UFC middleweight Alan Belcher decided to take some time off from the Octagon to test himself in jiu-jitsu competition at Copa Podio. The problem is the black belt had to compete against some of the best grappling experts in the world to win the heavyweight (190 pounds) tournament on Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and he wasn’t ready for that.
Belcher, a black belt under Diego Moraes, first stepped the mat to face off against Faisal Alkitbe, a brown belt from Abu Dhabi. The UFC veteran went for a takedown and Alkitbe countered, scoring the two points that awarded him the victory.
Belcher returned to the mat 30 minutes later to battle Rodolfo Vieira, a four-time jiu-jitsu black belt world champion. As soon as Vieira recovered from an early eye poke, he finished Belcher with a choke after scoring 12 points.
Belcher’s chances to advance were already slim, and he still had to fight Leandro Lo and Alexandre Souza. Lo needed only 44 seconds to choke the MMA veteran after scoring four points, and Souza took 3:33 to tap him with an arm-lock.
Belcher was out of the tournament, but the fun has already started.
Rodolfo Vieira, who defeated Belcher in the second round of the heavyweight tournament, confirmed why he was the favorite to win the competition with submissions over Alexandre Souza, Alan Belcher and Faial Alkitbe. After a draw against Leandro Lo, Vieira advanced to the semifinals.
Lo also moved to the semifinals with wins over Souza, Alkitbe and Belcher. In the other group, Luiz Panza advanced in first place with wins over Rico Bastos and Travis Stevens. Stevens, a judo specialist from Renzo Gracie Academy, also advanced to the semifinals after defeating Rico Bastos and Tim Spriggs.
Lo vs. Panza was set for a spot in the final, and Lo won by points with sweeps. Vieira needed a little more than three minutes to choke Sevens and advance. Vieira and Lo, who fought to a draw earlier in the brackets, met again in the final, and Vieira choked him at from the back 2:56 to win the heavyweight tournament.
Check below Copa Podio’s complete results:
Tim Spriggs def. Luiz Panza by points (3-2)
Travis Stevens def. Rico Bastos by submission (arm-lock)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Alexandre Souza by submission (arm-lock)
Faisal Alkitbe def. Alan Belcher by points (2-0)
Luiz Panza def. finalizou Rico Bastos by submission (triangle)
Leo Nogueira def. Tim Spriggs by points (5-0)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Faisal Alkitbe by submission (choke)
Leandro Lo def. Alexandre Souza by points (4-0)
Leo Nogueira def. Rico Bastos by points (2-0)
Luiz Panza def. Travis Stevens by submission (heel hook)
Leandro Lo def. Faisal Alkitbe by advantages (1-0)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Alan Belcher by submission (choke)
Travis Stevens vs. Leo Nogueira - draw
Tim Spriggs def. Rico Bastos by points (2-0)
Leandro Lo def. Alan Belcher by submission (choke)
Alexandre Souza def. Faisal Alkitbe by submission (arm-lock)
Travis Stevens def. Tim Spriggs by points (7-0)
Luiz Panza vs. Leo Nogueira - draw
Alexandre Souza def. Alan Belcher by submission (arm-lock)
Rodolfo Vieira vs. Leandro Lo - draw
Leandro Lo def. Luiz Panza by points (6-4)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Travis Stevens by submission (choke)
Third place match:
Luiz Panza def. Travis Stevens by submission (ankle lock)
Rodolfo Vieira def. Leandro Lo by submission (choke)
Franco Marini def. Magid Hage (ankle lock)
Felipe Preguiça def. Guto Campos by points (12-10) at overtime