At 11 years of age, a yellow-belt has begun attracting looks of admiration in the BJJ community. Jorge “Jorjão” Fernandes stood out last weekend at the under-40kg Copa Podio GP in California. The GP was rounded out by Frankie Zambada, Mick Moylan and Graham Hanley.
This GP had a special flavor for the American Top Team fighter, because he had the chance to get a rematch and, to boot, won the gold after three fights, with two wins. Fight Talk reached out to Jorjão afterwards.
“There were no easy fights in this tournament, and I felt the same thing at the Pan Kids, the even I fought in prior to the Copa Podio GP,” he said. “I really enjoyed fighting for the title with Frankie Zambada, because it was a duel with lots of movement and intensity, where I scored 6-0. He’s a well-rounded athlete.
“The tourney was even more special, to me, for the opportunity to fight again with Mick, who had defeated me at the Pan Kids. With the help of my team, ATT – FTL, and my judo club, Ki-istusai, I was able to adjust even more my positions and surprise my opponent with the kimura, a submission I really like. I was very happy with my performance and can barely wait to fight again. It’s worth noting that Nick is multiple times a champion at the Pan Kids and a wrestling champion — a tough opponent.”
Jorjão added: “BJJ is entering a new level now, due to the events with superfights. I hope it stays like this or better! I’m fighting in professional events, as was the case of F2W, and now I had the opportunity to fight in Copa Pódio. This championship is very famous in Brazil, and I was very excited with the invitation, especially with it being held in the U.S. A GP with the four top yellow-belts was amazing.”
The young fighter, who trains under the supervision of his dad — Junior Fernandes, who is a black-belt under Ricardo Libório and main coach of ATT Fort Lauderdale — closed the interview by projecting his future in the sport: “I want to be world champion in the black belt — this is my biggest goal. I have my dad beside me, and he helps me in everything I do. He’s my biggest example of discipline. I’m going to honor everything he does for me! I love fighting. It makes me happy.”