2013 Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix – 2nd Season
Green Group Match
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Travis Stevens vs Paulo Miyao
Travis Stevens, one of my favorite human beings, is best known as a Judoka, having represented USA Judo in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. After missing out in medals in 2008 and 2012, he broke through in 2016 and won silver in the -81kg class. I have two epic matches from his Olympic experience that are MFM- worthy. Fun fact- at the time of the 2016 Olympics, Travis was the second American to compete in Olympic Judo that had also attained a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt (name the first and you get a piece of candy).
Paulo Miyao is half of the infamous Miyao Brothers, with his identical twin, Joao. Paulo has a lengthy competitive resume with IBJJF, Pan Am, ACB, and UAEJJ titles. He ran afoul with the IBJJF in 2016 when he failed a USADA drug test after winning the Light Featherweight world title. Paulo (and his brother) are best known for their guard play and of course the dreaded, evil berimbolo.
In the 2013 Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix, Travis and Paulo were within the same group (Green) and this was their group match. Travis was a brown belt at the time (he would be awarded his black belt a few months after this event by John Danaher) and a year removed from the 2012 Olympics in London. What is impressive in this MFM is how Travis moves more like a BJJ player than a Judo player. It is a testament to his athleticism and adaptability. He also has a really cool back take attempt which everyone should practice.
Enjoy Travis vs Paulo