Catchin up with Bibiano “the FLASH” Fernandes

If the saying “you are a product of your environment” is true, than without even sparring with him, I can tell you Bibiano is a legit badass! Every year when I go to Brazil in the summer, I usually head to Rio for a bit than go to Manaus to visit and spend time with my girlfriends family. I am kind of lucky because Jiu-jitsu is huge in Manaus and you can go anywhere and find an academy to train at. Upon my last visit, I ended up getting in Manaus at the same time the world championships were going on in Rio in July. So, that meant that Manaus’ top fighters were all gone. I still had some tough training but the best of the best just weren’t around. So, I emailed OTM’s own Scotty and he gave me 2 contacts. One was for Jaca’s academy (bad part was Jaca was away doing a camp) and the other for Bibiano Fernandes. I called Bibiano who was still in Rio at the time and told him who I was (Scottys friend) and he said he’d take an early flight home to come see me and help me get some good training. Sure enough he arrived a day later and I found myself training at his academy. The academy was Clube Pina, with head instructor Maestre Pina. The training was awesome and if the saying “you are a product of your environment” is true, than without even sparring with him, I can tell you Bibiano is a legit badass!

He’s been nicknamed “the Flash” and is known to submit his opponents very fast. When I mean fast, I mean under a minute with flying armlocks and triangle chokes or whatever he has a feeling like to use. He has been also called a mini Jacare as they share the same competitive and aggressive fighting styles. Recently, I found out Bibiano came to Vancouver Canada of all places to teach for a while. Bibiano just flew over from California where he won the Pan Ams, again, So I had to take the opportunity to ask him some questions to learn more about “the FLASH”

BALEIA->- Bibiano, first off how did you end up in Canada?

Bibiano- I’m here in Vancouver Canada now because I have a new canadian fiance Jennifer. We both fought in the pan ams and have come back here to rest a little before I go back to brasil to start training for the mundials.

BALEIA- Where do you train in Manaus and with who (team/academy)?

Bibiano- Club Pina the affilate of Gracie Barra in Manaus.

BALEIA- How did you get into jiu-jitsu?

Bibiano- Before in my life I was very poor, I didn’t have money for anything, not even food. Life was a struggle. I asked God to help me and to place good people on my path. I meet 2 guys who introduced me to jiu-jitsu. I told them I don’t have any money to pay for training. They said no problem we’ll take care of you. And look at me today I’m 4 time champion of the mundials, 5 time champion of the campeonato Brasileiro in brasil, 3 time black belt champion of the Pan Ams, I received my black belt 4 years. Today I have a great life, a car, money, a wife, travel alot to Japan, United States, and now Canada. What can I say, only thank you God for everything you have given me in my life. My life has been one where I struggled alot, fighting for everything I have.

BALEIA- Did you have any role models while beginning jiu-jitsu?

Bibiano- Terere, and Nino.

BALEIA-What is the training like in manaus compared to other parts of the world?

Bibiano- I’ve trained all over the world but for me the best training is in Manaus because it has the best fighters in the world.

BALEIA- What kind of advice do you have for people who want to improve their jiu-jitsu game?

Bibiano- Train in everything, always look to learn new techniques and try to use them. This will evolve your game and make it more well rounded. Jiu-jitsu is a game of intellegence, like chess.

BALEIA- You often go to Japan, would you ever consider moving there or outside of Brazil?

Bibiano- I have a lot of fans in Japan. I’m well know there and the States as well. I always getting propositions to open schools in Japan or the States. To be honest this year I only want to fight. Next year who knows what will happen.

BALEIA-How do you prepare for competitions like the mundials or pan ams?

Bibiano- Alot of training, like 5 hours everyday Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday, nothing, only rest. I do jiu-jitsu, swimming, running, and a little bit of weight lifting.

BALEIA- Which title or fight are you most proud of?Bibiano- I’m proud of all my fights because they were all important events that happened in my life.

BALEIA–Is there anybody that you have always wanted to fight in Jiu-jitsu?Bibiano- No, I don’t look for who I want to fight next. I just want to have a good fight with who ever I’m matched up with.

BALEIA- What was fighting in Rickson Gracies Budo Challenge like?

Bibiano- It was great, a big event in my jiu-jitsu career. I was excited to be asked by Rickson to fight in it. There were a lot of people from all over the world fighting and watching. I did really well in this tournament, fought 2 times and submitted both in under a minute.

BALEIA- You are known to finish your matches very quick, how did you develop such an offensive and effective game?Bibiano- This is the kind of jiu-jitsu we have in Manaus. Everyone calls me “The Flash” because I’m famous for always finishing my oppenents very quickly. I’m always thinking about finishing people, with triangles, arm bars, or chokes, whatever, just always finishing them.

BALEIA- You did one Vale Tudo, was that just to try or do you eventually want to become a MMA fighter?Bibiano- I have an offer to fight mma in japan now, I don’t know if I want to do it this year or next year. But it will be a big event. I can’t talk about it to much right now, but soon you will all know.

BALEIA–In your opinion, who is the top jiu-jitsu fighter pound for pound in the world?Bibiano- Without any doubts, Jacare. He won 2 times black belt absolute at the mundials.

BALEIA- Di you have a favourite match in jiu-jitsu either with yourself or others?

Bibiano- One fight at the Campeonato Brasiliero tournament in brasil 2003 or 2002 Pe De Pano vs Terere. This fight was so beautiful. Terere won, and it got me to thinking that jiu-jitsu is all in the mind. Terere had 73 kg and Pe De Pano 130 kg, and still Terere was able to sweep him. I think about this fight alot. Everyone was very excited and emotional.

BALEIA- Do you ever want to compete in the Abu Dhabi Competition?

Bibiano-Yes, I think next year I’ll compete in it.

BALEIA- You now won the mundial, the Budo and the Pan Ams within one year, what are your plans for the rest of 2006

Bibiano- I want a lot of things, but all in due time. I’m going to continue fighting and hope one day to be able to fight in canada.

BALEIA- Are you available for seminars, privates, how can people get ahold of you

Bibiano- I’m in Vancouver until May 17, after that my fiance and I will go back to brasil. If anyone wants to contact me for seminars or privates they can call 1-604-642-4252 or send a email to

BALEIA- Thanks for your time Bibiano. Do you want to leave a final-message?

Bibiano- First I want to thank all the Canadians, especially On The Mat, Riccardo Ammendolia, Jennifer, Tim, and Gary. These people helped me a lot. And thank you to all my fans in the world, I hope that I can inspire you to believe that you can achieve anything you want in life.

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Riccardo Ammendolia