Alliance black belt, Leonardo Nogueira could not defend his absolute title at the European Jiu-Jitsu championship, which takes place this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. Leo just moved to Miami, where he will be teaching at the Black House gym branch. In an interview with tatame, the two time world champion spoke about the reasons that forced him to sit out the competition.
“This year I will stay out of Europeans, will not be able to defend my absolute crown (laughs). I set out to fight the Copa podio (which takes place on February 1) but was very busy. A shame as it is one of the best BJJ leagues.
About his move to Miami and training with Roberto Cyborg:
I moved to Miami late last year. This opportunity came about through a student of mine who wanted to open a gym in Miami. I liked the idea and I’m here. Everyone is invited to train at Black House / Alliance. As the academy is located in Miami Beach, it is a great choice for Jiu-Jitsu and to join training with tourism, as the gym is one block away from the beach. I’m training with the great champion Cyborg and am having the same caliber training I had in Sao Paulo at the gym with my teacher Fabio Gurgel. I’m learning a different Jiu-Jitsu here and believe I will improve a lot because the guys here really push me. The set of guys here challenge me very well (laughs). I was well received here and I’m thrilled to speak up, because I did not expect it to be so. I keep fighting for the Alliance, but do not intend to ever fight Cyborg, because we are of different categories. “
Focus on Copa Podio and the Worlds
Last year, Leo Nogueira had to stay out of the Worlds because of a knee injury. Recovered, he hopes to have a good performance in the Copa podio and following the BJJ competition schedule.
Before moving to the United States, Leonardo Nogueira came to help the former Pride and UFC champion Shogun in training for MMA . Despite this his focus will still be on the gi, the black belt continues to train MMA and hopes to make his debut shortly after the Copa Podio.
“It for sure is in my plans to have a MMA debut this year. I’m doing MMA training with my Black House team in Miami Beach and I already have something in mind yes, but only intend to do this after the worlds. But I’m sharpening my strikes and my wrestling. “