At 19, Vitoria Assis appears as a breath of fresh air for the female featherweight division. The Double Five athlete has been on a roll since winning the world title, which she won as a purple belt at the end of May, in Long Beach, California.
With a brown belt on her waist for just one month, Vitória is already showing her prowess in the main competitions of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). At the recent American Nationals and Austin Summer Open, she shone in both the gi and no-gi contests.
Vitória, who can now choose to submit her opponents with attacks below the waist, tells the biggest change that fighting in the “more professional” graduation brought about.
“For an athlete that fights at high-performance, the change is always minimal. That’s how I believe it has to be at the brown belt, a more professional division than the purple belt. The fight timing and rules are different, but I always put it in my head that, at every graduation, I have to be one step ahead of my previous self, and that’s what my teachers and I worked towards. We prepared a lot for this moment and we have already shown that we are ready for this new phase. I already won the American National and Austin Summer Open with and without the gi, right after the Worlds. We are going to keep showing our work even more”, says the champion, who has been training Jiu-Jitsu for 8 years.
Vitória already shows an advanced mentality for age. The athlete has already realized that just earning gold medals does not mean having a reliable career monetization. Next, she explains her way of looking at professional Jiu-Jitsu.
“After the Worlds, this was an issue that I reflected a lot on. If you asked me six months ago what my dream was, I would say it was to be a world champion. But after the Worlds, I thought: “and now, what do I do with this title?” Obviously, being a world champion brings you many good things, such as sponsorships, super fights, and a lot more. But I want to make a full living from the sport and that’s what I’m working towards. I know it’s important to take care of my image to further monetize my medals. I have invested more and more in my career. The goal is to fight at a high level and achieve financial stability with the sport I love!” says Vitória.
The new Double-Five star also details the growth of grappling in the United States and reveals whether she intends to make a career in this modality.
“I’ve been training wrestling for a long time and I’ve always liked grappling a lot. The feeling of going all out is different but very good. I never thought about taking grappling to the professional side, because in Brazil it is still very undervalued. But now, seeing this growth in the United States, I keep training to compete at a high level in that sport too”, reveals Vitória, before talking about being in the last stage before the sport’s elite, the black belts.
“I train to be able to win in the elite of the sport. I want to be among the best black belts and for that, I need to constantly evolve. I plan to participate in as many championships as I can to get as adapted as possible to high-performance competitions. I can’t wait!” she ends.