A discreet showman
He could have had a completely different sports career. A very good wrestler during his adolescence, Helder Fernandes cut his practice short for a minor reason, which he is amused about today – “the outfit”
“I was good, I think I could have done something in the discipline. I really liked wrestling but because of the tight suit, I did not want to compete. Every time, I would find an excuse so that my friends and parents wouldn’t come to watch me. I was young and since the sport was not yet widely accessible, I was ashamed.”
So, after passing through boxing in his late teenage years, Helder Fernandes finally opted for MMA and quickly established himself as a spectacular fighter. At age of 30, he now has six finishes among his seven career victories, evenly divided between K-Os and submissions.
Performing well in the cage, he also strives to put on a show outside of it
“Many people know me for my entrances more than my fights !
“There was one time, for one of my fights, that I made my entrance with two dancers to a festival song from Cape Verde, my home country. I remember that many people started to notice me thanks to this entrance, more than for my fight! It’s important to make a mark, I know that visibility is essential in the world of MMA.”
This showman character contrasts with his much more discreet temperament. Because in daily life, Helder Fernandes is a humble man, who divides his time between family, the restaurant franchise he manages and his numerous training sessions – specific training, physical preparation… The former wrestler works hard to emphasise his strengths: power and explosiveness.
He comments, “Genetics are also a big part of it, and I’m not going to complain about it!”