Most 45-year-old men don’t wake up ready to step into a cage for a professional mixed martial arts fight. Then again, most 45-year-old men don’t have nine jiu jitsu world championships or run one of the fastest rising MMA gyms in the country. Last Saturday night at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Fabiano Scherner did just that when he stepped in the cage for a heavyweight title fight that would prove to be a tough outing. Scherner came up short in his effort to win the King of the Cage heavyweight title but the smile on his face after the fight showed that getting the win was only a part of his plan for the weekend. After the fight, he retired in the cage in front of fans, friends, and family. A true class act and well-respected member of the MMA community, his legacy will live on through his students but we must not forget what made the man.
Unlike many of Scherner’s Brazilian countrymen, he did not begin training in jiu jitsu as a child. He started his journey on the mat at the ripe old age of 26. While this isn’t unheard of, it’s not the norm when you consider just how much Scherner would go on to accomplish in the sport. Most of the modern day Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) champions from Brazil worked on their crafts since childhood but few of them possessed the size and power of the monstrous man they called “Pega-Leve.”
In Brazil, the saying, “pega leve” means “take it easy.” Scherner would earn this moniker thanks to his inability to go easy in sparing during his time at the world famous Brazilian Top Team fight camp. Whenever someone said they wanted to go easy on the mat the coaches said, “You want to go easy? Go with Fabiano.” – bjjheroes.com
Scherner was a natural at BJJ and earned his black belt in less than four years. He would go on to win five world titles in the gi and four no-gi world titles as well. Beyond these accolades, Scherner was competing in mixed martial arts bouts while he worked his way up to black belt. His success in the cage mostly came early as he started his professional career by going 5-1. He would then have short stints with the UFC, IFL, and Cage Rage. The last half of Scherner’s career was up and down, but much of the competition he faced was comprised of well-respected fighters. Fighters like Roy Nelson, Brandon Vera and UFC title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga just to name a few. Now, with his career having spanned 15 years, Fabiano Scherner has finally laid down his gloves and lucky fans across the globe can say they watched him “take it easy” in the cage a few times.
Today, Fabiano Scherner is the face of Gracie Barra Portland fight team. You have seen him cornering the likes of Bellator champion Brent Primus, Chael Sonnen, Ed Herman, and many more. While the book has closed on his MMA career, Scherner will undoubtedly be focused on his young fighters as they begin to write a story of their own. A few of them even had some words to say about their coach.
“Fabiano is an excellent coach and truly cares about (his) fighters. Since I started [training]at Gracie Barra Portland my grappling has improved immensely. Us fighters look up to Fabiano and we know he has our backs.” – Ricky Simon – LFA Bantamweight Champion
“Fabiano is the kind of coach who can make you believe that you can do anything, even if you don’t believe it yourself…like jumping guard.” – Cris “Sunshine” Williams – Bellator Featherweight
“Fabiano is a giant bear of a man who is stern, stern but fair. Everything he does is truly what he feels is best for you and the gym. He really cares about every one of his students; he is truly a selfless man. He is like a holographic Pokemon card, a rare find.” – Jake Smith – Bellator Lightweight
“I [want to]say how proud I am of my head coach and mentor Fabiano Scherner. He leads our whole team from the front like a Spartan, and he’s the reason why everyone wants to come train at Gracie Barra. He retired with an epic last fight, it didn’t go the way we all wanted but [he’s] still the champ to us!” – Thomas Patrick – Gracie Barra Purple Belt/Pro MMA Fighter