Two-time absolute world champion Alexandre Ribeiro (2006/08) is still competing at the highest level. But the 36-year-old isn’t getting any younger, and he acknowledges the rise of new talents eager to become legends by trampling legends such as himself. Graciemag asked him about this and more in the exclusive interview you can read below.
“I proposed a challenge to myself: next time someone in a championship passes my guard, I’ll become a businessman,” Xande said, summing up his policy on retirement. “I 100% believe in my BJJ and in the way I fight. I base myself on scientifically proven techniques. And I don’t see anyone with the pressure that Saulo or Roger have — my great opponents in training and competition, respectively. Yes, there are big guys; however, they advance a little and then retreat.”
On the all-important issue of pressure, Xande had this to say:
“Blocking a move is easy; blocking pressure is what’s hard. Pressure is the constant squeeze; a move is just a move. The sense of protection is the number-one question in BJJ. Let’s go back to Grandmaster Helio Gracie and analyze a detail I think about every day. How are you going to beat me if you can’t touch me? This is the point: I think no one can touch me. It’s not about winning; the question is not being touched by the opponent. My guard gives me that security. And I think I’ll carry that inside me for a long time to come.”