BJJ World Champ Bernardo Faria Credits Wrestling For His Success

BJJ World Champ Bernardo Faria Credits Wrestling For His Success


2015 double gold World champion Bernardo Faria made history 2 weekends ago at the Pan as he became the first ever 3x world champion at absolute black belt. He submitted Leandro Lo in the absolute final with an ezekiel choke from the back. Faria is in the best shape of his life and in the absence of Marcus Buchecha and Rodolfo Vieira, he is the top BJJ competitor of the past year.

Faria attributes a big part of his success to his Wrestling training that he started 2 years ago. He shares the same train of thought as his current coach Marcelo Garcia who believes that No Gi grappling helps the Gi and vice versa. Wrestling has also improved his pressure.

He stated on his Facebook:


Since I started training Wrestling with these guys (June 2014) I did 25 BJJ Matches, I won 24 and I got 18 Submissions! Here goes all my gratitude for these guys. Thanks @the_wrestling_coach @edge_wrestling and all my training partners over there that helps me a lot to improve my standing game @rafaelsaponatal @scotta77777 , Cosmo , Victor and all others! Osssss




Faria, in an in depth interview with Stefan Kesting talks about his Wrestling training in New York that he started after losing to Rodolfo. He goes training there once a week on top of his regular training schedule at Marcelo Garcia’s academy:


Stephan Kesting: How does the wrestling tie into all of this. Are you doing a collegiate style or a Greco-Roman style? What are you doing to make it fit in with your game and your plans?

Bernardo Faria I started wrestling last year, just after I lost in the finals to Rodolfo. I really felt that I could have taken him down if I had had a little bit of wrestling. I was ending up in the single leg position every time and I wasn’t finishing it. So right after the World’s I tried to find the very best place to train wrestling here in New York. I found one really good place called Edge in Hoboken, just across the bridge from New York City. It’s a very high level place, a lot of the UFC guys like Frankie Edgar, Rafael Sapo Natal, Demian Maia train there right now. They were super-welcoming of me, and I go there every Wednesday.

I don’t know that much about wrestling, so I don’t know what the differences between Greco and regular wrestling are; I just know that it’s American wrestling.

Stephan Kesting: Are you focussing mostly on the single leg, or are you doing the whole wrestling curriculum?

Bernardo Faria I’m doing the whole wrestling curriculum – whatever they teach me – but of course I tell them that my half guard always ends up in the single leg and I have to finish the single leg. I’m trying to do everything with a focus on the single leg. It really helps me a lot!

Stephan Kesting I’m assuming that they’re not doing much groundwork – not focusing on wrestling turnovers or wrestling pin and instead just focusing on the standup…

Bernardo Faria Most of the live training we do there involves pinning the guy on bottom for 3 seconds, or they give you 15 seconds on the ground to do whatever you want. There are a bunch of UFC and MMA guys there, so we don’t focus on pinning, we focus on either a 3 second pin or 15 seconds on the ground. It’s very good for jiu-jitsu I think, and it really helped me a lot.

Wrestling has so much pressure, so often I feel that even when I’m passing the guard the wrestling is giving me much more pressure. It helps me understand my body better…

Stephan Kesting When you say “Pressure” what do you mean? Is it psychological pressure or is it physical pressure where you’re pushing into your opponent?

Bernardo Faria I mean physical pressure, pushing into your opponent. For example, in wrestling class we often do the takedown and then have to hold the guy for 3 seconds. And man, to hold a wrestler on the ground is super-tough if the guy is high level. You have to spend a ton of energy to hold someone on the ground when they’re trying to stand up, stand up, stand up. So many times when I’m passing the guard I feel a little bit like I’m pinning someone down and using the jiu-jitsu techniques to pass the guard.

I don’t know if it’s just psychological, but since I started wrestling I felt like I can generate more pressure on top. I’m not sure if it’s really like that, but I do feel it.