Fellipe Andrew made a huge impact at this year’s European championship when he won the gold in the black belt absolute in spectacular fashion. The Zenith black belt became the first man to submit Keenan Cornelius at black belt, with a spectacular triangle.
In this interview, his now former coach Robert Drysdale said:
“I think it’s the culmination of what everybody has been saying: this kid is going to be the best in the world. Today’s result is the beginning of this and we just have to make him believe in his potential.This kid is going to outdo Buchecha.”
Fellipe announced back in July that he would be leaving the Zenith BJJ association to join powerhouse Alliance at their San Diego affiliate. He wrote on his IG:
“Well guys, as everything in life has a cycle … today another one ended in my life, which was my participation in the @zenithmatrizbrasil team!
I wanted to tell everyone that this was my and @rodrigocavaca’s decision … we were already planning this.
My respect, love, and affection for Cavaca remain the same, not least because I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank or repay everything that this guy has already done for me. If today I am who I am this guy was one of the great responsible people in my life.
I received a lot of messages today from people asking what had happened, people saying they are sad … but I guarantee you, in this Jiujitsu life I learned that friendship goes much further than any flag!
As of today I will be representing @alliancejjassociation, but my friendship remains the same!
So let’s stop anything that feels like good bye, because this is just another new beginning in my life.
Now part of the Alliance San Diego, in the United States, Andrew opted for a path that is becoming more and more accepted in Jiu-Jitsu. Although the practice has not yet been “fully accepted” by some practitioners and teachers, the switching of teams has been adopted by many fighters looking for evolution, better training structure and tournament opportunities.
In this interview with Tatame, he explained his decision to join Alliance.
– Criticism and how to deal with the team change process
“Criticism in relation to this subject will always exist, there is no way. But the criticism comes only from those who have not evolved and have been stuck in time. I am and will always be looking for my evolution as an athlete, thinking about my best as a Jiu-Jitsu athlete, the evolution of my training and my improvement in my daily life.”
– What has evolved the most since switching from Zenith to Alliance
“Every change adds to everyone’s life, and it was no different for me. I felt that I learned a lot in several aspects in my day to day, not only in terms of training and competitions. It was an improvement and learning in general, and I can only thank everyone involved in this rewarding process.”
– Cavaca’s reaction at the time and relationship with him today
“As I said earlier, it was a broken decision from him (Rodrigo Cavaca) to change my team. Nowadays our relationship remains the same, we always talk. I think the role of a real teacher is to teach and want the best for your student, and that’s what he always did with praise.”
– Market assessment of team change and professionalization
“My opinion is that Jiu-Jitsu is becoming more and more professional. It is crazy for a teacher to want to arrest a student and treat him just like (a number) and not think about his difficulties. If he sees that in another team the athlete has more conditions to evolve, let the athlete move on. This is the natural way.”
The 25 year old Andrew had already a tremendous 2019 season winning gold at Europeans in the super heavyweight division, took first place in his weight class at Pans, and won his division at Brasileiros in 2018.
Andrew trained with Rodrigo Cavaca from blue to black belt and moved to the U.S. in 2019 to join Drysdale at his Las Vegas academy.
Master devastating triangle chokes, vicious foot locks, and much more in this series completely dedicated to chasing the tap.
These are some of Fellipe’s signature techniques that have won him big tournaments against other black belts.