Rafa says he’s ready for no time limit, but asks for bigger purse

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Mendes beats Cobrinha in Worlds 2010 final. Photo: Ivan Trindade

Current featherweight champion of the world Rafael Mendes did some raining on the parade of the inspired idea of a no-time limit match between him and four-time world champion Rubens Cobrinha, which arose in the USA this week and had Jiu-Jitsu fans the world over at the edge of their seats.

Today Rafael told GRACIEMAG.com he is ready for a gi match to the finish, and said that, were it up to him, he’d be down for it too, after Cobrinha accepted the challenge yesterday, as readers found out here on the website.

However, Mendes, who recently won a good chunk of change with his conquests at ADCC 2009 and the World Pro 2010, asked for a hike in the purse. Now the ball is in the court of the project’s investors, as you will find out to come:

The question every GRACIEMAG.com reader wants to ask: Are you going to take this “dream matchup” with Cobrinha, with no time limit and to the finish?

I see no problem in taking this match, I’d take it. But they have to pay my price. I’ve already replied to Bray’s (Deavours, one of the project’s originators), and told him just that. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody, I fought the whole year, more than one competition per month. But to fight with no time limit I asked he pay what I’m worth.

They offer the winner 10 thousand dollars, and the loser takes nothing. Do you feel at least the format for the match was a good idea?

Yes, but I’m not going to do a no-time limit match just because it’s a good idea. I want to make it clear that I have no problem with facing Cobrinha or whoever else they might want me to face. I entered this division in 2009 when I got my black belt and faced everybody, I beat the best, and now I’m number one, so I ask that I be valued as such. I understand they want to put up money to see this no-time limit match, and I’ll do it. But they’ll need to pay my price. If they really want to see this match, all they have to do is really invest in it.

There’s also the prestige…

But I don’t feel that I’d be fighting for prestige because I don’t feel obliged to prove anything, I’m the current no-gi (ADCC) and gi (Worlds) champion of the world. To me the fight is truly interesting for Cobrinha, who would certainly accept the first offer, regardless of what it is, to try and get back what he lost. So that’s all I can say, I’ll do it, for sure, I’m ready as I’ve always been. But if they want to promote something big like this match, I ask that they pay what it costs. Best regards to all!

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