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The start of the 2020 gi season had been going swimmingly for Manuel Ribamar.
Building off a strong late 2019, Ribamar went to the IBJJF European championships having never won gold at the notoriously tough tournament and but left with one of the biggest victories of his black belt career.
Going into the IBJJF Pan Championships Ribamar was among the favorites to win a crazy medium-heavyweight bracket that included Murilo Santana, Leandro Lo, and many more.
But as we all know the world has come to a screaming halt and Pans didn't happen.
However before all that, I went down to Manuel Ribamar's new gym to talk about all the relevant topics in the life of a jiu-jitsu athlete, from his long journey from Manuas to Texas, to the reason he'd never fight Leandro Lo and much more.
When Ribamar Stopped Worrying About Losing, He Started Winning
Manuel Ribamar has been among the top black belts in jiu-jitsu for years but he always seemed to come up short when it meant fighting for gold. Now however all that has changed with banner wins at No-Gi Worlds and the European championships.
So how did Ribamar turn himself from a perpetual runner up to a dominant champion? It all came down to his mentality surrounding winning and losing.
Ribamar On His Father-Like Relationship With Leandro Lo
Although their personalities seem like polar opposites Manuel Ribamar and Leandro Lo have trained together for many years and built an unbreakable bond forged on the jiu-jitsu mats. Now with both of them trying to win titles all over the world they still take time to pump each other up with positive energy.
Ribamar Cherishes Opportunity To Build His Own Gym
Priorities have shifted in the lives of Manuel Ribamar and his wife Nathiely de Jesus. They have gone from self-focused athletes to gym owning professors and after four months of building their own space Ribamar revels in the opportunity to teach the next generation.
Ribamar Almost Didn't Compete At No-Gi Worlds
It was the most meaningful title of his black belt career but Manuel Ribamar almost never took to the mats.
My Biggest Win: Ribamar Submits Calasans
One of the biggest wins of Manuel Ribamar's black belt career came last year when he notched a submission victory against world champion Claudio Calasans.