Deemed a favorite in every tournament he enters, Manuel Ribamar is currently experiencing his best phase since getting his black belt in mid-2015. A sitting IBJJF European champion, Ribamar has set out to conquer the Grand Slam — that is, to win at the Pan, Brazilian Nationals and Worlds as well as the Euros.
To get there, he has moved up in weight and is now a medium heavyweight. His performance at the Euros, in late January, left him motivated for upcoming competitions, as it was his first important title in the gi amongst the sport’s elite.
“Many things changed from 2019 until now,” he told Fight Talk in a recent interview. “In spite of me being a teacher now as well, I’m more disciplined in my professional career. I take better care of my nutrition, I train more, and I’m completely fortified spiritually.”
He continued: “But the biggest thing I worry about is avoiding losing to myself, letting these recent victories make me float within my comfort zone. I don’t want the comfort zone; I’m forged in fire!”
As to why he moved up in weight, Ribamar said agility played a part. “In this medium heavyweight category, I feel that I move better than most other athletes. My playing style favors me too, and because of my training with my team, I feel that my fight timing is much better now.” He appended: “This is all owed to my good nutrition too — all built by Nathalia Chantre, my nutrition coach.”
The student under Rodrigo Pinheiro will be fighting again on March 28 in Texas. His opponent will be Matheus Diniz, a current ADCC champion, in a ten-minute superfight at Fight to Win 137.
“I’m happy for getting invited again to fight at Fight to Win, an event that really values the professional athlete,” Ribamar said. “I’m ready to put on a great show for the public, and I’m counting on all my team and my fans there.”
He concluded by saying, “I really enjoy competing and, because of this, I want to be every month fighting twice, if possible. I’m fighting for my dreams and to motivate my students. I want them to always be willing to fight for their dreams.”