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It's Science: Bernardo Faria

bernardo faria
Photo courtesy of Bernardo Faria official Facebook page

Notable Study Stats:

  • His win percentage was approximately 87%
  • 88% of his passes occured from half guard
  • Sweep to Pass Ratio of 17/13 (very balanced)
  • 50% of submissions occurred from the back
  • Average match length was approximately 7 minutes
  • 52% of passes were reverse sitting half guard passes
  • Scored first in 13/15 matches
  • Pulled or shot to half guard in all but one observed match

Abstract: All matches observed of Bernardo Faria, used in this small sample occurred at IBJJF events, inside his weight division, and in the years 2012-2015. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data charts). Matches were selected at random based on freely available matches. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.
The Breakdown: We’ve done nearly 30 breakdowns over the past 2 years, and almost every single one we’ve conducted has surprised me in some way. Bernardo Faria may be the first athlete we’ve had the pleasure of observing that was revealed to be exactly who we thought he was. Bernardo was able to capture double-gold at this year’s worlds, but he’s been building an impressive resume for quite some time. What’s more, his opponents should know exactly what to expect from him; yet few can stop him executing his gameplan. His singular, yet balanced approach, make him one of the best in the game today.
The Study: What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Bernado Faria? Half guard! Guess what? You’re right. Bernardo really likes his half guard. In fact he really likes one sweep in particular. Bernardo executed 88% of his sweeps from half guard. More specifically, the Alliance product used the single leg from half guard in well over 50% of his total successful sweeps. This is the highest percentage we’ve ever seen for one particular position in the sweeps department.
Faria almost always started on the bottom and swept his way to the top. From there, he applies a familiar concept. He really likes to not only sweep from the half guard, he likes to pass form there as well. Nearly 77% of his total passes came from the half guard. His preferred pass was a reverse sitting half guard pass; which accounted for approximately 54% of all of his passes.
Faria was very effective with this strategy, and would often rinse and repeat if he fell behind in any transitions (which was rare). Once the guard pass was secured, Faria was very effective in capturing the back and finishing from there. 50% of all of his submissions occurred from the back, with his obvious preferred finishing method being a choke.
Ultimately, what’s most impressive about Faria is his game dedication and balance. His sweep to pass ratio is very good (17/13), and his submission percentage is at the same level of all other elite competitors (right around 50%). The only thing hold Faria back in the eyes of the public right now is lack of wins over perineal champions, Marcus Almeida and Rodolfo Vieira. Given his continued improvement and dynamic success, it seems he could finally be making his play at the top of the mountain.

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