If you’re an MMA fan, you surely watched the frolic the young featherweight Jimy “The Kid” Hettes (Almeida BJJ) had in the octagon against deft-fisted Californian Nam Phan. If you’re a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and didn’t see it, you missed a heck of a lesson. It was the opening fight for the UFC 141 main card in Las Vegas. Jimy, 24 years old and the bearer of one of the most deceivingly innocent faces in the world, seamlessly moved between striking and a mind-boggling series of takedowns (ouchi gari, kouchi gari, harai goshi).
On the ground, he put the hapless Phan through the wringer and routed him with a unanimous decision win. Undefeated with ten wins in as many pro fights, it was the first time he didn’t finish his opponent. What can you learn from this up-and-coming star to apply to your daily training—and everyday life? GRACIEMAG.com put together a list of eight lessons for you: Jim Hettes: wielding grown up Jiu-Jitsu at UFC 141
1: DON’T AVOID TRAINING WITH THE TOUGHEST GUYS AT THE GYM From white belt on, learn that systematically dribbling the tough sparring partners means putting a hold on progress. Take on the guy who makes you work the most. “For this fight I trained by alternating between Frankie Edgar and Tom DeBlass, really tough guys. I train with fully rested guys every five minutes,and they’re not just average guys, not to mention they’re much heavier than me. When I do face a featherweight it feels like I’m even breaking the law,” remarked Jimy in an interview following UFC 141.
2. TEST YOUR JIU-JITSU THE WHOLE TIME When you find yourself in a new situation, be thankful: it enhances your self-awareness, shoots your Jiu-Jitsu knowledge through the roof. That’s what The Kid ascertained in his first decision win. “I’d never even fought a third round. It was good as a test, since I got a taste of that awful cardiorespiratory feeling of fighting after the second round,” said the Ricardo Cachorrão student in jest.
3. HEED NOT YOUR JIU-JITSU BELT COLOR Himself a purple belt, Jimy lay a beating on a black belt last Friday. Asked whether he feels he deserves a darker belt, he wisely replied: “I love Jiu-Jitsu first of all because it saves me from getting beat up, so it doesn’t matter what color my belt is today, I’m just grateful,” to later add, “I’m just having fun.”
4. THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO TRUST YOU IS YOU