A champion of two ADCC divisions, Yuri Simões is now heading for his third edition of the event with the intent of making history. After debuting at the ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship in 2015 and taking down the under-88kg division, the athlete from CTA returned two years later to claim gold in Finland, this time in the under-99kg division. Now his focus turns to the over-99kg division, where he’ll be facing the biggest, heaviest competitors.
In a talk with Graciemag, Yuri revealed his plans for the event that is going to be held in California on the 28th and 29th of September, his motivation for jumping from one division to another, and what we can expect from his duels with the no-gi elite. Read on for our exclusive interview.
GRACIEMAG: What drives you to keep moving up in weight and seek even bigger challenges in the ADCC?
YURI SIMÕES: The motivation is to make history. I’ve dedicated my entire life to BJJ, gi and no-gi. I want, one day, to be able to retire and have the absolute certainty that I gave my best in my career as a competitor. BJJ is my life; I will always be motivated to do something I love.
Being an ADCC veteran must have its perks. Does it still make you nervous to compete in their format?
Yes, but to me that’s completely normal! I believe only people who don’t care about the result don’t get nervous. The big thing is whether you’ll lose control, or let the nerves and adrenaline dominate you to the point of hindering your performance. As to the fact of being a veteran and that helping, I try not to think much along those lines, because I never want to be comfortable. If it’s to stay comfortable, I prefer not to fight at all! I train and think as if this were my first ADCC: it’s necessary to have a big appetite for winning.
Buchecha, Cyborg and Kaynan are very strong in this division. What is your most dangerous opponent on your bracket?
I think it would be unfair to point to one guy on a bracket where everybody is 100% qualified to be there. Most athletes on my bracket have won at least a few big titles in the sport. And everybody who competes knows very well that no opponent should ever be underestimated. I think what’s going to make the difference is heart and the will to win at the time.
Strategy and knowledge of the rules have always been on your side. Does Caio Terra still carry his little notebook, studying everything?
For sure, that always helps! Caio is a perfectionist in this area of strategy and rules.
Someone else who is registered and may have a rematch against you is Gordon Ryan. What is the path for beating the American in no-gi?
You really want me to reveal my strategy before the match? You can just expect lots of desire on my part for becoming champion once more.