While Stu Kennedy and Jadson Andre anxiously tried to summon a fight back, Filipe cruised and exuded nothing but confidence. “Last year I had a good feeling fighting for a world title so this year I feel more comfortable,” said Filipe after the win. “I know I have the potential to be there so I’m just going to enjoy my year, it’s going to be fun.
Already labelled a world title contender by commentators this season, Italo seemed a little surprised by the hype. “It’s a long year and this is jus’ the first event of the year…I’m not thinking about it.
Having set the precedent for his Brazilian peers with a maiden world title in 2014 he, Filipe and Italo will now be looking to ride on de Souza’s slipstream.
Italo, confident and a genuine world title threat. “I feel so confident and so happy to make my first heat of the year,” said Italo after the win.
When Rosie Hodge asked Gabriel Medina what his goals were for 2016 it wasn’t just us who were bemused. “Goals? “Same as everyone I think – a world title. ” The single-minded focus of the 2014 world champ puts him in a league of his own as a competitor on the dream tour.
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