Red Shield Competitor: Prof. Rafael Pinheiro

There are a lot of competitors within the Gracie Barra Network. Jiu-Jitsu fighters who like to test themselves in the GB Compnet and open Bjj competitions under a variety of different rulesets.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step under the spotlights of a professional grappling event and facedown a black belt who has been preparing months to face you?
What is the mindset of a high-level black belt who puts it all on the line against a black belt opponent?
At FTW 191, Prof Rafael Pinheiro steps up for a match vs Vitor Schlosser in Miami. GB Blog does a quick conversation with Prof. Pinheiro in the midst of his preparation for the black belt showdown.
GB:  Let’s start by introducing you to the Gracie Barra readers. When did you start training Jiu-Jitsu and where is your home GB school?
Prof. Rafael: GB Pantanal is my home school ( with my training partner Miguel Contins)
GB: Prof Rafael you have been competing a long time. Can you share with us some of your titles and notable placings in your competition career?
Prof. Rafael: My main titles are blue belt world champion, brown belt South American division / open class, and black belt British open ( division and open class)
GB: You are preparing for the FTW event this coming weekend (at the time of writing). Can you tell us about what it’s going to take to get the win over a very skilled opponent? Is there anything special that you did to get ready for FTW?
Prof. Rafael: I will bring my A-game to the fights, I only care about submitting him
GB: What motivates you not only to step under the bright lights of competition but the weeks-long and tough training that it takes to be at your best on match day?
Prof. Rafael: It motivates me is to test myself, and I like to feel that adrenaline when stepping on the ring
GB: What is going through your mind the moment you step onto the mats, you bump fists with your opponent, and the referee calls “combate!”
Prof. Rafael: When I step on the mat I want to kill or die!
GB: Last question, would you like to give a shout-out to any sponsors, coaches, or training partners?
Prof. Rafael: I’d like to thank God for the opportunity to be fighting in f2win
I want to thank GB Doral, GB Pembroke Pine, and GB Royal Palm beach
I want to thank my training partners; Paulo Castro, Mateus Godoy, Leo Gosling, Leandro Sabino, and Sean Fisher
And those who always motivated me; Bráulio and Victor Estima
Rafael Pinheiro