Judo Silver Medalist Travis Stevens recently answered some serious questions in an interview with Sirious XM’s Rush.
He exclusively revealed to The Luke Thomas Show why he stopped competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments.
“IJF put a ban on me personally doing any other jiu-jitsu competitions that’s why after Copa Podio 2 years ago February I stopped.
Because the IJF said , we’re not banning athletes but you have to ask us for permission to go. So I wrote for a permission to go to Worlds and compete as a brown belt and they said no.
I got offered a 10,000$ card so I wrote another appeal to them and said hey you guys are preventing me from making a living because I don’t make that much money in Judo and I have an opportunity to make 10,000$ and build my name up in this country for both judo and jiu-jitsu and they said no.
And then they sent a 3rd letter saying don’t ask us anymore because any further request will also be denied “
When asked what does that mean for his future career Stevens answered:
“I remember sitting down with John Danaher after one of the training sessions and I said John I have a serious question to ask you and I wanna let you know something: one of my goals is to win the Olympic games one year, win the IBJJF Worlds 8 months later and then 6 months after that I wanna win ADCC. Then he looked at me and said that sounds like mission impossible. But I honestly feel if I had the backing and support I could do it. No questions asked. Because I can outwork any One in any sport because I love training, I love being in the gym I love that feeling of getting ready to do the grind and surviving. “
When Stevens won his Silver medal Danaher wrote about him in a tribute instagram post:
“Olympic hero: A massive congratulations to Travis Stevens who represented our country with such brilliance and skill today in the pinnacle of all sports – the Olympic Games. Travis fought through some of the best Judoka in the world to get into the finals, defeating his opponents with a superb blend of powerful and disciplined gripping, mixed with a superb sense of opportunity and technical precision on the mat. One could not hope to see a better display of the fusion of standing grappling (tachi waza) and ground grappling (ne waza). The years of hard work under his great coach, Jimmy Pedro (himself a master of the interface between standing and ground) paid off with a memorable path to the finals. Mr Stevens is the first American male to win a silver medal in Olympic judo since 1992. In doing so he showed that the fusion of standing and ground grappling can produce incredible results at the very highest levels. The squad is so proud of this amazing achievement- made all the more special by the fact that he fought not just for himself or his team – but for his nation. Thank you, Travis Stevens, for representing our nation and our sport so superbly. Can’t wait to see you back in NYC”
The question remains whether Stevens considers his Silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics a victory and will we see him at the Worlds in the next 8 months. Keep an eye out during all those ADCC trials, because Judo Silencer might just be out to get it!
You can hear that segment of Travis Stevens’ interview by pressing play below: