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Fernando “Tererê”

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Nicholas Meregali Instructionals

Fernando Augusto, commonly known by his nickname Tererê is one of the most talented and charismatic Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors to have ever stepped on a mat. This multiple time world medallist became a black belt world champion at the age of 20 and was regarded as a Pound for Pound best during the early 2000s. His impact in modern-day jiu-jitsu was felt in his development of positions such as the Toreando, the Leg Drag, and many others while having great impact also as a coach, having helped raise the game of fighters such as André GalvaoRubens CharlesMichael LanghiLucas Lepri, and mire; Diagnosed case of schizophrenia in 2005, an affliction that led him to drug addiction and away from jiu-jitsu. He reappeared in BJJ in 2010, but his recovery was erratic and followed with a few ups and downs. Terere returned to jiu-jitsu competition in Mexico in September 2012.

Fernando “Tererê” Jiu Jitsu

Full name: Fernando Augusto da Silva

Nickname: Terere is the name of a Brazilian herb used on a famous Brazilian tea. The nickname however was first mentioned by Muzio de Angelis at the Academia Strike where Fernando Terere used to train when he was a blue belt, Fernando loved singing a popular song that had the word “Terere” in the chorus and for that reason, the name came up.

Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Alexandre Paiva > Fernando Augusto Terere

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2000/2003)
  • 1st Place CBJJO World Cup (2002/2003)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2001/2003)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2004)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2001/2004*)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2004***)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2013)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (1999 brown, 1998** purple, 1997 blue)

* 3 classes above his weight
** Weight and absolute
*** Absolute

Weight Division: Peso Medio (82Kg/181lbs)

Association/Team: Team Alliance/TT

Fernando Terere Biography

Fernando Augusto “Terere” was born on the 15th of November 1980 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is not much information about Tereré as a child, it is known however that he was raised in poverty on one of the Major Slums in Rio de Janeiro the “Morro do Cantagalo”.

He started training Jiu-Jitsu as a way to escape the drug traffic and violence on his streets, training with Master “Lelo” and staying with Lelo until he reached his green belt. After that, his instructor stopped coaching for financial reasons and Terere had to halt his training. Fernando returned a while later after an invitation made by Otavio Couto to come and train at the Academia Strike with the likes of Roberto Traven and Alexandre Paiva. His unnatural athletic ability made him a success in competition from the start, winning every major tournament there was to win and by the time he reached his blue belt he was already one of the toughest rolls at the gym (even with several world-class black belts on the mats daily). He stated in an interview that he always liked to fight from the top position because he is slightly claustrophobic and being on the bottom causes him significant distress, and so every time he hit a bad position he would spin out of it as fast and explosively as possible. He is considered still today the most charismatic Jiu-Jitsu fighter to have stepped on a mat, and he often brought the crowd to a roar when he fought.

One of the examples of how Terere played along with the crowd occurred in 1998’s World Championships when he was still a purple belt. Both Alliance and Gracie Barra were equal in team points going to the final of the Purple Belt Absolute Division (open weight class), in that final fight, Tererê (Alliance) were matched against a much larger Rolles Gracie (Gracie Barra), but that didn’t stop him from trying his best and the “Tijuca Tenis Club” almost went down as the Alliance supporters celebrated when Terere won the match (Rolls Gracie was disqualified halfway through the fight) and team Alliance won the event.

Although always focused in competition, Terere also found time to promote the sport amongst those less privileged creating an academy in the “Morro do Cantagalo” the Favela (slum) in which he grew up. The purpose of this academy was to take kids off the streets and off gun crime and this academy proved to be a huge success doing just that. When Terere moved to Sao Paulo a few years later, he left his friend Ricardo Vieira in Charge, and the project still stands today in the hands of Ricardo.

In 2000 Terere got to the final of the Middleweight Black Belt division (in his first year as a black belt), he faced Nino Schembri who had submitted almost everyone on his way to the final and was a heavy favorite. Terere, however, did not tremble and using his cleaver tactics (something he was famous for throughout his career), he took two points for a throw and defended inside Nino’s guard to win his first major title as a Black Belt, celebrating in the end with some Elvis Presley dance impersonation, mocking Schembri (whose nickname is Elvis).

In 2002 Fernando was part of an elite group of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu black belts who left the team after a dispute with one of the headmasters of Alliance, Favio Gurgel. The dispute was over which tournament the team should focus their training for, the World Championships or the World Cup as they occurred a week apart from each other. As the World Cup offered good prize money to its competitors and the Championships didn’t, Terere and his teammates felt they should support this organization (CBJJO – Confederação de Jiu-Jitsu Olimpico) and compete in it, Gurgel, however, decided against it, as he felt that competing in the Cup was less prestigious then competing in the World Championship. The fighters did not agree and a split was inevitable. And so Master Team was formed. The team that would later split leaving Terere to form a team with another teammate (Eduardo Telles) forming the TT Team.

In 2003 Terere started his MMA career, with a first bout (and only bout so far) against a veteran by the name of Gleison Tibau (today fighting in the UFC). The fight was very even but the split decision went to Tibau. After dipping his toes in Mixed Martial Arts, he went on to win his second World Championship reaching the final with Marcelo Garcia and submitting Marcelo with a triangle (see fight video at the bottom of the page). In 2004 Terere decided to try his luck in the Super Heavyweight Division and he almost pulled it off, losing in the final to an immensely larger opponent in Fabricio Werdum.

2004 was also the year that Terere’s world started crumbling beneath him, after being arrested in the USA supposedly for shouting abuse at an air stewardess, Terere fell into a massive depression induced by drug-taking that led to dependence. His life became incredibly unstable, as he abandoned the sport that he loved to live the life of a drug addict. In 2006 Terere moved to the North-eastern town of Natal on the state of Rio Grande do Norte, to escape the environment that was holding him in. He stayed clean for a while and started training again, however, a relapse took him back to his crack dependence as he moved back to Rio de Janeiro.

In late 2009 the rumors spread that Fernando Terere was in a rehab clinic and doing better, with the help of his family and the BJJ community Terere came back to training in 2010 in Brazil and in August of that same year he traveled to the United Kingdom where he spent time teaching his world-class Jiu-Jitsu, marrying an English woman there. In 2012 he would return to Brazil spending more time in a clinic to recover from his (now officially disclosed) case of schizophrenia. Also in 2012 Fernando Terere returned to jiu-jitsu competition, fighting (and winning) a black belt tournament in Mexico.

Fernando Terere Grappling Record

    22 (59%)
    2 (5%)
    12 (32%)
    1 (3%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Cross choke
Flying triangle
    8 (67%)
    1 (8%)
    2 (17%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (8%)


Cross choke

Fernando Terere Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
594Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinLPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2001
617Bruno SeverianoLAdvPan American82KGF2001
623Marcio CruzMarcio CruzLPts: 2x0Manaus ChallengeABSSPF2002
752Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesLPts: 2x0ADCC Trials77KG4F2003
780Otto OlsenLPointsADCC77KG4F2003
1017Ronaldo SouzaRonaldo SouzaLPts: 6x0Pan AmericanABSF2004
1064Fabricio WerdumFabricio WerdumLPointsWorld Champ.O100KGF2004
1069Roger GracieRoger GracieLCross chokeWorld Champ.ABSSF2004
1099Alexandre DantasAlexandre DantasLPointsEstadual RJABS4F2004
4453Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLDQEuropean Open82KGF2013
4844Vinicius MarinhoVinicius MarinhoLPts: 7x2Copa Podio82KGSPF2013
19325Delso HelenoLChokeBJJ Stars88KGSPF2019
391Nino SchembriNino SchembriWPts: 2x0World Champ.82KGF2000
479Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosWPts: 4x0Rio x Sao Paulo75KGSPF2000
485Matt SerraMatt SerraWPointsPro Am77KGSF2000
574Marcio CruzMarcio CruzWPts: 6x5BrasileiroABSF2001
592Paulo CoelhoWPts: 8x0World Champ.82KG4F2001
643Bruno BastosBruno BastosWChoke from backWorld CupABSNA2002
644Ze MarcelloWCross chokeWorld Cup82KGF2002
645Bruno BastosBruno BastosWChoke from backWorld CupABSNA2002
646Ze MarcelloWCross chokeWorld Cup82KGF2002
722Jefferson MouraJefferson MouraWPts: 0x0, AdvTeam NationalsO88KGF2002
748UnknownWPointsADCC Trials77KGR12003
774Jussi TammelinWPts: 5x0ADCC77KGR12003
867Adriano PiresWTriangleWorld Champ.82KGR12003
869Rafael BrancoWPts: 8x0World Champ.82KG4F2003
873Eduardo SantoroEduardo SantoroWAdvWorld Champ.82KGSF2003
874Marcelo GarciaMarcelo GarciaWTriangleWorld Champ.82KGF2003
936Nelson JuniorWPointsWorld Cup82KG4F2003
937Ricardo BastosWPointsWorld Cup82KGSF2003
971Fabio NascimentoFabio NascimentoWPts: 4x0BB Challenge 382KGSPF2004
979Eduardo RiosEduardo RiosWChoke from backGolden Cup82KG4F2004
980Bruno ProencaWTriangleGolden Cup82KGSF2004
981Ze RobertoWFlying triangleGolden Cup82KGF2004
999Alan ZborovskyWChokePan American82KG4F2004
1000Fabiano VictorinoWChokePan American82KGSF2004
1001Paulo GuillobelPaulo GuillobelWPointsPan American82KGF2004
1010Ricardo BarrosWPts: 5x2Pan AmericanABS8F2004
1013Alan ZborovskyWPointsPan AmericanABS4F2004
1061Roberto AgnaseWPointsWorld Champ.O100KG4F2004
1063Marco VillelaWPointsWorld Champ.O100KGSF2004
1068Leonardo RamosWN/AWorld Champ.ABS4F2004
1083Jose AlvesWWristlockWorld Cup82KG4F2004
1084Silvio ProencaWPts: 2x0World Cup82KGSF2004
1085Cassio WerneckCassio WerneckWPts: 2x0World Cup82KGF2004
1100Marcelo GarciaMarcelo GarciaWPts: 4x0Japan Open82KGSPF2004
4450C. NegromonteC. NegromonteWPts: 4x0European Open82KG4F2013
10878Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWReferee DecisionPolaris 482KGSPF2016
17667Raphael Abi-RihanRaphael Abi-RihanWPts: 2x0Gracie Pro82KGSPF2018

Banner picture taken from Gracie Mag.

Terere vs Marcelo Garcia (2003 World Final)

Pe de Pano vs Terere (Brazilian Nationals 2001)

Terere vs Jose Roberto (Golden Cup-Rio Open 2004)

Terere Return 2011

John Danaher BJJ Escapes


  • Alvaro Portal says:

    Que bueno que el amigo maestro Fernando Tereré se está recuperando y ojalá sea para siempre, solo por un mal entendido lo apresaron, pero sabemos que este campeón superará ese mal momento que pasó y será un gran ejemplo para todos los deportista en el mundo entero. Suerte Tereré.

  • rome says:

    Much Respect from 13N/144E

  • bjj says:

    Uhhhh tereré

  • jearuiz01 says:

    I like this part, "In 2006 Terere moved to the North-eastern town of Natal on the state of Rio Grande do Norte, to escape the environment that was holding him in. He stayed clean for a while and started training again, however a relapse took him back to his crack.

  • Bastian says:

    Terere just opened up a new academy in Ipanema. It would be great to have some info about that here as well. He has been one of the most influential coaches in the BJJ scene and will probably produce more champs in the future

  • George says:

    Tem algum site da academia do Terere ? Pra entrar em contato ?
    Is there a webpage of Terere's academy ? For contact ?

  • Joar says:

    Yes there is:

    The Gym is in Ipanema close to the Cantagelo community. Its great training with high level guys. Terere is teaching there himself when he is in Rio. There is also a project for kids in the area training at the school 3 times a week.

  • Double Gold says:

    The best EVER!

  • mmaguy says:

    Legend. I hope he's better now. All the best.

  • Sagatee says:

    The song that gave him his nickname “Terere” is the infamous “Whoomp! There it is” by Tag Team.
    Due to language barriers, the chorus “Whoomp There it is” became famous as “Uh Te re re” in Brazil and Fernando used to sing this chorus all the time, so he got the nickname and the crowd always chants “Uh Te re re” when he fights.

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