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#61 Ricardo Liborio

Ricardo Liborio's contributions to BJJ and MMA can not be overstated. He is a multi-time Brazilian National Champion, World Champion, ADCC Superfight Champion, and co-founder of two of the most prestigious teams in MMA.

Professor Liborio got his start in Jiu Jitsu as a teenager. Prior to that, he studied Judo, Taekwondo, and boxing. But it was his girlfriend's uncle Carlos Rosado, who while at a family barbeque encouraged Liborio to give Jiu Jitsu a shot. The very next day Liborio stepped on the mat at the Carlson Gracie Academy and was immediately hooked.

Liborio became one of the Carlson Gracie teams best students and coaches. He was awarded his Black Belt by Grand Master Carlson himself in 1993. In 1996 Liborio went on to win gold, fighting as he often did above his weight class, in the very first World Championships.

At the age of 28, Liborio found himself at a crossroads. He had graduated college with a degree in business and was working at the Bank of Brazil. He wanted to leave his career to dedicate himself full time to Jiu Jitsu. Many of his friends and family thought it was a crazy idea and Liborio himself was unsure if it would be the correct move. But he had one friend who posed the question, "why wouldn't you be successful?". This friend encouraged Liborio to leave banking, pointing out that he had already been a success in academics, Jiu Jitsu, relationships, and every other endeavor he had undertaken. With this push, Liborio left banking and dedicated himself to the martial art he loved.

In 2000 Liborio and several other members of the Carlson Gracie team left to form their own team. Brazilian Top Team was born and Liborio was traveling the world supporting his teammates in the expanding MMA industry. While visiting the United States in 2001 Liborio was approached by American businessman Dan Lambert. Lambert had heard Liborio was considering an offer to train fighters in Japan and approached him with a counter-offer to start a new team in the US. Liborio had fallen in love with America and took Lambert up on his offer. Along with BTT members, Marcus "Conan" Silveira and Marcelo Silveira, American Top Team was born. American Top Team went on to become a powerhouse in MMA and created multiple champions in the biggest fight organizations including Mike Brown, Robbie Lawler, Junior Dos Antos, Dustin Poirier, Tyron Woodley, and Amanda Nunes.

In 2017 Liborio left ATT to help the larger martial arts community and founded Martial Arts Nation. Martial Arts Nation is dedicated to providing guidance, curricula, and business solutions to martial art school owners. He also began working with the University of Central Florida where he grew their Jiu Jitsu club into the biggest club at the university and eventually started the first credited Jiu Jitsu class inside a university. Professor Liborio also dedicates himself to instructing children with special needs, using martial arts as a way to help them overcome perceived limitations and flourish in their daily lives.

Honor and tradition are two of the things that Professor Liborio continues to promote and represent as he furthers the reach of the martial arts community, helping so many around the world through Jiu Jitsu.


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