Leonardo Peçanha is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Master Wendell Alexander Cavalcante Lago (Dell) and the founder of the Kronos BJJ team. Widely regarded as one of the top athletes of the Nova União fight camp during the early 2000s in grappling, Peçanha would later transition to mixed martial arts (MMA), while also finding equal success as a jiu-jitsu instructor, a role he settled into while living in the United States.
Leonardo Peçanha Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Leonardo de Souza Ayres Peçanha
- 1st Place CBJJO World Cup (2003 / 2004)
- 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2006 Adult, 2017** Master 1)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2012 Master 1)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2017 / 2019 Master 1)
- 3rd Place CBJJO World Cup (2005)
- 3rd Place IBJJF Masters World Championship (2013**)
- 3rd Place IBJJF Masters & Seniors Championship (2012)
- 3rd Place IBJJF European Open (2006*)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place CBJJO World Cup (2002 brown)
- 1st Place CBJJ Juvenile Brazilian Nationals (1998 / 1999)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2000 blue)
- 2nd Place CBJJ Juvenile Brazilian Nationals (1996)
- 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (1997 blue)
- 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2001 brown)
** Weight and Absolute
Favorite Position/Technique: Armbar
Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94,30 kg / 208.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Kronos BJJ
Leonardo Peçanha Biography
Leonardo Peçanha was born on July 15, 1982, in the Morro da Fé, a famous Brazilian favela located in Vila da Penha, Rio de Janeiro.
Growing up Leonardo practiced a number of sports, including futsal, swimming, and jiu-jitsu, the latter, a martial art he started on the day of his 5th birthday (1987) at the famous Mello Tênis Clube with coach Wendell Alexander (co-founder of Nova União).
Originally, the intention behind signing on Peçanha to a jiu-jitsu academy was to occupy the young Brazilian’s time after school, as Leonardo’s parents had recently separated and feared the dangers of leaving a young child to himself at home. With time, however, Peçanha started proving his potential for the sporting facet of BJJ.
One of Leonardo’s breakthrough performances took place at the 1997 IBJJF Pan Championship in Hawaii, USA. Although a teenage green belt at the time, the event only had adult divisions, as such Leonardo competed as an adult blue belt, placing 3rd in one of the most important tournaments in the grappling world.
Peçanha maintained a high competitive standard across all belt levels, earning his black belt from his long-time coach, Master Wendell Alexander Cavalcante Lago (Dell) by the end of 2002, after a world title as a brown belt.
In 2004 Leonardo started dipping his toes on to the mixed martial arts (MMA) world, seeking to expand his combat sports experience. The MMA route led Peçanha to a fight manager named Monte Messi, who would catapult the young carioca’s career to the United States of America, first by way of the Titan FC promotion. In the US, Leonardo Peçanha settled in the Missouri area, where he opened his own BJJ gym.
Throughout his career, Leonardo Peçanha represented the Nova União flag. That relationship would end in 2018 after a few internal changes were made in the team’s management that led Leonardo to sever ties with the famous fight camp. After the break, Peçanha formed his own team: Kronos BJJ.
Kronos BJJ benefited from a well-structured network of affiliates already laid out by Leonardo Peçanha over the years and immediately caused an impact in the sport on an international level, which included a top 10 ranking on the 2019 Pan Championship (juvenile division).
Leonardo Peçanha vs Shawn Gayton