Fernando Pontes, mostly known as Margarida by the jiu jitsu community, is a former World BJJ Champion in both his weight category and the open weight division. His entertaining and aggressive style made him one of the most venerated grapplers in the early 2000s and his irreverence in and out of the mats made him one of the more recognizable sporting figures of his generation in Brazil.
Fernando Margarida Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Fernando Pontes
Nickname: Margarida means “Daisy” in Portuguese. He received the nickname when he first started training at Fabio Gurgel and Fernando Yamasaki’s academy. During the Carnival season Margarida asked his dentist to put the elastic bands on the braces in different colours (in theme with the festive season). When he showed up at the gym, Fabio Gurgel thought it was so funny he named him Daisy.
- 2x World Jiu Jitsu Champion (weight & absolute 2001)
- 3x Pan American BJJ Champion (1999 purple, 2000 & 2001 black)
- Brazilian National Champion (2000)
- 2x World Silver Medalist (2000 weight and absolute)
Favorite Technique: Cross choke, also known as Baseball Choke or “Alicate” in Portuguese.
Weight Division: Medio Pesado (88Kg/194.5lbs).
Fernando Pontes “Margarida” Biography
Fernando “Margarida” Pontes was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, being raised in a family where almost everyone was involved in medicine. With such a heavy academic minded family background, it was hard to assume that Fernando would follow a career in sports, but indeed he did.
As a child Margarida’s mother tried to make him practice sports, she enrolled him in a Basketball team, however, due to his small stature Fernando Pontes never felt like he had a future in the sport, he convinced his mother to let him leave the team and since “Margarida” had always been somewhat of a menace in the streets, often picking up fights with other kids, his parents agreed to put him in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, as a way to possibly release a little of his anger. Fernando was only 13 when he stepped inside the Academia Formula, the academy of Fernando Yamasaki and Fabio Gurgel.
Fabio Gurgel didn’t stay long in this academy leaving months later to form his own school of BJJ. Margarida stayed alongside Yamasaki for the following 2 years, shortly after he received his blue belt, he moved to the United States (Washington) where he pursued his training with another Yamasaki family member, Mario (Fernando Yamasaki’s brother). He trained with Mario for 6 moths but moved to California in search for better training and more competition. In Cali Fernando Pontes began training with Fabio Santos, and was awarded his Purple Belt by Santos (he also received his brown belt from the same Master).
His training days in California were finished when his family moved on back to Sao Paulo. Margarida intended to return to his roots in the Academia Formula, of Fernando Yamasaki, but in an example of the “bad boy” image that characterized Fernando’s career, he had an incident with the doorman of the academy which ended in a fight and Margarida ended up being expelled. Margarida also spent some time training with Nino Shembri, but was asked to leave after a while due to a misunderstanding between himself and Schembri. (all this information is available at an interview given to Tatame Magazine in 2002)
Fernando Margarida returned to the US where he also took time to train with his favorite fighter, the man who he always tried to mimic on the mats, the legendary Rickson Gracie. After this short spell with Rickson, another trip to Sao Paulo followed to train with Roberto Godoi and Otavio de Almeida, the men who awarded him his black belt in 2000. That year “Margarida” achieved a 2nd place at both his weight and the open weight division of the World Championships (Mundial). The following year he won the Pan Americans, submitting his former teacher Fabio Gurgel (who had never been submitted in competition before), and won his weight and the open weight division of the Mundial.
The following years have been filled with ups and downs, with ventures in both the ADCC and in MMA with relative success. Many on internet forums argue that his drive for competition disappeared, mainly due to the “Playboy” status achieved by Fernando Margarida Pontes after reaching fame in the early 2000’s combined with the fact that Margarida comes from a wealthy family and he didn’t need to compete for a living. BJJ Heroes doesn’t pass judgment, and hopefully Mr Fernando Pontes will find in his heart the will to return to the mats as he was one of the most entertaining fighters to watch in the sport.
Fernando Margarida Jiu Jitsu Fight Videos
Fernando Margarida Highlight
Margarida vs Flavio Almeida “Cachorrinho”
Fernando Margarida vs Marcio Cruz “Pé de Pano”
Fernando Margarida vs Fabio Gurgel
Fernando Margarida vs Alexandre Ribeiro “Xande”
Fernando Margarida vs Roberto Magalhaes “Roleta”
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)