During the Rio qualifiers for the World Pro, among other illustrious guests in the VIP area was Jiu-Jitsu and judo black belt Leonardo Leite. Girlfriend Kyra Gracie by his side, the fighter observed all the matches. But why wasn’t Léo in his gi competing like he always does?
“The year started out busy for me in judo. In January I went to Korea, to a tournament where only the 16 best in the world were competing. I fought a supermatch in Vitoria; there was also the South American Games. The Grand Slam is coming up, too, in Rio; the World Cups in Sao Paulo, Portugal and Spain; and the Grand Slam in Moscow. So I’ll be at a busy pace in training and travel up until July,” he told our collaborator Diego Marcello.
It will be unlikely the Brazilian national Jiu-Jitsu ultra heavyweight champion will defend his title this year. Even the Worlds, a competition he loves taking part in, will be impossible to make.
“During the Worlds I’ll be in Portugal so, unfortunately, I won’t be able to fight. This year it will be tough for me to compete in Jiu-Jitsu. Maybe towards the end of the year I’ll fight at the Brazilian team nationals. I miss it a lot!” he confesses.
Despite his absence from the Gentle Art scene, he carries on working hard and, whenever time permits, Leo will be back to give his adversaries a hard time.
“I’ve been doing my physical conditioning with Marcio Pimentel for ten years and I do judo at Flavio Canto’s project in the Rocinha Favela, Reação. I also train with a heavier group at Castelo Branco and Jiu-Jitsu at Alliance. I’m in shape!”