By Bruna Almeida
Photo Eduardo Ferreira
Champion of the main competitions of grappling on earth (ADCC, World and Pan Am), Pablo Popovitch is one of the toughest guys on the current scene of the sport. Now he also shines on MMA, a sport he debuted just now… with a knockout.
On an exclusive interview given to TATAME directly from Florida, Pablo talked about his career and revealed that the fans should not expect a quarterfinals bout between him and Marcelo Gacia on ADCC, once he have change his weight division to a heavier one to try to reach his main goal of being weight and absolute champion on the competition.
“He’ll fight on the medium weight division and I’ll be on the division above, because I want to be champion on weight and absolute disputes. I’m already preparing myself physical and mentally for this challenge. I want to win both”, affirmed, sending a message to the heavier weights: “I’m a medium heavy now, and I’ll stay on this weight class, because I think that my speed, technique and strength will surprise the heavier athletes”.
What are your professional goals?
Professionally is to be a champion in every event I participate. I want to be the absolute champion of all events, and this is my main goal when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu. As for the No Gi contests, I want to participate on move events like World, Pan and ADCC, and I want to become the champion of this year’s edition of World No Gi, on both disputes. Next year I want to train more with kimono, because I also want to the champion on the competition with kimono for a year too. As for MMA, maybe I’ll do a fight next year, let’s see.
How are your trainings going?
I train a lot, six days a week, twice a day. I always push myself a lot and I want to become much better always. My team has many great guys. I have my black belts in
You recently fought MMA and got a nice win… How was that experience like?
This debut was really nice, it gave me much experience on what I need to train more to be good at it. I won by knockout. I’ve won by TKO on the second round, and I liked this fight… Maybe I can think about it better next year.
Why did you decide to do this MMA fight, since you have a great name on the gentle art?
I wanted to try something new. MMA is a very different sport than Jiu-Jitsu, so I thought I’d be worth to try.
In three consecutive years, you and Marcelo Garcia confronted each other on ADCC’s finale. Do you think you might have to face each other again next year?
I don’t think so. He’ll fight on the medium weight division and I’ll be on the division above, because I want to be champion on weight and absolute disputes. If I lose a lot of weight I’ll be weak for the absolute dispute. But I think a matched fight with him would be nice. If any promoter has the interest of doing it, I’m here for it. And I think that the fans might want to watch it too.
So, do you think about trying the absolute title on ADCC for the first time?
I’ll fight, for sure, that’s why I’m preparing myself physical and mentally for this challenge. I want to win both of them.
And, in order to go for the absolute, in what weight class do you intend to join?
I’m a medium heavy now, and I’ll stay on this weight class, because I think that my speed, technique and strength will surprise the heavier athletes.
How were your fights on the last edition of ADCC?
There were only tough guys on my key, as usual. The first one was a brown belt, and he was an All-American Wrestler, world champion with and with no gi on the brown belt. He was really tough, but I took him down, got his backs with a quick submission with a rear naked choke. The second was from the Olympic Wrestling Team of the
On the finale against Marcelo Garcia, as usual, it was a tough fight. I started on the guard, he swept me and then I worked on the half guard and swept him back. Again with a very offensive guard, he swept me back, and I had to do it all over again to get another sweep. All that before anyone got a point, and when we started to score points, he swept me and got two points ahead of me on the scoreboard. I’ll put him on the half guard to sweep him, but then he stop up and escaped from my sweep. On the stand-up fight, he decided to pull me to the guard, doing something that according to ADCC rules, he’d lose a point. The scoreboard pointed out 2×1 in his favor until then. And I had to overcome it and attack him the whole time so that, in the very end, I passed his guard and won the fight by 4×2. It was a great fight for me, it gave me much confidence in my Jiu-Jitsu skills.
To close this interview, leave a message for everyone that access TATAME…
I’d like to thank my sponsors Brawl and Maul, who has always been supportive, my training partners, my students, fans and all my family, that’s given me support since I was four, when I started to train Jiu-Jitsu.