Off the Mat with a Bjj Black Belt: Bibiano Fernandes

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Each week Jiu-jitsu Times brings you a short profile of a bjj black belt.
This week Jiu-jitsu Times features Bjj Black Belt Bibiano Fernandes from Mannuas, who is a World Jiu-jistu Champion and one of the notable jiu-jitsu competitors who made the transition from sports bjj to professional MMA.
Bibiano is the reigning ONE Bantamweight Champion and makes Vancouver, Canada his home now.

“If you want to have the next level of jiu jitsu you need to use Gi, otherwise you’re just another grappler.”
Bibiano Fernandes

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1) Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us how and why you got started in bjj? What got you addicted? Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors?
Bibiano Fernandes:
Most of my friends in Brazil were training BJJ, it was something that everyone did.
I love the challenge and competition. My biggest influences have been Leo Veira, Terere, Saulo, there are many Brazilians who’ve inspired me.
Pina is very good on the bottom, sweep. Oswaldo taught me transition and passing guard, take the back.

2) Jiu-jitsu Times: You have competed extensively in both jiu-jitsu tournaments and MMA and are the current ONE Bantamweight Champion with 19 pro victories. Can you talk a little about some of your titles in sport bjj? How is competing in the Mundials different than fighting Pro MMA” (preparation, mental preparations)
Bibiano Fernandes:
I’ve won 3x pan am, 5xMundial (purple, brown and black belt), Many times National Champion in Brazil.
For me the prep is almost the same , same discipline and focus.

3) Jiu-jitsu Times: How have you adapted the jiu-jitsu you learned in the gi to be effective in professional MMA? What advice can you give for students of bjj that are interested in making their bjj good for fighting?
Bibiano Fernandes: Jiu-jitsu with gi has made me stronger and better grip. strong hands to hold arms and legs down.
Stay basic, classic jiu-jitsu is the best for MMA. Passing guard, taking the back, escapes etc.

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4)Jiu-jitsu Times: You started training your jiu-jitsu in the gi. As a pro MMA fighter, how often do you train in the kimono? Do you feel training in the gi has any value to the MMA fighters?
Bibiano Fernandes: I rarely train with gi, unless I have a friend or student who asks me to help them.
Or if I just feel like training with gi for the feeling.
If you want to have the next level of jiu jitsu you need to use Gi, otherwise you’re just another grappler.

5) Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you give some advice for new students of jiu-jitsu that worked for you in your training? (philosophy, training methods, drills etc.)
Bibiano Fernandes:
I always stay focused, there are many distractions out there but if you want to be champion make training your priority.
I don’t go out and party, I don’t drink and stay healthy.
Jiu jitsu you need mental and physical, you need to be in the moment.
I have a lot of drills but I need to show you, come and see me 😉

6) Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you talk about your philosophy of brazilian jiu-jitsu – training and life? How does jiu-jitsu help you in your life outside of the academy?
Bibiano Fernandes: Jiu jitsu has given me self confidence and self control, discipline.

7) Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most Jiu-jitsu Times readers would not know?
Bibiano Fernandes: I really want to open my gym, I’m excited about that.
I want to share my knowledge and create new champions.
I don’t have an exact date but its coming closer as I’m getting old for MMA, 36 this month.

Video Highlight:

Bibiano Fernandes Vs Otsuka submission:

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