranked athletes with more experience. That’s helping to make Jiu-Jitsu globalized in the sense that everyone is on even terms. At any high-level championship these days the level is way up there, with fighters from all over Brazil.

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