Freshly-minted black belt Matheus Gabriel (Checkmat) is ready to make his presence felt at faixa preta.
A representative of Checkmat and Keiser Girão out of Dallas, Gabriel was a 2018 world champion at brown belt and also achieved the world title in nogi at brown in 2017 as well. A litany of titles too long to list litter his resume in the lower belt divisions but those are in the past. What Matheus is after now is respect at the black belt level.
He hasn’t gotten his big break yet but not for lack of trying. Matheus Gabriel has already taken on some of his divisions’ best, losing by a narrow 2 point margin (8-6) against Paulo Miyao in Korea’s Spyder Invitational.
In speaking to him recently, it’s not a decision he regrets despite the loss.
Paraphrasing: “I live for these challenges, to face top guys like Miyao and the contenders in my division. The way I look at it, I’ll have to fight them anyways to achieve my goal of becoming a black belt world champion. Every time I fight them, I should gain more, learn more, become stronger. You can’t be hesitant to take challenges like this. This is what you need to do and the guys you need to beat to become a champion.”
This bout is a testament to that spirit. Matheus is taking it on less than two weeks’ notice after Marcio’s initial opponent pulled out.
With his coach Prof. Girão flying straight to Scottsdale after a trip to Brazil to corner him for this bout, Matheus feels more prepared than ever, short notice be damned.
For his part, Márcio André is no slouch of an opponent.
He too was a prodigy in the lower belts, winning his own world nogi title in 2017 along with a list of accolades including titles at UAEJJF, Europeans, and Pans while notching wins over top opponents like Cobrinha.
No doubt it should be a battle for the cages. Make sure to catch it all live at Fight 2 Win 99 or tune in to Flograppling.com tonight!