Cuki concentrates more on BJJ


Cuki Alvarez, left, poses with fellow Copa de Marianas participant Kris Rios of Guam while waiting for his Masters class bout last weekend at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center in Mangilao. (Contributed Photo)

Fresh from his success in the 10th Copa de Marianas/Marianas Open Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Tournament, Trench Tech Gym owner Cuki Alvarez will keep his focus on Brazilian jiujitsu.

“I’ve been focusing mainly on [BJJ] with the gi (Kimono) in the last three years. I used to fight and train in [mixed martial arts] fighting since 2002, but I feel MMA is a young man’s sport. Especially at the highest level,” said Alvarez, who won his debut in the Copa de Marianas held last weekend at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center in Mangilao, Guam.

“It was my first time to join the Copa de Marianas/Marianas Open. [Guam] has been hosting [Brazilian Jiu-jitsu] events for over 10 years now but never had a Masters division. And 10 years ago, I was already 36,” said Alvarez during a break in his training at his Trench Tech Gym.

The Masters division is for BJJ practitioners 37 years old and up, and Alvarez immediately signed up after learning Copa organizers added a new age group. .

He said BJJ and grappling events are less abusive to a person’s body. “I enjoy BJJ a lot more than MMA and I’m excited to join all other Masters tournaments being offered around the world.”

“Since I’m getting a little older, BJJ is little abusive on the body. Don’t get me wrong, BJJ is very competitive but without the strikes and other hits,” added Alvarez with a smile.

Alvarez prevailed against Norbert Mendiola of Team Steel Athletics-Spike 22 via points, 6-4, in the gold medal match of the Purple belt absolute Gi division in the Guam tournament last weekend. He was unbeaten in the competition as he earlier stopped Rich Flores, also of Team Steel Athletics, by Samurai choke submission.

Though undefeated, Alvarez said his victories were not easy.

“The tournament was a lot tougher than I expected. Especially my two opponents—they were also gunning for the gold and none of the matches were easy. I had to work hard for every position, point, and submission. The Masters division was very competitive and aggressive because we definitely wanted to show all the young guys that we belong and age ain’t nothing but a number,” he added.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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