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Bruno Franco Fernandes - The Fifth Degree Black Belt

Bruno Franco Fernandes - The Fifth Degree Black Belt

1. Bruno Fernandes Details

Bruno Fernandes Details
Name Bruno Franco Fernandes
Nickname Molenga
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
Age 44 Years
Date of birth 6-April-1978
Weight 82 kg - 181 lbs
Weight Division Peso Médio (82 kg / 181 lbs)
Last Weigh in Middleweight
Height 6’0’’
Foundational Style BJJ
Career Disclosed Earnings N/A
College University McGill University and University of Toronto
Rank 5th Degree Black Belt
Head Coach Carlos Gracie Junior
Last Fight 2014 IBJJF Pan American Championship
Favorite Technique Guard
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Junior -> Bruno Fernandes
Team Association Gracie Barra
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2. Bruno Fernandes’s Biography

Bruno Fernandes is a 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Junior. He is also an ophthalmologist who served McGill University in Montreal as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology.

Currently, he is retired from his medical career to give his 100% to his BJJ school in Montreal, Canada. He is producing various IBJJF and UFC Champions.   

2.1. Interaction with BJJ

Bruno Fernandes joined BJJ academy when he was 11 years old. His father was a close friend of the Rosado and Ricardo Perrone family. Members of these academies were associated with Carlson Gracie Academy.

This friendship with the great fighter became the reason Bruno’s father enrolled him in the BJJ academy.   

2.2. Bruno’s Favorite Sports

Bruno Fernandes also liked to do swimming and surfing from an early age. When he turned 15, he paused swimming. He wanted to give his maximum to BJJ.

Now that he has become the world champion, a successful ophthalmologist, and is running his own BJJ school in Canada, he again resumed surfing. He mentioned in an interview that he has a wave near his BJJ school where he likes to go. But he misses the beach in Rio.    

2.3. First BJJ Instructor

Alberto Santos was the first instructor of BJJ Champion, Bruno Fernandes, then, Carlson Gracie Junior, Miguel Kelner, and “Ray” Diogo respectively played their role in the development of Bruno Fernandes’s BJJ skills. Bruno Fernandes trained under these instructors till his Blue Belt.

2.4. Joined Gracie Barra

At the age of 16 after getting his Blue Belt from Carlson Gracie academy, Bruno Fernandes had to leave Carlson Gracie academy. His family relocated to Barra da Tijuca. In Barra, he found Gracie Barra just 5 minutes away from his house.

Having one of the great BJJ schools near his house saved him the trouble of traveling too far. With BJJ, he was also carrying his medical career so practically he could not manage to join a school far away from his house.

This was the reason why he left Carlson Gracie academy and joined Gracie Barra. Bruno Fernandes still honored his previous academy. He said that he informed his previous coach about the reason why he joined Gracie Barra.   

The neighboring branch of Gracie Barra Academy also played a positive role in his BJJ career. He was very occupied with his study life and could not travel to train in BJJ. 

2.5. Nicknamed “Molenga”

Bruno Fernandes was nicknamed “Molenga” by his friend and training partner, Leonardo “Plic”. In Portuguese, “Molenga” means “lazy boy”. Bruno always showcased a back approach in his BJJ training. He seemed to take leverage in his BJJ fights in the gym. Due to his fighting style in the gym, his friend named him so.

2.6. Became a Medicine Student

Bruno was a Medicine student. He studied at the world’s best institutes McGill University and the University of Toronto. He completed his specialization in Ophthalmology.

He went to Canada to do his internship as well as Ph.D. research. He was also honored to serve at McGill University as an Assistant Professor which is considered one of the world’s top five universities.   

2.7. Relocated to Canada

Bruno Fernandes went to Canada to pursue research and Ph.D. from McGill University. Initially, he did not plan to stay longer than two years. But when he was offered a teaching post at McGill University, he considered it a huge honor and decided to make Canada his home.

2.8. Coaching Career

During his stay in Canada, Bruno Fernandes started his coaching career at Tristar MMA Academy where he trained and produced big names in BJJ and MMA.

Then he decided to start his own school in Canada. So he put his efforts into his own BJJ school, named Gracie Barra Montreal. As this was an affiliated school with Gracie Barra. 

2.9. Started Gracie Barra Montreal

He started Gracie Barra Montreal in 2010. Bruno Fernandes is the founder and head instructor at Gracie Barra Montreal. He is also the Regional Director of the Gracie Barra association all over the province of Quebec, Canada.

Now Gracie Barra Montreal is serving as a big school in Canada from where top competitors of BJJ and MMA appeared. 

2.10. Retired from Professional Medical Career

Bruno Fernandes is also an ophthalmologist. He did research in Cancer and Pathology. He served as an assistant professor at McGill University of Canada from 2009 to 2012 and published his research in various journals and represented at many conferences.

In 2012 he retired from his professional medical career and wanted to give his 100% dedication and time to his students.    

2.11. Advised Jiu-Jitsu Students to be Persistent

In an interview with the Gracie Barra organization, Bruno Fernandes advised his students to be persistent on their way to Black Belt. If they do not have some fun during their struggle, it will frustrate them. Bruno Fernando said, no doubt, the BJJ Black Belt journey is too long, but never overthink it.

“The only thing that changes when you get Black Belt is you stop caring about it”.

So adopt this type of mindset, regardless of the belt color you have. Feel like you have a Black Belt and continue your journey towards pure progress.

2.12. A Strong Personality with Great Moral Values

Bruno Fernandes embodies great qualities like moral values, discipline, collaboration, teamwork, and time management. Gracie Barra Montreal does not just teach BJJ but in reality,  they refined positions and techniques. These things make it the best place to learn moral values, philosophy of art, and discipline.

Bruno Fernandes has great time management skills. He mentioned in an interview that he does not waste his time on things that do not matter. He also does not give more importance to money and material things rather he loves to spend time with friends.

He has a very good circle of friends from whom he always learns something. Furthermore, he also mentioned that he is a quick decision-maker. He does not fear that something bad might happen. Rather he always tries to learn from his shortcomings.

2.13. Bruno Fernandes Black Belt Journey

First Fight as Brown Belt

Preparation of Bruno’s first fight as a Brown Belt was memorable for him. He mentioned it as a memorable experience in an interview. Bruno was so dedicated to his first fight as a Brown Belt. During his training in Gracie Barra, he did continuous 3 sessions of five minutes with senior competitors.

He was beaten by senior competitors every time. He got the advantage and learned from the advantage by training with seniors and when he appeared in the championship, he fought extraordinarily and won the championship.

Promoted to Black Belt

Bruno Fernandes received his Blue Belt from Master Marcelo Saporito at Carlson Gracie Academy. At that time, he was 16 years old. After getting his Blue Belt from Carlson Gracie Academy, he left Rio and relocated to Barra da Tijuca. He continued his BJJ journey till his Black Belt in Gracie Barra.

Bruno Fernandes won three World Championships for consecutive three years in 1998, 1999, and 2000 as a Brown Belt. After his victories as a Brown Belt, Bruno Fernandes was promoted to Black Belt by Carlos Gracie Junior at the age of 20.

After getting his Black Belt, in the same year, Bruno Fernandes achieved his first medal as a Black Belt in the Brazilian National Championship.

Bruno’s Top Students

Bruno Fernandes helped various MMA fighters to train in BJJ. He promoted various big names to the BJJ Black Belt. His top students included George St-Pierre, Jonathan Goulet, John Makdessi, Dave Loiseau, Rory McDonald, Alex Garcia, and Mike Ricci.

3. Bruno Fernandes’s Historic Fights

3.1. Bruno Fernandes Vs. Régis da Silveira Lebre

Bruno Fernandes faced Régis da Silveira Lebre in the final of Pan American 2014. Both fighters are top Black Belts and great instructors.

At the start of the match, Silveira Lebre pulled Bruno and Bruno took the top position. Bruno tried to overcome Lebre but Lebre pushed him away with his legs and then applied full guard to control Bruno.

Silveira Lebre tried to take the back of Bruno and managed to apply side control first and then mounted him. Bruno used his feet to push away Silveira and took him down quickly. Silveira countered very actively and did not let Bruno take him down.            

Bruno controlled his back in a standing position and took him to the ground. At the end of the match, Bruno Fernandes submitted Silveira Lebre with Back Choke.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2014 Pan American (Master 2) Régis da Silveira Lebre Win Back Choke Final Middleweight

3.2. Bruno Fernandes Vs Lee Villeneuve

Bruno Fernandes faced Lee Villeneuve in the final of Montreal Open 2013. Both fighters showed great sportsmanship. Bruno Fernandes started the fight with a pulling guard resulting in Lee on top.

Lee tried his best to mount and overcome Bruno but Bruno countered actively and managed to take the back of Lee. Bruno scored two points for this fantastic sweep and four points for back control. Bruno again scored four points for mounting Lee.

Lee managed to escape and took down Bruno. But Bruno did not lose his control and applied full guard. He tried to change his full guard into an armbar. But could not balance his position. Lee stood up actively and took the back of Bruno.

Lee took down Bruno and tried to mount him and take control but Bruno countered his every move very actively. At the end of the match, Bruno took down Lee until time up. Bruno won the match by points.     

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2013 Montreal Open Lee Villeneuve Win Points Final Absolute

3.3. Bruno Fernandes Vs. Luciano Ucci

In World Abu Dhabi Trials 2013 Montreal, Bruno Fernandes faced Luciano Ucci. At the start of the match, Luciano took down Bruno and tried to mount him. But Bruno managed to push him away and then took the top position.

Bruno tried to take side control but Luciano actively moved and both ended up in a complicated and entangled position. Bruno managed to take the top position again and mounted Luciano.

Luciano managed to grab Luciano’s collar but he could not submit him due to the time limit. Bruno won the match by points.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2013 World Abu Dhabi Trials Luciano Ucci Win Points N/A N/A

4. Bruno Fernandes’s Main Achievements

4.1. Bruno’s Main Achievements in International Tournaments

Year Event Weight division
1996 Brazilian National Championship Middleweight
1996 Rio de Janeiro State Championship Middleweight
1997 Brazilian National Championship Middleweight
1997 IBJJF World Championship Middleweight
1997 Pan American Championship Middleweight
1997 Brazilian National Teams Championship Middleweight
1998 Brazilian National Teams Championship Middleweight
1998 IBJJF World Championship Middleweight
1998 Pan American Championship Middleweight and Open Class
1999 IBJJF World Championship Middleweight
1999 Rio de Janeiro State Championship Middleweight
2000 IBJJF World Championship Middleweight
2000 Brazilian National Teams Championship Middleweight
2013 Australian National Championship N/A
2013 Montreal Open Championship-IBJJF  Middleweight and Open Class
2014 Pan American Championship (Master Black) Middleweight
2014 Boston Open Championship-IBJJF Open Class

4.2. Bruno’s Main Achievements as Black Belt

Year Event Belt Position
2000 Brazilian National Championship Black Belt 3rd
2001 IBJJF World Championship Black Belt 3rd
2002 IBJJF World Championship Black Belt 2nd
2004 Brazilian National Championship Black Belt 3rd
2008 Pan American Championship Black Belt 3rd
2012 Pan American NoGi Championship Black Belt 3rd
2013 Pan American NoGi Championship Black Belt 3rd
2013 Australia National Championship Black Belt 1st
2013 Montreal Open Championship-IBJJF  Black Belt 1st
2014 Pan American Championship (Master Black) Black Belt 1st
2014 Boston Open Championship-IBJJF  Black Belt 1st

4.3. Bruno’s Main Achievements as Colored Belt

Year Event Belt Position
1996 Brazilian National Championship Blue Belt 1st
1996 Rio de Janeiro State Championship Purple Belt 1st
1997 IBJJF World Championship Purple Belt 1st
1997 Pan American Championship Purple Belt 1st
1997 Brazilian National Championship Purple Belt 1st
1997 Brazilian National Teams Championship Purple Belt 1st
1997 Brazilian National Championship Purple Belt 2nd (Absolute weight)
1998 IBJJF World Championship Brown Belt 1st
1998 Pan American Championship Brown Belt 1st
1998 Brazilian National Teams Championship Brown Belt 1st
1998 Brazilian National Championship Brown Belt 3rd
1999 IBJJF World Championship Brown belt 1st
1999 Rio de Janeiro Championship Brown Belt 1st
2000 IBJJF World Championship Brown Belt 1st
2000 Brazilian National Teams Championship Brown Belt 1st

5. Bruno Fernandes’s Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L Method Weight Category
2001 IBJJF World Vitor Ribeiro L Choke Middleweight
2008 Pan American Andre Galvao L Pts:2x2, Adv Middleweight
2013 IBJJF Pan Nogi Vitor Henrique L Leglock Middleweight
2013 Montreal Open Lee Villeneuve W Points Absolute
2013 World Abu Dhabi Trials Jonathan Willis W Points N/A
2013 World Abu Dhabi Trials Luciano Ucci W Points N/A
2014 Pan American (Master 2) Régis da Silveira Lebre W Back Choke Middleweight
2014 Boston Spring International Open Vinicius Silva W Points Middleweight

6. Bruno Fernandes Top Fight Links

IBJJF Pan Ams 2014 Bruno Fernandes Middleweight Final Match

Bruno Fernandes vs Lee Villeneuve - Black Belt Adult Male Open Class Final - Montreal Open 2013

Bruno "Molenga" Fernandes

World Abu Dhabi Trials 2013 Montreal - Bruno Fernandes (Gracie Barra) VS Jonathan Willis (BTT)

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