Nicholas Meregali is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion and professional athlete. He is widely recognized as one of the top BJJ competitors in the world.
Meregali competes in the heavyweight division and has achieved significant success in various BJJ tournaments and championships. He has won multiple World Championships, including the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championship in adult black belt divisions.
He participated in ADCC 2022 despite being a mainly GI practitioner to the point.
Recently Meregali went on the MMA Hoje podcast and revealed an interesting aspect.
While many English speaking BJJ practitioner revere New Wave’s John Danaher as a briliant technician – he had the biggest influence on Meregali’s psyche and not on his technique in the time the two have spent together.
Meregali detailed going through a depressive episode prior to agreeing to participate in ADCC. 29 year old Brazilian felt boxed in prior to managing to win ADCC silver medal on his first try in 2022.
The ADCC run meant he would need to prepare for an aspect of his game that was missing – the leglocks. So he joined up with New Wave and trained out of Texas.
“I was a student of Mario Reis. I still consider myself his student. I left because I had personal problems. Not with anyone at the gym, but with myself. I was dealing with depression and anxiety. I couldn’t heal myself here. I stayed in São Paulo for a while I didn’t fit in. I had the opportunity to come here and I moved. I was not feeling well until ADCC”
“I said I would stay until March without grappling. I felt my life connecting pieces. That’s when I evolved. I didn’t feel I changed much until September. I moved here in February last year. Until September”
Meregali was told by podcast host that there was a visible change in his attitude and that he had grown more confident.
“I think this function of correcting this mental aspect that I was having a problem with. It did me good. I felt I took a weight off my back. I focused on my career again. I was a bit messy. That’s why I lost some matches I shouldn’t have. My technical level was higher than the guys I lost to. But I lost, it’s a loss. I’m not apologizing.”
“John’s approach is very different from the ones I’ve had in Jiu Jitsu. He fits in with what I believe. ”
“He understands and believes that an athlete, to be a champion needs to have mental aspects that no one knows how to explain. If the guy is born with a champion’s mind Or if he builds it over time. No one has ever been able to explain. There’s always a story here and there. But no one knows the truth. John believes in that too. He thinks it’s important to have this trust .But he believes more in technical confidence than confidence from birth.”