Fernando “Fepa” Lopes is the promoter of the BJJ Stars 3 event coming up on July 25th. He is a promoter from Brazil and a 5th degree black belt under Roberto Godoi, from the G13 team. We interviewed him to ask about a wide array of topics from organizing an event during the pandemic to Erberth Santos’ infamous moment with the promotion.
BJJ Stars 3 vs. COVID-19
We started by asking about the pandemic situation. Brazil is now in the top 3 most affected countries by COVID-19, so we were interested to see how he managed to organize an event during this time. We also asked him to do a quick run down of the event, and the main match ups. We ended up with what he expects of Erberth. Remember it was in this exact platform that he had the incident with Felipe Pena.
Grappling Insider (GI): What was it like to organize an event like BJJ Stars during the pandemic? Were athletes able to prepare correctly for an event of such magnitude?
Fernando “Fepa” Lopes (Fepa): It has been quite a challenge. The fighters have been training in small groups, with their own training partners in order to prepare!
GI: BJJ Stars 3 has 8 athletes at the top of most world rankings. What do you expect from such an event?
Fepa: The event is always looking to bring the best athletes in the world. We are hoping that the event is an even greater success than the previous ones!
GI: Can you tell us about some of the matches?
Fepa: Main event will be Kaynan vs Felipe “Preguiça” Pena. The fight collides two world champions that have never faced each other, and that makes it really intriguing for the fans to see who takes it.
We chose the match between Leandro and Lucas “Hulk” because we didn’t have a chance to see it play out in the last edition. Both athletes lost in the semifinals and were scheduled to fight for third place. Unfortunately, Leandro was unable to fight and the crowd was expecting them to do so, so we decided to match these two up on the BJJ Stars 3 card.
We chose the fight between Gaudio and Erberth because of the clash of public perception between these two. One of them is an exemplary athlete and caring father, while the other one is portrayed as a “Bad Boy”, who is having his chance to redeem himself with the promotion. It’s a fight between the Lion and the Wolf!
GI: Which of the matches do you believe will be fight of the night in BJJ Stars 3?
Fepa: It’s hard to determine what will the best fight be in a card that is so stacked with talent. Will see what each athlete brings to the table on July 25th.
GI: What do you predict for the fight between Felipe Pena and Kaynan Duarte?
Fepa: It’ll be a fight for the ages. Both athletes have never faced each other in competition and that creates a huge mystique around the match up. I believe it will be an amazing fight, they both have a unrelenting forward pressure game and I believe it’ll be a very back and forth battle, where no one can make a mistake!
BJJ Stars 3 – Erberth’s return
GI: The event also features the return of Erberth Santos to BJJ Stars. How do you think the match with Patrick Gaudio will play out?
Fepa: Yes, as I mentioned before, the promotion is giving Erberth a chance to redeem himself. He made a terrible mistake, but we decided to give him an opportunity to redeem himself on the same platform where the error was made. BJJ Stars chose the opponent with a purpose: they fought twice already, with one win each!
GI: The BJJ community will be paying attention at Erberth’s behavior. What do you think about that as the promoter of the event?
Fepa: I believe that after loosing his academy, sponsors and being out of the game for a year, Erberth will come back stronger then ever. Regardless of the result, I’m confident that this fight will make an impact on the audience.
BJJ Stars 3 will be aired live and on pay-per-view exclusively. If you want to get your pay-per-view, you can visit the following link. The event stars at 7 pm (EST) on the 25th of July!