By Samira Bonfim
Photo Eduardo Ferreira
The only black belt who submitted his opponent on the finale, Rodrigo Cavaca gave a great show in California. After beating the two-time absolute world champion Márcio Pé de Pano with a triangle, Cavaca attacked Antônio Peinado and Roberto Abreu’s foot to win the ultra heavy title. After leaving the mat as the biggest name among the heaviest, Cavaca talked to TATAME about his title, his next goals, the dream of absolute’s title and the wish to fight in Abu Dhabi.
Champion of the ultra heavy division, you submitted almost all of your opponents standing. Did you imagine you would do such a mess?
I didn’t know what would I do in the championship, but the guys were complaining back on the gym (laughs). If I’m training with tough guys there, it must work here too, right?
Is it your first World conquest with the black belt?
Yes, among the black belts it’s my first world title. As an athlete, my dream always was to become a black belt world champion. I don’t know what comes next, but I’ll have a next goal, for sure (laughs).
Maybe an absolute dispute…
Yeah, maybe. There are very strong guys there like Roger, Xande and Rômulo, but I manage to get to a similar level than theirs. This has been an amazing weekend, my brother is now a world champion, Buchecha too… Go Checkmat!! We had a brown belt world champion on the medium weight division, my pupils did good performances, I’m touched.
What was the hardest fight for you?
On the first fight, against Peinado, I surprised him with a move he didn’t know, a different foot lock. I came forward and applied this foot lock, right on the very first seconds, so it was an atypical fight and it’s hard for a thing like that to happen to him again. This was a great fight, but for sure the finale was tougher. Ciborg is a great name, he has beaten Vella twice, who was the favorite to win the title, he was strong and is an athlete I admire and respect.
Do you have anything in mind for the future?
I plan my year by semesters. On the first I joined Brazil, Pan Am, Europe and World and, thanks God, I got to the finale in all on those championships. On the second semester of this year I want to put things in order on my gym, strengthen the trainings back in Santos, there is where I live and have ten gyms. I’ll put everything in their right places and get ready for next year, when I want to fight in Abu Dhabi… My main goal is to join Abu Dhabi’s event and get to the finales.