Profiled by Debbie Lee for the August/September issue of UFC magazine, Ricardo “Cachorrão” Almeida tells how he abandoned his academic career in engineering to become a Jiu-Jitsu teacher in the United States.
The son and grandson of university professors jokes that he became the “black sheep” of the family, but that he decided there was a better path than thermodynamics and experimental physics. With over 400 students at his academy in Hamilton, NJ, the GMA member didn’t break that much from the tradition, as he too is a successful teacher, just of another subject, with greater impact on the lives of the average person.
The article also tells of how he came back from early retirement after seeing how the fighters on the “Ultimate Fighter” reality show were taking the style to another level, and that he wanted to be part of it.
“Even winning some and losing others, I want to stick my neck out. People like to talk about what they could have done, but I prefer what my life history shows… Something. It’s better than having a blank life history.”
On his fight against Matt Hughes next week, he prefers to pursue “redemption and not vengeance,” and tells of how the choice of opponent instilled doubt in him: “My first instinct was to try and take this win back to my team, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean I feel I’m better than my teacher,” says the 3rd-degree black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, referring to Renzo’s loss to Hughes at the UFC in Abu Dhabi last April.