Get to know Leandro Lo, the dark horse of Abu Dhabi

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Leandro in photo by Luca Atalla

GRACIEMAG.com was already keen to Leandro “Lo” Pereira. The fighter had been having a fine run in competitions around the São Paulo area and put in a splendid performance at the World Pro qualifiers in Gramado, Brazil, where he won a berth in Abu Dhabi.

In the Arab Emirates, Leandro proved once again that he has come to make his mark. The black belt won the under-74 kg division that included such Jiu-Jitsu greats as Michael Langhi, Gilbert Durinho, JP Torres, and his opponent in the final, three-time world champion Celso Venícius, among others.

There’s no denying it, though – among so many beasts of the grappling game, Leandro was still unknown to the general public. His teacher, Cícero Costha, reveals a bit about his student:

“He lives in East São Paulo and endures a one-and-a-half-hour commute every day to train with us here in Ipiranga. He’s a model of dedication,” he says.

“Leandro is truly dedicated, he trains twice a day,” he adds.

The black belt is the product of a project headed by Cícero.

“We have a charity project that helps underprivileged people. Besides Leandro, we have a number of other athletes who have been standing out. If you’d like to come see the project, you are more than welcome,” he said in finishing, proud of his student’s achievement.

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