Yuri Simoes from Checkmat won everything at the lower belts and made a big splash last year at black, taking the gold at the Pan (closing the bracket with teamate Lucas Leite). He recently moved to Australia where he is training with Kit Dale. In this interview with BJJ Eastern Europe, he talks about his new life in Australia, his competition filled preparation for the Worlds and his match with Nino Schembri this weekend:
1. Yuri, when did you move to Australia and how are settling in down under?
I haven’t moved 100% yet. I have a Team there though which is in very good hands with my student and one of the best brown belt in the world at the moment Kit Dale.
2. How did the opportunity come about to live there?
Through my friend and now student Kit Dale, I was looking for a place to teach last year and he told me about this gym that was needing a BJJ coach, and then I email the gym they offered me a good deal and I accepted.
3. You are training there with Kit Dale, please tell us more about the academy.
We have got a big future on that Team, besides me and Kit we are also making a really strong team on the lower belt division which will be represent us all over the World very soon.
4. You are currently back in the States preparing for the Worlds. Please tell us about the various competitions that you will be doing as a build up.
Yeah, I think it is very important to prepare your self not just training hard but also competing a lot to get used to the adrenaline and get used to fight all this lions of the sport. So I truly believe that it will make me a better fighter when I step on the Mundials mat.
5. How do you like life in Melbourne, and Australia in general?
Life there is good man, good people , beautiful place, beautiful food, and great place to work.
6. How popular is BJJ there? Can it be compared to popularity of BJJ in the US?
BJJ there is still not as big as in US but I would say that it will change within 3 to 4 years.
7. How do you intend to keep improving at the rate that you’ve been in Brazil with world class training, over in Australia?
I believe that my training in Australia with my team is way better than the train that I had in Brazil, over there I have all support that I need in all aspects, in Brazil training is far from my home so I have to take bus for hours and it end up not being so good on my body, I started getting injuries and it doesn’t feel as enjoyable as train in a place close to my house.
8.Next weekend you will be facing Nino Schembri. What are you feelings before facing such a legend?
It is great, I remember watching his fights in jiu-jitsu and in Pride and how my dad used to tell me how good Nino was when I was still a kid. Its a honor but I am going to give the best of me to bring the gold medal division and open weight.
9. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free.
First want to say Thanks to God I am a stronger believer in God and I know I wouldn’t be here if he didn’t wanted me to. Would like to thank Shoyoroll for everything these guys have been helping me in a while in the sport and I am very grateful to them, also want to thank Supp R Us which is my supplement sponsorship in Australia and they give me everything supplement that I need for my training, also wanna thanks my sponsor Jinx Cook-Island Tatau. and My Family in Brazil that I miss a lot.