Meet purple belt world champion Junior Fernandes,
This was a breakout year for the Fightzone London based competitor, adding to his world class resume two world titles this year. The newly minted purple belt world champion took some time to answer a few questions for us.
First off, congrats on the huge win! Two world titles in one year, that is amazing, how are you feeling?
I’m happy with the results. It's been a successful year, one of my best so far, but I’m not satisfied there’s always room for improvement. All my hard work has been shown through my results so I am pleased with that.
Before the recent gi jiu jitsu world championship you did some training in the USA. How was that experience being at the Checkmat HQ?
Training at this year's Worlds camp was very tough, full of elite athletes from all parts of the planet. It did indeed help me mentally because heading to the competitions there was no better (no offence) than my training partners in my division so I was at ease & relaxed heading into my fights. Professors Lucas Leite, Rico & Leo Vieira evolved and sharpened my game prior to these tournaments and being by my side blossoming under their tutelage. HQ & La Habra always has a friendly vibe & welcoming but once training starts it’s porrada time.
What was the toughest aspect of winning this title? Toughest match?
To be honest the toughest battles are always against myself you know? My thoughts, my ego, anything unhealthy I’m consuming, the knowledge I neglect & my behaviour. However! If I had to choose I’d always say the quarter finals of big tournaments because it’s the last fight before reaching podiums & I’ve had a long history of losing those matches haha, slowly but surely we are getting there.
What does it mean to you to be able to become both gi and no gi world champion in the same year
It’s an awesome feeling you know, at the end of the day that’s all I care about winning these big titles, building my name & helping my family. I’ll keep it real too. I'm addicted to winning and always craving success. I'll do anything for it! I had a mate of mine ask me “J how does it feel to be 3X World Champion?” It’s cool and all a lot of the light gets put on your name but I don’t settle for less I want more keep on building my legacy, I want my mothers surname to have longevity complimenting well to the amount of titles & achievements I’ve racked up in this sport when it’s all said and done.
How did you celebrate your victory? Any advice on what makes a world championship post victory cheat meal?
After Worlds I went back to my other passion, surfing. I'm still a novice but it's such a vibe for me. Mateeee, after the comp I grabbed everything I could see to eat: chick fil a, in & out, ice cream you name it haha, I’m looking forward to seeing my family back home in Portugal have some of my traditional grub can’t go wrong with it.
With the year winding down, do you have any plans already for next year? New goals?
I’ve got plans for sure in and outside of the sport. I won't reveal them but just know I’m working to keep my name up there amongst the best.
Anything you would like the Jiu Jitsu community to know about?
I wanna thank everyone that supported me so far, my team, professors, training partners. It’s only the beginning, we are just getting started. I've been shown a lot of love & it only motivates me more so it doesn't go unnoticed. It’s a big blessing to be able to do what I’m doing and it wouldn't be done through my mother & Marcos' help and faith in me. Thank you to progress James, Krish & Mark for looking after me as an athlete and valuing my talent. I hope to work with you for many more years to come.
Remember no struggle no progress😉
Thank you Junior for taking the time to answer these questions. Congrats again on the big win. Looking forward to catching up soon and learing more of your plans!
All the best,
Team Progress Jiu Jitsu