Despite only being 26 years old, the Gracie Humaita black belt has racked up five world titles in the lightweight division and is seeking to add to her medal collection at the IBJJF 2017 Worlds in Long Beach, CA, on May 31 to June 4.
The defending lightweight champion is preparing for the tournament with legendary women's champion Leticia Ribeiro in San Diego. The training camp draws women from around the world.
"The Worlds camp is awesome," Mesquita said. "We have more than 20 girls training here. Between the workouts and the two jiu-jitsu sessions every day with Letty and Fabricio 'Morango,' I'm sure we will be ready. In fact, I can not wait to see everyone in action showing first-rate jiu-jitsu.
I'm hoping for my sixth world title. It is surely the most important championship of the season, so the focus is totally geared to give my best performance.
Beatriz Mesquita vs Jenna Bishop at the IBJJF San Diego Open. Photo: Gentle Art Media
In her recent gold medal-winning victories at the World Pro and Brazilian Nationals, Mesquita showed beautiful ease in her top game, cycling between guard pass variations. Competing in one of the categories in which the athletes prioritize playing from guard, Mesquita has started to fight more from on top.
"I've had great matches and had good performances in the last few championships," she said. "My passing game has improved a lot. I'm working on this, and I could see it's paying off in my matches. It's complicated because the majority of girls play guard, so I need to be innovative."
Beatriz Mesquita in action at the IBJJF San Diego Open. Photo: Gentle Art Media
Just last weekend, Mesquita dominated at the San Diego Open, winning the lightweight division and the absolute, beating Mackenzie Dern 12-2 on points.
"The San Diego Open championship was pretty cool," Mesquita said. "I wanted to fight here, to have the support of everybody from the gym and all the kids. It was great to see everyone cheering and I felt at home. That's what I sought. No doubt, it ended up being more of an incentive to stick with the heavy training for Worlds and to look for my best performance."
After winning the European Championship, Abu Dhabi World Pro, and Brazilian Nationals, Mesquita will look to add gold medals to her collection at IBJJF Worlds in June and ADCC Worlds in Finland later this year.
Sure, there a little responsibility in wanting to hang on to the title, but this is normal and all part of the show.
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