Keenan Cornelius Explains What Went Wrong Against Leandro Lo

Keenan Cornelius Explains What Went Wrong Against Leandro Lo

In this article, Keenan Cornelius discusses his recent match against Leandro Lo and what went wrong. He reflects on his performance, from his strategic approach to the match to his feelings of disappointment. Keenan also talks about his previous matches in the tournament, highlighting his dominance and victories. He shares his aspirations to compete against top-ranked competitors and his determination to improve and succeed in future competitions. Despite the setback, Keenan remains focused on his training and expresses gratitude to his sponsors and family for their support.

Keenan Cornelius Explains What Went Wrong Against Leandro Lo


In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, few names are as well-known and respected as Keenan Cornelius. Known for his technical prowess and innovative style, Cornelius has achieved great success in his career. However, even the best athletes have their off days. In a recent interview with FloGrappling, Cornelius reflects on his match against Leandro Lo and shares his insights on what went wrong. Despite the disappointment, Cornelius remains dedicated to improving and achieving his future goals.

Background of Keenan Cornelius

Keenan Cornelius is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under André Galvão and a member of the Atos Jiu-Jitsu team. Born and raised in Hawaii, he began his Jiu-Jitsu journey at a young age and quickly gained recognition for his exceptional skills. Throughout his career, Cornelius has won numerous championships, including three Pan American titles. With his unique approach to the sport and constant drive to innovate, he has become a respected figure in the Jiu-Jitsu community.

Keenan Cornelius’ Tournament Performance

Participating in Two Divisions

In this particular tournament, Cornelius made the decision to compete in two divisions: super heavy and middle heavy. This was a strategic move on his part, as he wanted to challenge himself and improve his skills in the super heavyweight division. Despite the added weight, Cornelius felt confident in his abilities and saw it as an opportunity for growth.

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Winning Pan Am’s Titles

Cornelius was successful in both divisions, winning the Pan American title in each. While closing out with a teammate in one division, he had to face tough opponents in the other. His performance throughout the tournament showcased his dominance, as he was able to secure victory in most of his matches.

Dominance in Other Matches

Throughout the tournament, Cornelius displayed his technical prowess and ability to control his opponents. His matches were filled with moments of brilliance, as he executed sweeps, transitions, and submissions with precision. It was clear that he was in top form and had put in the necessary work to compete at such a high level.

Close Match Against Leandro Lo

The highlight of the tournament was Cornelius’ match against the renowned Leandro Lo. Both athletes are highly skilled and have faced each other multiple times in the past. Despite a strong start and feeling in control, Cornelius eventually lost the match due to a well-timed sweep by Lo. Reflecting on the match, Cornelius acknowledges the mistakes he made and discusses the factors that contributed to his loss.

Analysis of the Match with Leandro Lo

Feeling in Control at the Beginning

At the start of the match, Cornelius felt a sense of control over the situation. His game plan involved utilizing his newfound strength and pressure passing to shut down Lo’s guard. This approach seemed to be working, as Cornelius was able to execute his techniques effectively and maintain dominant positions.

Utilizing Strength and Pressure Passing

One of Cornelius’ strengths is his ability to apply pressure and control his opponent’s movements. He used this to his advantage in the match, implementing unique grip control techniques to restrict Lo’s offensive options. Cornelius felt confident that his strategy was working and believed that his control over the match would lead to victory.

Adapting to Leandro’s Defense

As the match progressed, Lo began to adapt to Cornelius’ game plan and successfully defended against his attacks. This forced Cornelius to reassess his approach and find new ways to break through Lo’s defense. It became a battle of adjustments, with both athletes constantly analyzing and countering each other’s moves.

Moment of Losing Control and Getting Swept

In a crucial moment, Cornelius lost control on one side while attempting to secure a grip for a finishing pass. Lo seized this opportunity and executed a perfectly timed sweep, ultimately leading to his victory. While disappointed with the outcome, Cornelius recognized the skill and timing of Lo’s move and acknowledged his own errors in that moment.

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Reflecting on the Mistakes Made

Looking back on the match, Cornelius understands the mistakes he made. He admits that he underestimated the danger of Lo’s passing, which had proven to be a formidable weapon in the past. He also acknowledges that he is still adjusting to his new weight class, having only competed in it for the first time. These insights will serve as valuable lessons for future competitions.

Learning from the Match

Respecting Leandro’s Dangerous Passing

Cornelius emphasizes the importance of respecting Lo’s dangerous passing abilities. While Lo may not have appeared as explosive and dynamic in recent years, his skills should never be underestimated. Cornelius recognizes that he should have been more cautious and focused on countering Lo’s passing techniques effectively.

Relearning Techniques at New Weight

Moving up to a new weight division requires adjustments in technique and approach. Cornelius acknowledges that he is still adapting to the movements and feel of his new weight class. He understands that it will take time and experience to fully acclimate, but he is confident that with continued training and competition, he will become more comfortable in his new division.

Building Comfort and Confidence

Cornelius sees this tournament as a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to build his comfort and confidence at his new weight class. He recognizes that each competition provides a chance for growth and improvement. By reflecting on his mistakes and working on his weaknesses, Cornelius aims to develop into an even stronger competitor in the future.

Future Goals

Desire to Beat Top Competitors

Cornelius expresses his desire to defeat the top competitors in his weight class, including Leandro Lo. He acknowledges that Lo is a formidable opponent and one of the best in the world. However, Cornelius believes that he is on the brink of reaching their level and is determined to prove himself as a competitor who can contend with the best.

Being the Best American Competitor

As the only American competitor who can truly contend with the top international athletes, Cornelius feels a sense of responsibility. He understands that he carries the weight of American Jiu-Jitsu on his shoulders and aims to represent his country to the best of his ability. Cornelius is determined to put in the work necessary to establish himself as the best American competitor in his weight class.

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Carrying the Weight of American Jiu-Jitsu

Cornelius acknowledges the significance of his role in American Jiu-Jitsu. He understands that his performances and achievements have an impact on the perception and development of the sport in the United States. Cornelius is committed to upholding the standards and pushing the boundaries of American Jiu-Jitsu through his dedication and passion for the sport.

Celebration and Recovery

Sleeping as a Form of Celebration

After his matches, Cornelius shares that his preferred form of celebration is simply getting some much-needed rest. He jokes about sleeping for extended periods of time and feeling fatigued after the tournament. This lighthearted comment highlights the physical and mental exhaustion that comes with competing at such a high level.

Expectations for Division Gold

While Cornelius acknowledges that his accomplishments in his division are expected of him, he still recognizes the significance of winning gold. As he prepares to return to training, Cornelius sets his sights on achieving gold in his division at future tournaments. Winning the division is a necessary step for him to accomplish his ultimate goals.

Influence of Bracketing System

Impact on Finals Placement

Cornelius discusses the impact of the bracketing system on the placement of competitors in the finals. Due to his loss to Lucas in a previous tournament, Cornelius was seeded fourth in the bracket. This led to him being on the opposite side of Leandro Lo, potentially affecting his chances of reaching the finals. Despite this, Cornelius maintains a nonchalant attitude, recognizing that in order to win, one must be prepared to face any opponent.

Acceptance of the Outcome

While Cornelius acknowledges the potential influence of the bracketing system, he remains unfazed by it. He understands that to become a champion, one must overcome all obstacles and defeat all opponents, regardless of their placement in the bracket. Cornelius accepts the outcome with grace and focuses on learning from the experience to continue growing as a competitor.


Thanks to Sponsors

Cornelius expresses gratitude to his sponsors for their support throughout his career. He specifically mentions Hyperfly, Spider, MusclePharm, and his martial arts company, recognizing their contributions to his success. Cornelius acknowledges the importance of having sponsors who believe in him and his journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Gratitude for Family Support

Lastly, Cornelius expresses his appreciation for the unwavering support of his family. He thanks his mother, two sisters, and both of his fathers for always being there for him. Their presence and encouragement have played a significant role in his achievements and the person he has become.


Keenan Cornelius’ journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is marked by his continuous pursuit of excellence and a commitment to learning from both victories and defeats. In his analysis of his match against Leandro Lo, Cornelius demonstrates a willingness to reflect on his mistakes and adapt his approach for future competitions. With his determination, technical skill, and the support of sponsors and family, Cornelius remains focused on his future goals: beating top competitors, being the best American competitor, and carrying the weight of American Jiu-Jitsu. The road to greatness is paved with both triumphs and setbacks, and Cornelius is poised to make his mark on the sport as he continues to evolve and grow as an athlete.

Hi there! My name is Jesse Hull and I am the author behind the Jiu-Jitsu FC website. With a passion for Jiu-Jitsu, I've created this platform to share my love for the sport, along with valuable insights and techniques. At Jiu-Jitsu FC, we believe in the power of this martial art to transform lives and foster resilience. Through our blog, we aim to inspire and motivate others to discover their true potential. So join me on this journey of self-discovery and let's unlock the incredible power of Jiu-Jitsu together. Remember, Discover power. Discover resilience. Discover yourself.