Valdir Araújo Junior, often referenced as BB Monstro (which means Baby Monster in Portuguese), is a well-known grappler and former professional mixed martial arts (MMA) cage fighter, who competed in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 21) in 2015 and Bellator MMA. In grappling, BB Monster has a black belt in judo and jiu-jitsu – awarded by Daniel Valverde, with important medals to his credit, including at several ADCC Brazilian Trials podium placements. Competitively Valdir Araújo has represented a range of teams, including Masters MMA, Blackzillians, Blackhouse and Fight Sports.
BB Monster Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Valdir Araújo de Lima Junior
Nickname: Araújo is commonly mentioned as “Baby Monster” or BB Monster, in Portuguese BB Monstro. The nickname was given by a senior teammate of Valdir named Fabio Dória, in Brazil, when Araújo first started training BJJ at the age of 12. At the time Valdir was very big and athletic for his age and used all his physical prowess when rolling. His physicality combined with his age earned him the name Baby Monster, which would be shortened to BB Monster.
- 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2009)
- 2nd Place IBJJF American Nationals (2017)
- 2nd Place ADCC São Paulo Trials (2017 / 2019)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2016)
- 3rd Place IBJJF American Nationals NoGi (2016)
- 3rd Place ADCC Rio de Janeiro Trials (2017)
Favorite Position/Technique: Kataguruma
Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94,30 kg / 175.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Fight Sports
Valdir Araújo Biography
Valdir Araújo was born on December 14, 1984, in Gama, Brasilia – Brazil, moving to one the state of Bahia as a child.
Throughout his childhood, Valdir Araújo was always involved in sports, practicing swimming and capoeira for years, as well as football (soccer), the latter at a high competitive level prior to him focussing on a martial arts career.
Valdir was introduced to jiu-jitsu by Helio Moura, a well known Bahia black belt. The relationship between the two came to fruition after Araújos’ father – a successful entrepreneur, sponsored Helio for a few jiu-jitsu events. Sometime after this exchange, Moura bumped into 12-year-old Valdir at the beach and recognizing the youngster, cordially invited him to train at his gym. After the very first class, in December 1998, Araújo realized grappling was something he wanted to pursue.
Only a few months into Araújo’s training, Helio Moura moved from Bahia, leaving Valdir without a tutor. In a search for Moura’s successor, BB Monster discovered Daniel Valverde’s gym – a popular judoka and BJJ black belt, with whom Araújo remained from white to black belt, the latter a rank attributed by coach Daniel in 2007.
In 2001, after coach Daniel Valverde moved to the United States to form an alliance with Rodrigo Nogueira, Valdir decided to go out and seek an adventure of his own, spending the following year in the state of São Paulo training and competing exclusively in judo, earning his brown belt in the Japanese art of throwing with 1 year of training. His love for judo would have him returning to the sport numerous times, including extended periods training with Flamengo’s famous judo club in Rio de Janeiro, earning his black belt in this Olympic combat sport in 2006.
In late 2008 Daniel Valverde joined Rodrigo Minotauro’s coaching staff for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir reality TV/MMA show. To cover his gym’s classes, considering he would be relocating to Las Vegas for the shooting of the series, Valverde called on BB Monster. Valdir moved to the United States to cover the classes and taking full advantage of the multiple disciplines at his disposal in the US, he started adding striking to his training, quickly joining the world of MMA.
Valdir Araújo kept a busy schedule inside the cage for the next few years, joining the famous Blackzillians MMA team in 2015 to further his cage fighting career, a move that earned him a spot in the Ultimate Fighter (TUF 21) – American Top Team vs. Blackzilians, going 1-1 in the show.
After the death of Glenn Robinson, the founder of Blackzillians, the team was dispersed and Araújo made a more vehement comeback to the grappling world, earning important medals while training and representing the Fight Sports Academy of Florida, US.