US champion Samir gets ready for No-Gi Worlds

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GRACIEMAG was there when Samir got his black belt. Photo: Carlos Ozório

A black belt under Alan Moraes at Carlson Gracie team, Samir Chantre moved to the USA, where he teaches at Gracie Fighter academy, Cesar Gracie’s team. At this year’s American Nationals, the black belt took top spot in the featherweight division after beating beasts like Baret Yoshida and Wellington Megaton. Now his sights are on the No-Gi Worlds to take place November 8 in California.

Get to know a little more about the top competitor, here on GRACIEMAG.com.

Tell us about your American Nationals campaign.

This win was really important to me. I was in three finals in a row and came out runner-up in all three. It was a relief. I fought Baret Yoshida, who beat me at the 2009 No-Gi Worlds. I was bent on beating him. He’s a really experienced and flexible opponent with some really strong positions. I did the right game plan and managed to get him this time. I was in the final against Wellington Megaton, who I admire a lot, is great people. We went against each other at this year’s Worlds and I won in a tight, stale match. This time I let my game flow more and, thank God, I managed to sub him.

You’ve been competing in a number of competitions in the USA. What do you think of the level of the events over there?

The events are great; the organization and structure makes all the difference. The IBJJF keeps outdoing itself. The level of the North American athletes too is getting better and better and there’s no lack of examples of that. The gang here loves the sport and just dedicates more and more to it. A lot of the top Brazilians migrated here.

Samir going strong at black belt. Photo: Mike Colón

What are your upcoming challenges?

My next challenge is a competition in Arizona and then the No-Gi Worlds, which I was runner-up in last year as a featherweight. I’m unhappy about taking second place, but God knows what he’s doing. This year I’m going to make it up to that top step on the winners’ podium, I just haven’t decided in what division yet (light featherweight or featherweight).

At the American Nationals you won at featherweight. Do you intend to remain in that division?

I spent a bit of time in Brazil, back to my origins, training with my master Alan Moraes at Carlson Gracie academy. I did some tournaments and then relaxed. Recently I’ve been training real light. I had an injury that kept me out of training for a few weeks. When I came to, I was well over weight and I didn’t want to drop for the American Nationals, because there wasn’t much time and it wouldn’t be healthy. I’m always faced with this dilemma because I feel good at featherweight, but at the same time, it’s easy for me to drop to light featherweight.

Up next, the No-Gi Worlds. Photo: Personal archive

What’s your day-to-day life in the USA like?

Gracie Fighter team is great. I’m at Body Architecture MMA gym in San Jose every day at night doing my physical conditioning work with Lori Henderson. Jiu-Jitsu training with Caio Terra at Ultimate Fitness in San Ramon is real tough, which has helped in my evolution. Matheus André and André de Freitas are also always with us. The MMA part Cesar Gracie takes care of. Training is real tough and we have a great group. Thank God, I can’t complain about the training here!

Do as Samir Chantre does and participate in IBJJF events.

Faça como Samir Chantre e participe dos eventos da IBJJF:

To find out more about the Miami Open, click here.

To find out more about the No-Gi Brazilian Nationals, click here.

To find out more about the No-Gi Worlds, click here.

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