Mário Reis on Meregali’s grueling path to becoming a samurai

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Mário and Nicholas Meregali with the BJJ Stars belt. 

Last week, a prescient Mário Reis talked to us during the weigh-ins for BJJ Stars Black Belt Edition 2, the event held in São Paulo featuring an open-weight GP with a top prize of 100,000 reais.

But the proud teacher didn’t just predict his student’s triumphant campaign that was soon to come. He also gave us some insight into what it took for Nicholas Meregali, his student, to achieve greatness in the sport. Read on for the translated interview, with the original video right below that.

“I believe Nicholas, who is our athlete, my student, is going into this event with a jiu-jitsu that is very forward-facing. His personality really is imposing, it’s aggressive. And what pleases and satisfies me most as a teacher is seeing him give freedom to this instinct he has, so that my function there is just to stoke that fire so that he can go in with the best version, with that superiority, that mindset that everything is possible. And I’m sure he’s gonna put on a show for everybody.

“Mentally he is very well. He is a well-rounded guy; he always does more than I ask him to do. And Nicholas lived for five years inside the gym, living unimaginable experiences, and they made him a samurai of the modern times.

“What I believe is that all of those things he says, many people interpret them incorrectly. That’s because that is the way he has always thought and motivated himself to reach a level of confidence that he needs to become a future champion in his division and in the absolute at the Worlds. So these events are events that motivate him even more to seek this excellence to be crowned as such — as a future absolute world champion. And this BJJ Stars will be another exceptional training session, with many stars present, where I believe Nicholas will come out the champion, and I believe he is prepared to do this.”

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