The newly promoted Checkmat black belt, Kit Dale, is set to represent Australia in the up coming Copa Podio Middleweight Grand Prix on September 8th. We caught up with Kit after receiving his invite to this prestigious event.
You must be very excited to have been invited to the Copa Podio so soon after becoming a black belt?
Yes I am super excited. I get to compete against guys who I have looked up to since I started jiu jitsu, and to do it just over a month after receiving my black belt is very surreal.
You’ve fought in Brazil before with much success as a purple belt, so how do you think you will fair this time around?
Yes I fought in the Brazilian National Championships as a purple back in 2011 winning the medium heavy division. The odds are definitely stacked against me, but anything can happen at black belt level and I will be preparing to win this comp.
You had a very close fight with Keenan Cornelius at the Worlds, do you think you can go one better this time?
Yes definitely. Our first fight was a bit of a ‘feel out’ fight, neither of us did too much. This time I want to turn it up a lot more. Keenan is a great competitor, but like all of us he has weaknesses and I hope to take advantage of them in this next fight.
You are probably coming in as the underdog against the seasoned Brazilian fighters, what are your expectations for the event?
I don’t have expectations for this event but I’m definitely aiming to upset some people. I’m not flying half way around the world to lose. Well, lose too quickly anyway! I like fighting with no pressure, It relaxes me a lot more.
Did your invite come as a shock and how did you find out?
Yes I was shocked; I was holding out for Australia’s Next Top Model when this came through. I’ve had some good fights at black belt and haven’t lost yet, so I feel that I am ready for this, but didn’t expect it so soon. I received a message from the director of the Copa Podio on Facebook asking if I was interested.. I said: “does a bear shit in the woods?”