On the evening of December 23, Brazilian MMA lost one of its warriors. Eraldo Paes, 33, a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and luta livre, passed on, a victim of cancer.
A promoter of MMA events around Rio de Janeiro, where he helped new talent get their start as fighters, Eraldo’s only fear was, perhaps, that he would lose his joy for life and start complaining.
When he discovered he had a devastating form of stomach cancer, back in 2007, he never let it dampen his spirits. Friends and training partners stuck by his side, and Eraldo hung on strong until just a few days ago, when he felt dizzy and sought help at Tijuca hospital, where he succumbed to trombosis, one of the complications stemming from cancer.
Eraldo had three career MMA fights and helped countless aces on his team to refine their ground games—from Rodrigo Minotauro to his friend Milton Vieira. “I never heard him complain about life or the treatment he underwent. He was the greatest warrior I’ve ever known,” said Milton, a friend of Paes since they shared their childhood together in the Vila Isabel borough of Rio de Janeiro.
The black belt was one of the main trainers producing the new generation at BTT, at the team dojo in Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro City. On the 22nd, Eraldo taught his last Jiu-Jitsu class. GRACIEMAG.com joins in solidarity with his friends and teammates at BTT, and surely the legacy and lessons of Eraldo Paes will remain very much alive into the future.