Thalison Soares made a splash in 2019, winning every tournament in the brown belt — which resulted in him getting promoted to black. But now this talented Cicero Costha representative wants much more as he kicks off his first season among the sport’s elite. His next engagement is the 2020 European Championship, slated to begin next Monday in Odivelas, Portugal.
The Manaus native is riding the momentum of a recent triumph at the IBJJF’s No-Gi Worlds last December. There he won three matches, with two submissions, to secure the gold.
As for next week? “I’m still the same fighter,” he says, “but the tendency is to get better with each passing day. With each training session, I feel I become more intelligent, more mature, stronger and faster.”
“There will certainly be new positions popping up at this European,” he adds. “I’m hungry for a title! I want to stress my physical preparation and discipline in cutting weight so that my body is ready, to fight everyone as an equal. My technique and my mind are walking hand in hand.”
Registered in the rooster division, which is among the most eagerly awaited by fans, Thalison has some thoughts on it. “The category has always had its favorite, and now I feel honored to be able to bring this extra shine to the division, to attract eyeballs, even as such a new black-belt. I’m sure it’s gonna be a jiu-jitsu spectacle.”
On how he feels going into his first European Championship as a black-belt, he says, “To be honest, I’m excited and happy with this opportunity to test myself against the best. I want to show my aggressive jiu-jitsu and give the audience some good fights. I can barely wait to put on my competition gi.”