Alliance Rio’s Tayane Porfírio was the big winner of the women’s section of the 21st Brazilian Nationals, held two weekends ago in Barueri. Graciemag had the chance to catch up with her following her double-gold performance.
GRACIEMAG: How did it feel to compete in the Nationals at the black belt?
TAYANE PORFÍRIO: The National Championship was magical this year; I felt a very good energy in the gymnasium, something I had never felt before. It was my first nationals as a black-belt, and it was wonderful to be there with all those tough female athletes.
How do you rate your showing?
I think it was one of the best competitions I have ever done. I was super nervous, but managed to concentrate well in every fight. I was able to listen to my master, and I was very satisfied with the way I fought. I hope to fight better in each competition.
What was your toughest fight?
In truth, all fights were very hard. I faced each one like a final; I was fighting without thinking about the next fight, since all athletes these days are tough to face. Women’s BJJ has evolved greatly, and I’m very happy to see this growth. The division final, for example, was with Luzia Fernandes, a big name in BJJ. I managed to call her to my guard, but right at the start she accelerated and managed to score an advantage. We resumed standing, and I called her again, and managed to sweep and finish. In the absolute, against Bia [Mesquita], who is one of the biggest names in BJJ these days, she called me to her guard, and I managed to pass. Bia is a great athlete — I think her jiu-jitsu is outstanding. As always, it was war until the end.
Even with the convincing wins, you are being dissed on social media. What do you have to say to athletes who, like you, are targets of prejudice?
In the beginning, it is very hard. Except that, even with all the hardship, I didn’t give up. I went after carving a space for myself, and gradually I’m doing it. I’m sure that, if they believe, they will make it too. And to critics I have one thing to say: Criticize away! Because with each competition I will give it my best, and, if I lose, I will lose knowing that I fought till the end. To my fans I want to say I love you and that you inspire me with every message.