Photos: Personal Archive
Denilson Pimenta, 41, is a big winner on the IBJJF’s competitive scene. An owner of six world titles, as well as gold medals in the gi and no-gi versions of the Pan, this black-belt from GFTeam wants to return to the roster of big superfight-heavy events like BJJ Stars and BJJ Bet, which are known for providing visibility to athletes older than 30.
Now living in Naples, Florida, he trains twice a twice a day planning to be summoned to fight Bruno Frazatto, Rafael Mendes or Mario Reis in a superfight event. Those are three fights that, in his eyes, make a lot of sense.
“I’d like to fight them again,” Denilson said. “It’s more to compare my mental side from before to now; the way I think has changed a lot. I’m a more experienced guy, more professional in regards to training and nutrition. If any event calls me up, I’ll be ready. I love fighting, and respect all my opponents.”
Out of the titles he won this season, the No-Gi Pan was etched in Denilson’s memory due to the final against Isaac Greeley of American Top Team. The light division’s gold was on the line.
“Man, this championship really left a mark on me,” said Denilson. “Isaac is a really tough old man; I had to come back from behind against him. He scored an advantage right at the start of the fight… I almost finished him twice, got two advantages and won. It was a war. It left a mark!”
Denilson also shared his thoughts on masters’ competitions in general, saying the number of competitors in the age group has been growing more than among adults. “The master category loves to compete; there’s no vanity, because the goal is to have fun, to test your BJJ,” he added. “In the adults’, on the other hand, in my point of view, it’s just like football. Back in the day, it was about winning competitions to make money. Now the athlete makes money to fight in competitions. Everything has changed; Jiu-Jitsu has become more professional. So people can stop competing at any moment. In the masters’ there’s no such thing. There will always be war!”