Mario Roberto is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, former professional fighter and mixed martial arts coach.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mario has been involved with martial arts since his early childhood. He started by learning Judo at school, and then proceeded to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from the well-known instructor Pedro Carvalho, who had just received his brown belt at the time. Mario trained with Pedro until he was a blue belt. Pedro then decided to move to the United States to open another school, leaving his gym to his teacher, Anibal Braga, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mario continued to train under Anibal until his promotion to black belt in July 1998.
At that time, he decided to open a school of his own in Rio de Janeiro, and has been actively teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since. He regularly teaches seminars all over the United States, having guided and motivated hundreds of students to reach higher levels of performance.
Mario has more than 15 titles in sport Jiu-Jitsu, and was ranked number one in his division in 1993 and 1994 by LINJJI. He trained Aikido in Rio de Janeiro, and Muay Thai under the supervision of heavyweight kickboxing champion Scott “Bam Bam” Sullivan. He was coached in Judo by his lifelong friend José Morais Neto, and captured the 2005 USJA MN State Judo Championships title in his division. He worked on his boxing skills at the 4th Street Boxing Gym in Rochester, MN.
In July 1997, while in Evansville (IN), he participated in a Pancrase-style mixed martial arts event, the Hook n’ Shoot Middleweight World Championship. An international 8-man elimination tournament, it provided Mario with an excellent opportunity to showcase his skills. As the show went on, Mario had to face Henry Matamoros, Aaron Riley and John Renken on the same night. After 3 exciting, action-packed matches, Mario took the belt home, as well as the “Most Outstanding Grappler” and “Most Outstanding Fighter” awards.
August 1998 brought other challenges. Mario returned to the US, this time to participate in two superfights in the Hook n’ Shoot “QUEST” show. Always interested in testing his skills, he accepted the challenge to headline both nights of fighting, in what ended up turning into a fighting ‘marathon’. On the first night, he faced highly-regarded UFC vet Jeremy Horn. After 30 minutes of a very technical grappling match, with Mario dominating the fight, a draw was declared due to lack of judges or point system. The next day Mario faced Travis Fulton, the world’s most active MMA fighter, and defeated him by unanimous decision after another 30 minute war.
After returning from the US, Mario decided to retire from professional competition to focus on academic pursuits, earning his M.D. degree in 2002 from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil’s top-ranked medical institution.
Mario’s first-hand MMA experience and extensive grappling knowledge provide him with the necessary coaching tools to take fighters to the highest levels. In fact, his students have competed in events such as the MFC, Extreme Challenge, Abu Dhabi and The Ultimate Fighter reality series. He has also cornered fighters in the WEC, Pride and the UFC.
In 2004, due to personal reasons, Mario decided to move to the United States on a permanent basis. He settled in Rochester (MN), where he opened up his own school, the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Academy, in August 2004.
In 2008, Mario released his breakthrough DVD series, the BJJ Video Encyclopedia. It was received with wide acclaim by public and media alike, and it was followed by many other products that remain a success to this day. You can recognize him as the voice on the “Marcelo Garcia” series, and he has also acted as a technical advisor in Demian Maia’s and Robson Moura’s DVD series.
Mario has made several appearances in the specialized media, including “Full Contact Fighter” , “Grappling” and “Men’s Journal” magazines, as well as ”Hook n’ Shoot” and “Fightworld” videos. He is 6’01” and currently weighs 190 lbs. He speaks fluent English, having earned the FCE certificate from the University of Cambridge and the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Michigan, both at age 14. He also speaks Portuguese, French and Spanish. Among his hobbies are reading, music and weightlifting.