It was a long and difficult task, but Jussier "Formiga" da Silva beat his biggest opponent to date: the US consulate.
After being beat by the Consulate by visa denial in the beginning of the year, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and #1 flyweight in the world returned for a rematch, this time submitting the Consulate in the second round after a difficult battle in the first.
The match was for a US visa which would allow "Formiga" to fight at Tachi Palace Fights 7, and he already has his sights on another difficult battle.
"I'm fighting former WEC fighter Danny Martinez on December 2nd. I've watched some of his fights and I can see he's a really tough guy. But I've been training with my friends Jorge Rodrigues, Marlon Silva and Renan Barão, and I'm sure I will be prepared and it will be a great fight."
Although people might think that's the only fight he has ahead of him, there are a few more things worrying Jussier right now.
"I had to pay 3/4 of my purse for the visa costs, but I only have to thank Tachi Palace and Mr. Jeremy Luchau."
And why is that that Jussier thanks his employer for having this much deducted of this purse?
"They're paying me the full purse, win or lose, for this first fight. Actually, I even got a raise and a better contract. They're taking care of me, and I hope I can pay them back with lots of wins and representing them on other shows or any way they need me."
Not only that, they're also paying flights for Jussier and his corner, plus hotel, meals and medical exams that most of the fighting promoters deducts from the fighter's purse.
The humble fighter, a single father who lost his own father in the beginning of the year because of a drunk driver, receives US $250 per month in order to support his son, sister and mother, and acknowledges that the amount of money would make a huge difference on his life.
"My manager, my trainer and I thought that once we signed a contract to fight in the US, we would be able to get some good sponsorships. I'm not talking about receiving ten thousand dollars, but at least enough to help me or cover the visa costs. Unfortunelly, 90% of the contacts we make aren't returned, and the other ones end up in nothing. And we're not saying things like, 'hey, give me one million dollars.' We're saying, 'help me with something, anything can help'."
At this moment, Jussier is on a bus on his way back to Natal, the city where he lives and trains. He's feeling like a huge weight was taken off of his shoulders, and hopes to impress fans and sponsors on December 2nd, hoping it can mean the change in his life he's been trying to accomplish for years.