It’s midday in the Cosme Velho borough of Rio de Janeiro, and it’s gridlock. Between the lines of cars, the No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu champion of Brazil is in his underwear.
It’s Kléber “Buiú” Paulino, who in his spare time moonlights as a model and there are posters of him on a number of buses around the city, even ones of him in his underwear.
But his career as teacher and fighter is what truly gives the Gracie Barra black belt pleasure, and that’s why he’s taking off for Long Beach, California, tomorrow, to compete at the No-Gi Worlds to take place on the 7th.
“I’m going in as a medium heavyweight again, like I did at the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals last weekend. I should run into Murilo Santana again, like we did in the final in Tijuca. And then there’s Pablo Popovitch, Marcello Salazar… We’re all going to be there,” says Buiú, who also won the Rio Open, in the gi, earlier this year.
“I feel my game favors No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, as I like to be explosive and get on top, take my opponents down and attack from the top. Thank God everything’s been going well in the gi, too; but no-gi, because of my gas, I go for it till the last minute and the fight flows freely,” he explains.
Check back for coverage of the No-Gi Worlds here, on GRACIEMAG.com.