Nova Uniao pt 1: Wagney Fabiano Interview

Since Wagnney`s arrival his team has expanded all over Canada and he has created many champions in BJJ and Submission Wrestling.Team Nova Uniao has been growing in all aspects of the fight game. With champions in BJJ, Submission Wrestling and even M.M.A.. Nova Uniao, since its formation years ago with Andre Pedeneiras and Wendell Alexander, has now even expanded into other countries all over the world. Here in Canada, Nova Uniao first came about 5 years ago with black belt Joao Roque coming to teach in Toronto at the Samurai Club. Although Roques stay was short, he established some loyal students and was able to demonstrate and teach BJJ like Canadians hadn`t seen until that time. Roque left after 6 months and returned to Brazil. At the same time, Wagnney Fabiano Santos arrived in Canada and started to teach in Montreal. Than Nova Uniao affiliates started to pop up all over the country! At the same time, a young grappler named Mark Bocek who was fortunate enough to train under Roque, sought out training under other Nova Uniao fighters such as BJ Penn and Charuto in Hawaii and John Lewis in Las Vegas. Bocek (also known as “Kidred”) returned to Canada terrorizing the mats with his new technique and was the talk of the town. Now, 5 years later, Mark Bocek is a black belt in BJJ, and teaches at his own academy under the Nova Uniao flag and Wagnney has moved to Toronto Ontario Canada and is responsible for of the country`s top grappling teams! Nova Uniao has landed!


In Canada, it is rare to find a lot of brazilian people. And to find a black belt in BJJ from Brazil seems to be even harder. Maybe because it`s too hot here, I can`t figure it out! Anyways, I believe now there is maybe only one per Province. So whenever one would enter the country, he would be the main topic of discussion for some time. Wagnney Fabiano came to Canada almost 5 years ago and planted the seeds for growth of his team (Nova Uniao) to grow. And grown it has. Since Wagnney`s arrival his team has expanded all over Canada and he has created many champions in BJJ and Submission Wrestling. Oh and Wagnney hasn`t done bad for himself either. He became a champion in the NAGA and Grapplers Quest tournaments in the U.S., a MMA Champion of Canada and recently went back to Brazil to win the 2005 Brazilian Abu Dhabi Trials! In this recent interview Wagnney reveals a little bit more about himself and his aspirations.

BALEIA) Wagnney, tell the OTM readers a little bit about yourself. who you trained with, titles you won in Brazil and the U.S., etc…

W.F.) I trained under Nova Uniao, I am a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Wendell Alexander, and Andre Pederneiras. I have trained over 20 years. Trained with many guys for example Leo Santos, Shaolin Robson, Renato Verissimo (Charuto) Dede, and Wendell. Titles : I won like 5 state titles, I won the blue, purple, brown belt brasiliero titles, and one Brasilian team, Pan Ams 95, 3rd place in the world in the Mundials 98. NAGA, Grapplers Quest, and right now the Brazilian Abu dhabi trials.

BALEIA)What was the experience like to compete in brazil at the Abu-Dhabi trials and which match was your toughest?

W.F.) For me it was normal to fight in brazil because I fight all my life there. And my toughest opponent was Rani in the finals. I pretty much had control in all my matches.

BALEIA)What`s the difference for you to train in Brazil and in Canada?

W.F.) In Canada you`re a little more focused in training, don`t have to many things to do here. So just train and be focused. So that is what I like about Canada. In Brazil it`s very nice to see the boys again and my teachers Wendell and Andre and learn with them.

But I think I don`t belong to Brazil anymore. I am always going to defend my country but I love Canada.

BALEIA) How is the BJJ level in Canada now in your opinion and what in your opinion has to be done for BJJ/Grappling to grow like it has in the U.S. and Brazil?

W.F.)The level of BJJ is growing everyday. The most important thing for growth, number 1 is one strong federation that all the schools respect and support.

BALEIA)Why did you choose Canada to go to and not California or somewhere else in the US?

W.F.)I was invited to go to the states before. But I wanted a place just to start the jiu-jitsu, bring it to somewhere that did not have before. I had the opportunity to come to Montreal on vacation, and I like the city so I decide to come. It`s the best thing I did.

BALEIA)Who in your opinion is the top BJJ fighter in North America and In Brazil? And, who in your opinion is the top mma fighter from North America and Brazil?

W.F.)The top BJJ fighter in North America (laughs) is BJ. Jiu-jitsu, MMA, anything. BJ for me is the best. In Brazil (laughs) for jiu-jitsu my brother (Leo Santos). For MMA I like Wanderlei Silva.

BALEIA)Last year you competed in the Arnold Gracie event where you had an impressive run, will you be returning again this year or are you mainly going to be focused for the Abu Dhabi?

W.F.) Last year I fought because I want a little bit challenge. I want to show what I have to maybe get an invite for Abu-Dhabi. But I fight a weight class up, but I don`t want to do that anymore . So I am just focused on Abu-Dhabi.

BALEIA) In the Gracie event you had to pull out of your last fight with Marcelo Garcia, due to injury. The two of you were destroying people in that division, and I am sure alot of people would like to see that match happen. Are you interested in a rematch?

W.F.)For sure we have some business to get done. I`d love to fight with Marcelino. That is tough for me because of the big weight difference. But maybe after Abu-Dhabi who knows.

BALEIA)After Abu Dhabi will you be returning to the MMA ring?

W.F.)For sure!!! 100% for sure.

BALEIA) Who was your biggest influence for your jiu-jitsu career and your life?

W.F.) My family. It`s my family. Especially my cousin Wendell, who was the biggest influence.

BALEIA) Is there anybody you would like to thank for your accomplishments in your career?

W.F.) First I want to thank God. After that my Wife, she takes care of me all the time and helps me be focused on what I want. I want to thank Josh Rapport. He takes care of all the problems in my club and help me to be focused on my training. Also, want to thank all my boys for coming out to help my training. My students help me a lot, I am nothing without them. Also, for people interested in checking out the club and help my training for Abu-Dhabi. Come visit Toronto BJJ the website is and the phone is 416-744-6868.

Thanks, for this BALEIA.

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Riccardo Ammendolia