Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu store for Jits Magazine

Leonardo Vieira, also known as Leozinho or simply Leo Vieira, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Romero Cavalcanti, being famous for combining one of the most eye pleasing games in BJJ with an amazing track record. Leo Vieira was also the co-founder of important teams such as Brasa Clube de Jiu Jitsu and Checkmat BJJ, becoming in the process one of grappling’s most important coaches having helped athletes such as Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’Lucas Leite, João Assis and many others. He is also mentioned in the Top 10 BJJ Competitors athletes of All Time list by BJJ Heroes.

Leo Vieira Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Leonardo Alcantara Vieira

Nickname: “Leozinho” which means little Leonardo, or just Leo.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Leonardo Vieira

Main Achievements:

  • ADCC Champion (2003, 2005)
  • World Champion (1996 brown, 1999)
  • Pan American Champion (2002, 2004)
  • Brazilian National Champion (1998)
  • ADCC Silver Medallist (2011, 2007)
  • World Silver Medallist (1997)
  • World Bronze Medallist (2000)

Weight Division: Peso Leve & Pena (76Kg/167lbs & 70kg/154lbs)

Favourite Position/Technique: Brabo Choke & Guard Passing.

Association/Team: Checkmat BJJ

Leonardo Vieira DVD Instructionals and Merchandise

Leozinho Vieira Biography

Leonardo Vieira was born on the 23rd of March 1976, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is the eldest of 3 brothers, all of them accomplished black belts in Jiu Jitsu (Ricardo Vieira and Leandro Vieira). Leonardo or ‘Leo’ as he is named within the Jiu Jitsu community started training when he was just 6 years of age at the “Academia Master” with the legendary coach Romero Cavalcanti.

In 1993 his Master Cavalcanti merged the “Master” academy with some of his former students from the Academia Strike to formed Team Alliance, Leo competed for this new team for many years, receiving his black belt under the Alliance banner when he was 21 years old, by the hands of his master, after winning the historic first World Championships event as a Brown Belt (1996), in a final fought against Mauricio Mariano from Gracie Barra.

The following year, his first as a black belt, Leo fought his way to the final against Marcio Feitosa in the first of many historical duels between the two. This first fight went to the Gracie Barra fighter, Feitosa, but in 1998 when the two met once again in the final, Leonardo was the victor in one of the hardest fights of the event. 1998 was the last time Leonardo won the World Championship, although he did make the final again in 1999 (losing to Royler Gracie) and placed 3rd in 2000.

His career’s highest point had not been reached however, that came in 2003 when Leonardo won the World’s most prestigious Submission Grappling title, the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club), a gold medal achieved again in 2005.

In between this period, Leozinho moved to Sao Paulo and was training under Fabio Gurgel at the Team Alliance HQ there until 2002 when a group of competitors joined up against the head coach Gurgel. Leonardo left the team together with most of the black belts that trained there. The argument (in broad strokes) was over the ‘Mundial‘ (World Championships by IBJJF federation) which occurred a week after the Copa do Mundo (World Cup). As the Copa do Mundo offered a good prize money to its competitors and the Mundial didn’t, Leonardo and his team mates felt they should support this organization (CBJJO – Confederação de Jiu Jitsu Olimpico) and compete in it, Gurgel however decided against it for reasons that were never made public. The fighters went on to fight at the ‘Copa’ and Gurgel banned them from the gym, and so Leozinho and the others formed another team, ‘Master Team’ to honor the gym where this group had started training in the 1980′s. The Master Team later became Brasa Clube de Jiu Jitsu.

The Brasa Team went on for years and still exists today, but in 2008 Leo and his brothers decided to open another team in which they had more autonomy, this team they called Checkmat.

In 2011 Leozinho came out of competitive retirement after he was invited to compete at the prestigious ADCC once again, the invitation was for the vacant slot was for the ‘below 77kg’ weight division, a class above what he fought throughout his career, and arguably, the hardest divisions in the tournament. Many did not give Leonardo a fighters chance, labeling him too old to be competitive, but the veteran raised quite a few eyebrows once again in the 7th ADCC of his career by defeating the cream of the crop of the new generation and placing 2nd in the competition.

Leo Vieira Grappling Record

List of Leonardo Vieira’s fighting record in the most important touraments in Jiu Jitsu, both with the Gi (Kimono) and without it (No Gi/Submission Wrestling).

Leonardo Vieira Fight Stats

1 by sub
22 by Points (61%)
1 by Advantages (3%)
1 by Penalties (3%)
11 by Submission (31%)
1 by Decision (3%)
0 by Disqualified (0%)
2 by Brabo choke (18%)
Brabo choke
1 by Choke from back (9%)
Choke from back
1 by Copacabana choke (9%)
Copacabana choke
1 by Cross choke f/ mount (9%)
Cross choke f/ mount
2 by Guillotine (18%)
1 by Katagatame (9%)
1 by Mata leao (9%)
Mata leao
1 by North South choke (9%)
North South choke
1 by Submission (9%)
5 by Points (41.67%)
2 by Advantages (17%)
1 by Penalties (8%)
3 by Submission (25%)
1 by Decision (8.33%)
0 by Disqualified (0%)
2 by Mata leao (67%)
Mata leao
1 by Triangle (33%)

Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
84Marcio FeitosaMarcio FeitosaLAdvWorld Champ.U76kgFinal1997
171Royler GracieRoyler GracieLRefree DecisionWorld Champ.U70kgFinal1999
246Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinLPts: 2x0World Champ.U76kgSemi f.2000
282JJ MachadoJJ MachadoLPointsADCCU77kgSemi f.2000
284Marcio FeitosaMarcio FeitosaLAdvADCCU77kg3/4 place2000
309Mark KerrLPenADCCAbsoluteRd12000
358Leonardo SantosLeonardo SantosLPts: 3x0ADCCU77kg1/4 final2001
915Rany YahyaRany YahyaLMata leaoADCCU66kgFinal2007
1002Rafael MendesRafael MendesLMata leaoADCCU66kgSemi2009
1571Marcelo GarciaMarcelo GarciaLTriangleADCCU77Final2011
2614Otavio SousaOtavio SousaLPointsADCCU77kgSemi f.2013
2615JT TorresJT TorresLN/AADCCU77kg3/4 Place2013
83R. VerissimoWPts: 4x0World Champ.U76kgSemi f.1997
100Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWPts: 24x4Copa PeleU76kgFinal1997
158Marcio FeitosaMarcio FeitosaWAdvWorld Champ.U76kgFinal1998
235Marcio FeitosaMarcio FeitosaWN/ALPJJU75kgFinal2000
271Bob SchirmerWPointsADCCU77kgRd12000
277Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWPointsADCCU77kg1/4 final2000
318Vitor ShaolinVitor ShaolinWPts: 6x4Rio x Sao PauloU75kgSuperfight2000
324Scott ScultzWCopacabana chokePro AmU77kgSemi f.2001
325Matt SerraMatt SerraWPts: 10x4Pro AmU77kgFinal2001
356Morris ClifoniWKatagatameADCCU77kgRd 12001
419Fredson AlvesWPointsPan AmericanU70kgFinal2001
427Gabriel WilcoxWBrabo chokeWorld CupU70kg1/4 final2002
428Jair LourencoJair LourencoWChoke from backWorld CupU70kgSemi f.2002
429Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo RibeiroWN/AWorld CupU70kgFinal2002
435Yuki NakaiYuki NakaiWBrabo chokeGround ImpactU70kgSuperfight2002
476Allan TeoWSubmissionADCCU66kgRd12003
477Rany YahyaRany YahyaWPts: 9x0ADCCU66kg1/4 final2003
479Eddie BravoEddie BravoWPts: 16x0ADCCU66kgSemi f.2003
480Baret YoshidaBaret YoshidaWPenADCCU66kgFinal2003
599Fredson AlvesWPts: 4x2Pan AmericanU70kgFinal2004
602S. FukuzumiWCross choke f/ mountBrazil v JapanU70kgSuperfight2004
660Baret YoshidaBaret YoshidaWPts: 19x4Budo ChallengeU70kgSuperfight2005
665T. SuzukiWPointsADCCU66kgRd12005
666Joey GilbertWGuillotineADCCU66kg1/4 final2005
667Rob DiCensoWNorth South chokeADCCU66kgSemi f.2005
668Rany YahyaRany YahyaWPts: 6x0ADCCU66kgFinal2005
841Naoya UematsuWMata leaoLA Sub-XAbsoluteSuperfight2006
885Sim GoSim GoWPointsADCCU66kgRd12007
902Jeff GloverJeff GloverWPointsADCCU66kg1/4 final2007
903T. SuzukiWPts: 8x0ADCCU66kgSemi f.2007
997D. MarinakisWPointsADCCU66kgRd 12009
1001Ryan HallRyan HallWGuillotineADCCU66kg1/4 final2009
1509Enricco CocoWPts: 6x0ADCCU77kgRd 12011
1542JT TorresJT TorresWPts: 2x0ADCCU771/4 Finals2011
1558Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 3x0ADCCU77Semi f.s2011
2611AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWRefree DecisionADCCU77kg1/4 final2013

Leo Vieira vs Baret Yoshida

Leo Vieira vs Eddie Bravo

Leo Vieira vs Yuki Nakai

Leo Vieira vs Renato Verissimo “Charuto”


This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)