Outclassed in their previous four meetings, Mauricio Henrique Lima produced a stunning upset to defeat world No 2 Jose Junior in the black belt 110-kilogram final at the Ras Al Khaimah Jiu-Jitsu International over the weekend.
Lima was declared the winner on the referee’s verdict after a scoreless deadlock in the All-Brazilian final. “It was sad for me as I was really confident that I would win,” said Junior, who had beaten his rival in the semi-finals of the Grand Slam Abu Dhabi at the Ipic Arena two weeks ago.
“It was a close fight and he won on the referee’s decision. He may have done something better than me in the tie. It was good for me as I can learn from my mistakes and not to repeat it when I’m on a bigger stage.”
The Abu Dhabi-based jiu-jitsu instructor has a busy schedule with three competitions lined up in the next three weeks.
He travels for the Ecuador National Pro Championship on February 4 followed by the Brazilian National Championship on February 11 and the Argentina National Championship on February 18.
Junior is also hoping for a meeting with Gabriel Arges, another Brazilian, who tops the world ranking but competes in the 85kg weight class.
“Perhaps, I will get the opportunity to meet him in the absolute division as he, too, is set to take part in these three national championships,” Junior said.
“If it happens, the world No1 spot will be at stake. Because I don’t expect him to lose many fights in his weight. So a meeting with him in the absolute division will give me an opportunity to get even with him.”
Junior said the race to finish as world No 1 will go down to the wire, with the points on offer at the ninth staging of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in April at the Ipic Arena most on the circuit.
“The winner of the Abu Dhabi World Pro will receive 400 ranking points, the highest in any competition,” Junior said.
“However, we both have to keep winning and keep accumulating points to win this title.”
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