GFTEAM’s Jaime Canuto made a big name for himself in 2013 when he won his brown belt middleweight division at the Pans and beating UFC champ Benson Henderson on the way. In this interview with BJJ Eastern Europe, Jaime talks about his Jiu-Jitsu story, His performance at the Pans, the hard trainings at GFTeam and his Master Julio Cesar:
1. Hi Jaime, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ Community of Eastern Europe?
My name is Jaime Canuto, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro. I’m a brown belt, I train at GFTeam and my main titles are Pan Ams Champion, CBJJE World Champion, Rio Open Champion, South American Qualifier Champion, Chicago Winter Champion, 2x Brazilian Nationals Team Champion, 2x 2nd place at Brazilian Nationals, CBJJE Pan Ams Champion, South American Champion, 3x Rio States Champion, 3rd place at the World Championship.
2. Please tell us about your Jiu-Jitsu story
The first time when I got to know about Jiu-Jitsu I was 13. I started to train and I didn’t like much, especially because at the time I used to compete in amateur surf and I was more excited about this sport. Then, I only did one month of Jiu-Jitsu and stopped. I carried on surfing until I turned 14 and got boring. Since then, I got back training Jiu-Jitsu with my Master Renato Veras (Perninha) and never stop.
3. Please tell us about your performance at the last Pans. What were thinking right before facing Benson Henderson?
I liked very much of my performance at the Pan Ams. Although, I know I still have to improve a lot, as there are many tough guys in my category and one mistake you make you can lose the fight. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about Ben Henderson. When I knew I would fight him, I was only thinking how to stop his takedowns attempt, as I know he is an excellent wrestler. So, I made my game plan and went for it during the fight.
4. You’ve trained in the States at Amal Easton’s academy. How you compare the training there and the hard core training at GFTeam in Brazil?
The structures are very different in both academies. In Easton I prepared for the Pan Ams together with my brother Jake Mackenzie and my buddies Mike, Brian, James, Jubera, Indiana, Shae, Alexandro, among others. At Easton, because it’s up hill, the attitude helps out on the cardio. And at GFTeam is hard core and “bad time” all the time. You see the training with over 20 tough black belts on the mat. I believe that there is no other place in the world you can find a training like we have at GFTeam.
5. What is next for you in 2013?
My focus now is to train hard and prepare myself well for the Worlds. This is my main goal.
6. How would you describe your BJJ game? What are positions that you like to work from?
I like to fight on my back, playing guard. Since I started to compete my goal is always going for submissions. I believe that my game is always going forward in the fight. I like to apply triangles and arm locks.
7. What can you tell us about Master Julio Cesar as a teacher and leader?
Among all the question, this one is the most difficult to respond. Master Julio is an exceptional person. He is our “big daddy” and he knows the exact time to say the right words to all of us, to keep it up. It’s great to have him as a Professor. If you are struggling with something, he always shows or says a little detail that makes a huge difference, not only in Jiu-Jitsu but as well in life. To cut short a long story, I love this “Old man”!
8. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free
First I want to thank my Masters Renato Veras (Perninha) and Julio Cesar, all my friends and training partners who are always by my side. A special thanks to Jake Mackenzie and Richard Neves. I’d like to congratulate Gabriel Rainho who has been doing an excellent job at GFTeam UK and Europe, and even far away he supports me a lot. I also want to thank my sponsors RCM EVENTOS ESPORTIVOS, SHOYOROLL, GUARABULL, HOTEL FAZENDA SERRA DA CASTELHA and everyone who helps me somehow. If anybody wants to support me, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, thank BJJEE for the opportunity. It has been a pleasure.
9. Thanks Jaime and all the best!