Flamengo. Rio de Janeiro/ RJ. Brazil
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by Léo Santos official website


A história de Léo Santos, no Jiu-Jitsu, começou em 1986, aos seis anos de idade, no Mello Tênis Clube, na Vila da Penha, subúrbio do Rio de Janeiro, quando começou a ser treinado pelo seu primo e professor Wendell Alexander.

Leo started competing at the age of nine, however, he only took it seriously three years later, when he started to dedicate himself more to training. Having a natural talent for soft art, he then set himself the goal of being the best in this sport, and the highlight became a consequence.

At 14 years old he won his first adult championship, and at sixteen he won his first world championship, in the blue belt, in the adult feather category, becoming the youngest fighter to achieve the feat.

Leo conquest the black belt in 1999 and faced one of the greatest representatives of the Gracie family, Royler Gracie. This confrontation is considered by experts as one of the greatest classics in the history of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) Leo Santos x Royler Gracie. Although he lost, he was considered a winner by many, and soon achieved a remarkable projection in soft art.

During the period that he dedicated himself exclusively to BJJ, Léo was undefeated for five years. It is worth mentioning the Black Belt competition, which brought together the sixteen best black belts of the time, when Leo became champion and was elected the best light black belt, today.

Ao longo de sua carreira, Léo faturou três títulos mundiais na CBJJ (Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu) e quatro na CBJJO (Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu Olímpico), tornando-se heptacampeão mundial, além de dois pan-americanos e inúmeros campeonatos brasileiros.


“[…] My fight against Royler was certainly one of the most important ones […]” Leo Santos

The bout Leo Santos against Royler Gracie, in 1999, in Jiu-jitsu World Championship, is considered one of the greatest Jiu-jitsu classics in the world! However, it has also become one of the biggest controversies of this sport.


Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)

In 2001, Leo Santos won the national tryouts and got a spot to represent Brazil in the United Arab Emirates. In this event, he won one of the great favorites Leo Vieira, but was stopped by the American athlete Matt Serra. In the third-place contest, Léo won the 1998 ADCC champion, Rodrigo Gracie, and took third place.

In his second stint at the ADCC, in 2005, Leo achieved one of the most plastic moments in ADCC history on top of one of the biggest names in the UFC, George St. Pierre, with an impressive flying armlock, managing to reach fourth place in the World Cup - No-Gi.

Léo Santos vs George St. Pierre

ADCC 2005 Léo Santos vs George St. Pierre

Um armlock voador, e Léo Santos pode se orgulhar de um feito que quase ninguém alcançou. O brasileiro é um dos poucos no mundo que já derrotou ninguém menos que Georges St. Pierre, o canadense que dominou a divisão dos meio-médios do UFC desde 2007.