Cobrinha's Focus Now on Son Kennedy Maciel, But He Insists He's Not Retired

One of the greatest of all time featherweights, Rubens ‘Cobrinha’ Charles hasn’t competed since winning the 2017 ADCC World Championships over a year ago. 

Since then, we’ve seen his son Kennedy Maciel break through on the world stage, capturing the black belt World No-Gi featherweight title over the weekend. 

With Kennedy currently competing lined up to compete in events in 2019 such as Europeans, Worlds, and even the ADCC Trials in Brazil, does that mean he’s retiring and letting his son take his place? 

“It doesn’t mean that, I will never say I’ll retire. It’s hard to say, that word ‘retirement’. My goal right now is to focus on the academy and Kennedy, and again– you never know– I might surprise people. I like to surprise people, maybe I’ll show up again in some competition. Who knows, we’ll see.”

As defending ADCC champion Cobrinha receives an automatic invite to the biennial ADCC World Championships, scheduled for September of 2019. 

So the news that Kennedy will travel to Brazil in March to compete in the ADCC qualifiers raises further questions. Does that mean Cobrinha won’t return to defend his title? The answer is, we’re not sure, and neither is the champ. 

“We have been training for the Trials for ADCC. That’s the reason why we are doing this, No-Gi Worlds. Our goal is to make sure Kennedy makes it to ADCC. Let’s see with the rules, I don’t want to say what they’re thinking with the rules, but you might see Kennedy and I compete at ADCC – if they change the rules a little bit, it would be nice to see. We’ll see.”

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