Double gold for Ferreira at the London jiu jitsu championships
Berwick-based jiu jitsu coach Thiago Ferreira celebrated more success last weekend when he returned with four medals from the London Open.
Ferreira, who recently won a silver medal at the World Masters, returned with two gold, a silver and a bronze from the event, which was held at Crystal Palace.
On the Saturday, it was the gi division, and Ferreira entered the middleweight division in which he was one of eight competitors.
He won his quarter-final on points quite easily, and in a hard fought semi-final, swept his Italian opponent in the last minute to earn a narrow points win, giving him a spot in the final.
The final itself was a very close affair, and in a move to try to secure the win, Ferreira went for a takedown, but was reversed by his opponent, who then held his position to win the fight, meaning the TF Fitness owner had to settle for silver.
This meant Ferriera was eligible to enter the ‘absolute’ division, which is reserved for people who win medals at all the weight categories, who then all fight in the one bracket.
He had little trouble winning his quarter-final, easing to a 16-0 win on the scorecards.
In the semi-final, he faced a London-based Latvian opponent, who he had lost to in absolute division at the Zurich Open earlier in the year.
Sadly, it was a case of deja-vu as the heavier opponent (88kg) used it to his advantage, winning the fight on points, leaving Ferreira with the bronze medal on this occasion.
Ferreira then had a tough night ahead of him as his no-gi division on the Sunday was held at 79kg, and the Saturday gi division was 82.3kg, so he had to cut some weight overnight and not eat too much.
Again, facing a division of eight fighters, he breezed through the quarter-final with ease.
In the semi’s he faced the man who beat him in the gi final the day before, but this time turned the tables on him, winning on points and advancing to the final.
Ferreira then went one better than the day before, winning his final on points, ensuring a gold medal for him.
Once again, he was offered the chance to compete in the ‘absolute’ division, and took it.
Not many other fighters entered and he found himself one of only eight. However, the others were all heavier than him, and included one ultra heavyweight fighter, who weighed 115kg, a whopping 36kg (five-and-a-half stones) heavier than Thiago.
He drew the ultra heavyweight fighter in the quarter-final, and despite the size difference, utilised his speed, and won the fight on points.
In his semi-final he fought a fellow Brazilian, and again won on points.
In the final, he faced a very muscular Spanish fighter, who weighed in at 93kg and was nicknamed ‘Spanish Hulk’ by his team mates. Ferreira exercised caution during the first half of the contest, but then exploded with a double leg takedown to put his opponent on the mats.
He felt that his opponent wasn’t as conditioned as he was and pushed the pace a little harder to try to tire him out. The strategy worked and he won 7-2 on points to win the gold medal – his second of the day.
All in all it was two gold, one silver and one bronze for two days of hard competition.
Ferreira would like to thank his team from Fightzone London, especially his coach Marco Canha, his training partners at the TF Fitness Centre in Berwick, his kids BJJ fighters from Berwick, who he says keep him motivated to fight so much with their enthusiasm, but especially his family, wife Camila and sons Matheos and Enzo.
Ferreira has made a lot of changes to his training recently. Around six months ago his wife Camila changed his training routine dramatically. He now trains six mornings a week on strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, etc, and this has given him increased fitness levels. Without this change, he knows he wouldn’t have been able to get the medals he has.