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 by developing athletes such as Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’, Lucas Leite, João Assis and many others. Leozinho is also one of the Top BJJ Competitors of All Time by BJJ Heroes.
Leonardo Vieira Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Leonardo Alcantara Vieira
Nickname: “Leozinho” which means little Leonardo, or just Leo.
- ADCC Champion (2003, 2005)
- IBJJF World Champion (1996 brown, 1999)
- IBJJF Pan American Champion (2002/2004)
- CBJJ Brazilian National Champion (1998)
- ADCC Runner-up (2011/2007)
- IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (1997)
- IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place (2000)
Weight Division: Peso Leve (76 kg / 167 lbs)
Favourite Position/Technique: Brabo Choke, Guard Passing.
Association/Team: Checkmat BJJ
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.
A record of Leonardo Vieira’s matches in the most important tournaments in sport jiu jitsu, both with the Gi (Kimono) and without it (No Gi/Submission Wrestling).
Leonardo Vieira Grappling Record
12 SUBMISSIONS WINS
4 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES
Leonardo Vieira Fight History
|114||Marcio FeitosaMarcio Feitosa||L||Adv||World Champ.||76KG||F||1997|
|280||Royler GracieRoyler Gracie||L||Referee Decision||World Champ.||70KG||F||1999|
|385||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||L||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||76KG||SF||2000|
|422||JJ MachadoJJ Machado||L||Pts: 9x0||ADCC||77KG||SF||2000|
|424||Marcio FeitosaMarcio Feitosa||L||Adv||ADCC||77KG||3PLC||2000|
|510||Leonardo SantosLeonardo Santos||L||Pts: 3x0||ADCC||77KG||4F||2001|
|1676||Rany YahyaRany Yahya||L||RNC||ADCC||66KG||F||2007|
|2225||Rafael MendesRafael Mendes||L||RNC||ADCC||66KG||SF||2009|
|3256||Marcelo GarciaMarcelo Garcia||L||Triangle||ADCC||77KG||F||2011|
|4947||Otavio SousaOtavio Sousa||L||Points||ADCC||77KG||SF||2013|
|4948||JT TorresJT Torres||L||N/A||ADCC||77KG||3PLC||2013|
|13115||Gabriel MarangoniGabriel Marangoni||L||Terra Footlock||ACBJJ 6||65KG||4F||2017|
|13579||Chael Sonnen||L||Referee Decision||ADCC||ABS||SPF||2017|
|113||R. Verissimo||W||Pts: 4x0||World Champ.||76KG||SF||1997|
|135||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||W||Pts: 24x4||Copa Pele||76KG||SPF||1997|
|223||Marcio FeitosaMarcio Feitosa||W||Adv||World Champ.||76KG||F||1998|
|371||Marcio FeitosaMarcio Feitosa||W||N/A||LPJJ||75KG||F||2000|
|417||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||W||Adv||ADCC||77KG||4F||2000|
|473||Vitor ShaolinVitor Shaolin||W||Pts: 6x4||Rio x Sao Paulo||75KG||SPF||2000|
|483||Scott Scultz||W||Copacabana choke||Pro Am||77KG||SF||2000|
|484||Matt SerraMatt Serra||W||Pts: 10x4||Pro Am||77KG||F||2000|
|608||Fredson Alves||W||Points||Pan American||70KG||F||2001|
|636||Gabriel Wilcox||W||Brabo choke||World Cup||70KG||4F||2002|
|637||Jair LourencoJair Lourenco||W||Choke from back||World Cup||70KG||SF||2002|
|638||Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo Ribeiro||W||N/A||World Cup||70KG||F||2002|
|644||Yuki NakaiYuki Nakai||W||Brabo choke||Ground Impact||70KG||SPF||2002|
|762||Rany YahyaRany Yahya||W||Pts: 9x0||ADCC||66KG||4F||2003|
|766||Eddie BravoEddie Bravo||W||Pts: 16x0||ADCC||66KG||SF||2003|
|768||Baret YoshidaBaret Yoshida||W||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||66KG||F||2003|
|988||Renato Migliacio||W||Pts: 14x0||Pan American||70KG||SF||2004|
|989||Fredson Alves||W||Pts: 4x2||Pan American||70KG||F||2004|
|1010||Fabio NascimentoFabio Nascimento||W||Referee Decision||Pan American||ABS||4F||2004|
|1016||S. Fukuzumi||W||Mounted X choke||Brazil v Japan||70KG||SPF||2004|
|1130||Baret YoshidaBaret Yoshida||W||Pts: 19x0||Budo Challenge||77KG||SF||2005|
|1131||Komuro||W||Pts: 7x0||Budo Challenge||77KG||SF||2005|
|1163||Rob DiCenso||W||North South choke||ADCC||66KG||SF||2005|
|1164||Rany YahyaRany Yahya||W||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||66KG||F||2005|
|1481||Naoya Uematsu||W||RNC||LA Sub-X||ABS||SPF||2006|
|1665||Sim GoSim Go||W||Points||ADCC||66KG||R1||2007|
|1673||Jeff GloverJeff Glover||W||Points||ADCC||66KG||4F||2007|
|1674||T. Suzuki||W||Pts: 8x0||ADCC||66KG||SF||2007|
|2224||Ryan HallRyan Hall||W||Guillotine||ADCC||66KG||4F||2009|
|3194||Enrico CoccoEnrico Cocco||W||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||77KG||R1||2011|
|3227||JT TorresJT Torres||W||Pts: 2x0||ADCC||77KG||4F||2011|
|3243||Claudio CalasansClaudio Calasans||W||Pts: 3x0||ADCC||77KG||SF||2011|
|4939||Sotaro Yamada||W||Pts: 6x0||ADCC||77KG||R1||2013|
|4944||AJ AgazarmAJ Agazarm||W||Referee Decision||ADCC||77KG||4F||2013|
Leo Vieira vs Baret Yoshida
Leo Vieira vs Yuki Nakai