Alex Trans had the chance to make history in 2015, when he was the first non-Brazilian to qualify for a male black belt open class final at the Worlds.
Unfortunately, fate got in his way and a knee twist in the early rounds of the ultra-heavyweight division put the Dane out of commission and he could not compete against Bernardo Faria.
One year later, Trans is completely recovered and ready to go again. We caught up with him as he puts the final touches in his Worlds training camp. Read what he had to say.
GRACIEMAG.COM: Last year, you were about to be the first non-Brazilian to appear in a male black belt open class final at the worlds when you hurt your knee and could not fight. What did you take from that experience going forward in your career? How’s the knee now, one year later?
Alex Trans: That was a very difficult moment for me, to not able to do the final of the open class, and the following surgery and the time away from the mat. But I’m used to adversity, nothing in my career has been easy, so I just saw it as another challenge and focused on working hard to get back on the mat. That’s part of our job as athletes, injuries happen. Today, my knee is 100 % recovered and it doesn’t bother me at all.
GRACIEMAG.COM: You came back to competing at the 2016 WPJJC and was only stopped by Pena in the open class semifinal. How do you feel physically and mentally for the Worlds after a year without being able to compete much?
Alex Trans: I knew that I wasn’t going to be 100 % prepared for the World Pro, but I did it more as a tune-up competition. Of course we always do our best to win, but I knew it was going to be difficult after being away from training and competition for so long. I thought about just doing a minor tournament before the Worlds, but I decided to just jump right into the deep waters. I felt good in the tournament, I felt fine physically, but I made some stupid mistakes which I think was partly due to of ring-rust, but I expect to do better at Worlds, where the 10-minute time-limit also favors me more. Now I had some time to correct the mistakes and preparing my game, and I feel better in training than ever, so I’m looking forward to fight.
GRACIEMAG.COM: You changed teams from Checkmat to GF Team in 2015. What made you decide to move and what benefits you got to your game with the new training partners?
Alex Trans: Actually I left Checkmat back in 2014, I was still living in Abu Dhabi and training under Bob Esponja, but I didn’t represent any team, so I just fought under UAEJJ which is the federation in UAE. Then when I decided to leave UAE last year, I was looking for a new team, and the choice was pretty easy, as I was good friends with Igor Silva and Ricardo Evangelista that also lived in UAE, and I knew the team had a lot of really high-level teachers and athletes. It was the best choice of my career for sure. I never imagined that everyone would receive me the way they did, and that I would feel at home so quickly. Julio and Theodoro Canal have been helping me a lot in training, correcting and adjusting my game, and I have so many tough training partners that there are too many to mention. I don’t think you can find a better training for heavyweights anywhere in the world, and there are a lot of lighter guys that are really tough as well. I feel like I’m in the best moment of my career right now, and I hope it’s going to show at the Worlds next week.
The 2016 World Jiu-Jitsu championship takes place June 2-5, in Long Beach, California.
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