Resilience — an insight into Leo Leite’s life

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Leo Leite gets the win over Galvão

Leo Leite at the 2013 Worlds. Graciemag.com

While he represented Brazil on the Olympic judo team, Leo Leite won world BJJ championships in 1999 and 2000. Having lost his spot in the 2012 London Games last-minute, Leo gave no thought to quitting training. Hearing his brother’s words on resilience, Leo sought a new path and moved to MMA. Now with an undefeated record including ten wins, Leite tells us a little about this story of tenacity.

I’ve always been moved by challenges — I’m battling, training. I have 10 wins; I’m undefeated and seeking to fight the best — this is my next challenge. At the London Olympics I lost my spot at the last second, and that could have gotten me down; I could have dropped everything and quit fighting, but no. I put myself into a new challenge, something I had never done before. Boxing; Muay Thai; even training no-gi BJJ, which I had done so little of in my entire life. One day my brother told me about resilience, which was how I managed to turn the tables on that quote-unquote loss that were the London Games. And it was in MMA that I found myself; I love training — I’m happy as a clam, in love with training, learning something new every day.

To many people I was insane, because for me at 35 to want to migrate to MMA. I knew of my potential, and I know to this day — I know where I can go. I still have a lot of fuel to burn — I go to the gym in utter joy; I wake up all sore to go train with a big smile. I’m in traffic for an hour to get to the gym and I’m not pissed; I get there happy to train, and, while I continue to have this happiness to train inside me, I will keep going. I will keep seeking my dream of fighting in a big event. I feel very good. Of course my body gets worn out faster than before, and faster than the younger guys, but, as long as this flame is inside me, I won’t stop.

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