At times, especially in a world where MMA has become so popular, some assume that because you partake in one form of Martial Arts means you can transfer those skills with ease into a similar field. This is far from the truth! Just because you kick box, doesn’t mean you can three knees like a Thai fight. Just because you do Muay Thai means you can punch like a boxer. Just because you do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means you can out-wrestle a wrestler. Sure, there are MMA guys who can blend all of these skills together—hence the mixed part of Mixed Martial Arts—yet, they are hardly ever dominant in one of those particular fields of art.
Recently, I was able to pick the brain of black belt Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu and discuss a topic similar to this. In fact, it was one that hit close to home for Cyborg, who was once on the Brazilian National team for wrestling!
The funny part? He has never once considered himself a wrestler! It’s quite a story.
It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
Abreu took a trip down memory lane and recalled a friend of his from back in the day. This particular friend was the President of one of the governing bodies of wrestling in the country of Brazil. With a big tournament on the horizon—literally 24 hours away—Roberto pleaded his case to be let into the tournament.
“You’re the freaking President, put me in!” A rather air-tight argument from Mr. Abreu! As luck would have it, the team representing his state didn’t have someone in his weight class, which allowed Roberto to sneak onto the team at the last moment.
“I got the singlet, I got the shoes,” Roberto tells me about the day of the tournament. “The next day, I got there early and the guys showed me what I had to do, what I didn’t have to do…Brazilian National Champion.”
Yes, just like that, Abreu became one of the top wrestlers in his country with zero preparation! It’s stories like these that make me marvel at some of the talented men and women we have in our sport…and clearly, Roberto is one of those people!
Enjoying The Ride While Winning Matches
The vibe that Cyborg exuded was that of joy and reminiscing over the good times. “I was never a wrestler,” Abreu told me, but that didn’t stop him from spending a couple of years on the Brazilian National team.
Simply enjoying the moment, Roberto knew it was time to put a stop to his wrestling and go back to what he knew best: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“There’s just so much where talent can help you,” Abreu began to admit he hit a wall he couldn’t surpass. “When you go toe-to-toe with Olympian wrestlers…man, I couldn’t even stay on my feet! I got thrown down so many times.”
And quite frankly, there’s zero shame in that!
Now I see why they call him a Cyborg.
Cyborg competing in wrestling:
Olympic gold medalist and UFC champion Henry Cejudo does a brilliant job explaining how to successfully take down much bigger opponents.
Reigning UFC Champion & Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Henry Cejudo Wants To Show You His Complete System To Takedown Bigger & Stronger Opponents Easily – Every Time.