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Slick-grappling Brazilian training Belfort’s rival

Flavius (middle): grappling coach for camp of Anthony Johnson, Belfort's opponent for UFC 142 in Rio / Photo: personal archive

A black belt under Ricardo De La Riva, Flavius Virginio saw the tides turn in his life in 2011.

The fighter from team De La Riva Ilha do Governador, in Rio, received a career-changing invitation, as he himself told GRACIEMAG.com contributor Diego Marcello.

“Everaldo Penco, the Jiu-Jitsu coach at Team Nogueira, asked me to help Zé Mario [Sperry] train for his ADCC 2011 supermatch with Renzo. After spending some time training with Zé, I was recommended to the manager of team Blackzilians, and that got the ball rolling quick. In two weeks I was already heading Jiu-Jitsu training at team Blackzilians/Jaco, where Anthony Johnson trains,” recounted the teacher.

“Our first mission is to put together a good training camp for Anthony Johnson for his fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142, in January. I guarantee it will be a spectacle and I invite everyone to watch up close—if all goes well, he’ll win it,” said Flavius.

“After that, for the future, I want to keep training hard and working with Blackzilians on their ground game, since we’ll have a number of important commitments in 2012,” added the black belt, who is helping with the Jiu-Jitsu of the likes of Rashad Evans, Jorge Santiago, Gesias Cavalcante, Fabio Mello, Cosmo Alexandre, Guto Inocente, Danillo and Yuri “Índio”, Marcus Aurélio, Tyrone Spong, Michael Johnson and Melvin Guillard and others.

Anthony Johnson's training camp drew from Rashad Evans to Rolles Gracie (first on left).

Can you imagine what sparring is like between Rashad Evans and Anthony Johnson? What do you think, dear reader, will Johnson manage to outdo Belfort in Rio? How will it end?

UFC 142
HSBC Arena, Barra, Rio de Janeiro
January 14, 2012

José Aldo vs Chad Mendes

Vitor Belfort vs Anthony Johnson

Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares vs Mike Massenzio

Erick Silva vs Carlos Prater

Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim

Thiago Tavares vs Sam Stout

Mike Pyle vs Ricardo Funch

Yuri “Marajó” Alcântara vs Michirio Omigawa

Fabio Maldonado vs Caio Magalhães

Ednaldo “Lula” Oliveira vs Gabriel Napão

Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes vs Antônio Carvalho

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