Gui Mendes: “Now it’ll be like this: us both competing at featherweight together”

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Black belt Guilherme Mendes in photo by Alicia Anthony

The brothers Guilherme and Rafael Mendes dominated the featherweight division at the 2011 European Open with the power-packed help of Bruno Frazatto and Eduardo Ramos, all from Ramon Lemos’s team Atos. spoke with Gui about the triumph.

What did you and Rafa make of the experience of competing together and closing out your weight group again?

We always competed in and closed out the same weight division at all the belts, and doing so at black belt always was our dream. After all, our entire journey in Jiu-Jitsu was always like that, us two together. Starting now that will be our focus, compete alongside each other at featherweight! The European Open was excellent, we had the pleasure of shutting out with Bruno Frazatto and Ed Ramos. They train with us every day, so there’s no way we’d compete against each other. Bruno brought a lot to the table when he first started training with our team, when we were still purple belts. And Ed has added a lot to our training. They’re awesome, we have much to thank them for.

What did you make of your matches?

I went up against Leonardo Saggioro of BTT, who I’d already beaten when I was a brown belt and who I knew would be a tough opponent. I attacked the whole time to not leave any openings, and I’m happy with the result. It was my second tournament as a featherweight since moving up in weight, and I won again.

Now Rafael beat Renan Borges. Both pulled guard and my brother managed to do that “berimbolo” position of his to get to back mount, where he finished with a choke. We managed to impose the pace yet again, and now the focus is on the next championship. We’ll train even harder so that we always come up with results like there.

What are your upcoming challenges?

We’re still in Europe. We’re going to do some seminars and then head to Canada, where we’ll spend a few days at Pura BJJ in Hamilton. On the 15th we’ll be back in Brazil, but on the 28th we’ll head to San Diego, California, for the team Atos training camp for the Pan. We’ll also defend our World Pro title in Abu Dhabi. As we’ve said before, we want to show up with ten lungs’ worth of gas!

Who most impressed you in Lisbon?

We can name three, among several others. Ary Farias, making his black belt debut winning gold at light featherweight. We can mention Ed Ramos again, since he beat Ryan Hall in the black belt featherweight division. He’s been showing great evolution in training and is coming up with better and better results. And, of course, there’s Claudio Calasans, who even at middleweight is beating a lot of champions in the absolute. As Tererê says, Calasans shows how the ant can beat the cockroach!

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