FORMER Cebu sportswriter Lemuel Maglinte bagged a medal in his first Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) tournament in the United States.
The 32-year-old Maglinte had a bronze medal finish against bigger opponents in the combined 140-160 pound division in the Atlas Grappling Invitational All-Las Vegas Jiujitsu Tournament on Jan. 23, 2021 in Henderson, Las Vegas.
“I’m happy because it’s my first time fighting as a purple belt and it’s here in the US. I think I still have a lot of room for improvement. It was hard. I need to improve my conditioning. My opponents here are very well conditioned,” Maglinte told SunStar Cebu. “This tournament is a blessing because I had the chance to see if I have what it takes to go up against US grapplers.”
Maglinte shook off his first time jitters in international competition at the Atlas Grappling Invitational. He’ll be better and more composed at the bigger Jiujitsu World League American Open on March 27, 2021 at the Sahara Event Center.
“It will definitely be a bigger and tougher battle in the worlds. Some of these grapplers have backgrounds in either wrestling or MMA, but we’ll be competing in the same weight division so there’s always a chance,” he said.
Maglinte is competing in the purple belt 154 and Under weight class of the Masters 1 (30-35) division (Gi) and the intermediate (blue and purple) 141 and Under weight class of the Masters 1 (30-39) division (No-Gi).
“I’m going to focus on No-Gi because it’ll be harder because most of them here are wrestlers,” he said.
Maglinte has been training No-Gi at the Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiujitsu and has rolled with the likes of former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields and UFC No. 6 welterweight contender
Michael Chiesa. He has been jumping from gym to gym to train in Gi.
Maglinte is also an unbeaten MMA fighter. He already has an impressive resume in BJJ in the Philippines with a gold medal performance in the International Brazilian Jiujitsu Federation (IBJJF) in 2019 and a double gold medal finish in the Asian Jiujitsu Federation in Cebu City in 2018. He hopes to win a more prestigious gold in the Jiujitsu World League.
“I’ll do my best to win the gold.” / EKA