I was here thinking, how can some people have the luxury of writing about what is going through my mind without even knowing me at the very least. Or to place in doubt my feelings of “a challenge”, questioning if this motivates me or not. Others, probably cheer for my adversaries opinion about my choices. Many deciding how much I have to ask to fight or not to fight. First, if my feeling for a challenge was not great, and if I was afraid of someone, I would have changed sports and would have fought many less competitions than that I have disputed.

I have fought jiu jitsu since I was 12 years old, always I was a born competitor and this sensation of taking on challenges has accompanied me since I was born.

When I received my black belt, I entered a category where there was only one man reigning for years and I did not deviate my route, I maintained my path, without fear or discredit. I believe in professionalism, I know that super fights can be beneficial for our sport. But I know my value as well, and this is clear. I have fought too much to conquer what I have come to conquer.

Only God and the people next to me know how much I train and how much effort I put in each day to reach my objectives.
If now they want to promote a fight with different rules, I am very happy for the invitation and recognition, what I have to say is that I am ready as I have always been to take on the challenge and I believe in me more than any person. I am extremely confident and at the same time I am a person who gives values to things a lot and unfortunately I know that this value is not what the both of us deserve.

I saw people talking about that I fight for medals, for much less of this value, and asks me how come I don’t want to fight for 10,000usd, maybe this is a good value for 1 fight in regular rules, but not for a challenge in this manner and without time, where we can be fighting for hours, and at the same time other people may be earning A LOT more than what we will be earning. I do not see myself in obligation to fight for honor, therefore I do not have anything to prove, that what I have come to do speaks for itself and that it won’t be a fight that more or less decides or transforms me into a better or worse athlete or person.

I am a professional athlete and I know exactly my value and place. I am not greedy, but at the same time I am also not a fool. The value proposed in itself is of extremely good value, and certainly I would have earned tremendously from it. But it isn’t sufficient for a fight with this kind of rules, a fight without time to the end. For this kind of fight, I would have to cancel several seminars that I have scheduled toward the end of the year, to be able to train duly, which makes the value to be less attractive. Well, I would like to say this. At any moment I did not refuse to fight, I do not have any problem with the rules or adversary. But for this format I demand a bigger value, therefore in my mind, me and Cobrinha deserve much more than what was previously proposed.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

A big hug to all,

Rafael Mendes