ADCC Champion Yuri Simoes on ‘very disappointing’ lack of fights at ONE Championship


Two-time ADCC champion Yuri Simoes is not happy with his relationship with ONE Championship.

A decorated grappler with a long list of achievements in the world of jiu-jitsu and submission, Simoes signed with ONE for his MMA debut in mid-2020, but lost a decision to Rong Fan in his debut. fight. Since then, Simoes has said he struggled to book another fight.

“It’s an upsetting situation because I was coming out of surgery when I signed with ONE and a lot of people thought I wouldn’t even fight anymore, but I recovered and made MMA my top priority. “Simoes told MMA Fighting. “I grew up thinking that I would become an MMA fighter and put my heart and soul into it while expecting the same from promotion.

“I have always been very active in jiu-jitsu and grappling, but that was not the case [in MMA]. And it looks like I’m not the only one. I have spoken with other athletes – not one or two, but several athletes that I know – and they have the same problem. Seems like only a select group of people have the opportunity to fight constantly. “

Simoes understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many travel restrictions over the past 18 months, but many US-based athletes have been able to compete since his last fight, and he said: “I haven’t received no offers to fight me. “

The grappling wizard still believes he can become the UN middleweight champion, and has even volunteered to take on welterweight or light heavyweight fights in order to stay more active.

“It took them so long to fight me that when they did, I suffered a serious spinal injury a week later, but I couldn’t retire from the fight,” he said. declared Simoes. “I’ve been asking for a fight for so long, how was I going to refuse it?” I had to fight no matter what. I don’t regret it, I still think I had a great fight. They gave [Fan] the decision, but I think I did better in the fight. I expected things to go well after that and there would be more fights, but it wasn’t.

“It’s very disappointing when you get involved in something. … I dove into this new sport and made it my main goal, to win a belt, but there is no answer. I think it is disappointing.

Simoes said he couldn’t go into details of his current ONE contract, but said he has just over a year left with the Singapore-based promotion. Simoes remains active in the grappling circuit in the meantime, beating Fellipe Andrew by decision recently at Fight 2 Win. In June, he beat Devhonte Johnson and Mahamed Aly in grappling matches.

“I hope I can do more fights, otherwise I don’t know what I’ll do,” Simoes said. “I want to fight MMA. When I decided to fight MMA, I posted on social media that I wanted to fight for ONE because I grew up watching PRIDE and saw from the outside how they spoke. to value the martial artist, this oriental state of mind about combat, not this disrespectful state of mind [from the west]. But I had no idea I would go through such a situation, you know? It’s not just me, many others are going through the same thing.

“I won’t say that I regret [signing with ONE] because I was following my heart at that time. It’s hard to say I regret it, man. Many promotions have been closed due to the pandemic. I know this is a complicated situation, but I have heard that many other athletes are facing this problem [before the pandemic]. In that sense, it’s really frustrating.

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