The first Black Belt under Master Renzo Gracie and a decorated grappling and MMA competitor, Professor Almeida joins the show to talk about the early days of Team Renzo Gracie, finding your motivation and why talent isn’t everything.  He also gives an in-depth breakdown of Jiu-Jitsu for MMA. Click “read more” for show notes! 


  • His origins
  • His ability to quickly  adapt to Jiu-Jitsu
  • Starting Jiu-Jitsu early vs later in life
  • Finding your reason for training / staying motivated
  • Talent vs Drive
  • His motivation to keep training after retirement
  • How Jiu-Jitsu has helped him in life
  • Learning from Master Renzo Gracie
  • The early days of Master Renzo’s team in NYC
  • Challenge matches at Renzo’s
  • Ryan Gracie
  • The “fighter’s switch”
  • The Tom Deblass Walmart incident / The responsibility of self control
  • The expectations of a competitor
  • The value of not creating a mold of yourself for your students
  • The sharing of knowledge in Jiu-Jitsu
  • His feelings on cross-training
  • Training with Buchecha
  • What Jiu-Jitsu did for his MMA career
  • Getting the fight to the ground in MMA
  • Applying Demian Maia’s Jiu-Jitsu
  • Striking for Jiu-Jitsu
  • Adapting boxing for MMA and combining it with Jiu-Jitsu
  • Fighting in Japan for Pride FC
  • Crazy behind the scenes stories from Pride
  • How Joe Rogan has educated the general public on Grappling
  • His favorite promotion to fight for
  • When he knew it was time to retire from fighting
  • His defining MMA moment