Nivaldo Oliveira, also known as Nil, has lots of history in BJJ. A black-belt since 2007, when he was promoted by Leo Vieira, Nil has won important titles like the absolute in the CBJJ’s Brazilian Nationals, and the IBJJF’s European Championship – two of the toughest competitions on the calendar.
With wins over Rômulo Barral and Murilo Santa, in a recent interview Nivaldo remembered his important triumph from 2012, a landmark in his career as an athlete.
“The title of Brazilian champion in my weight and in the absolute was incredible to me,” he said. “The Brazilian Nationals are the biggest championship in Brazil, and I was able to write my name in the history of the sport. It was a title I had been seeking for some time, and I got it. I was coming off good results in previous years, reaching consecutive finals in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the year I became champion. I gained confidence upon beating tough athletes and world champions; that’s how I knew I was on the right path.”
Now, at 38, Nil resides in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, where he helps propagate the benefits of BJJ, the sport that changed his life from the moment he first stepped on a mat at the age of 16.
“Fortunately, today, I can say that I make a living 100% off Jiu-Jitsu,” said Nil. “I have a comfortable life and a very good quality of life. Yes, I feel fulfilled, but I still have other goals that I want to reach. I want to have my own gym. Here, in Abu Dhabi, it’s incredible how the sport and the professionals are valued. We have big competitions with prize money.” He added: “I’m always training and studying.”
An avid follower of the competitive scene, Nil is keeping an eye on BJJ Stars, the Brazilian organization, in particular. “I always watch these superfight events. It’s super-important for the growth of the sport, especially now, because of the pandemic that struck and we were left without frequent championships. Since I’m already a master, it would be cool to fight again in this event. I hope to have an opportunity to fight again.”