Ricardo Liborio promoted BJJ coral belt

Legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and coach Ricardo Liborio was promoted to the rank of coral belt in BJJ.

After 31 years as a black belt, BJJ world champion, ADCC veteran, and world-renowned MMA coach Ricardo Liborio has been promoted to the rank of coral belt. The promotion took place on Sunday, March 17 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Liborio was promoted by fellow red belts Fernando Pinduka and Carlos Rosado.

After the promotion, Liborio shared a few words about his journey to coral belt (translation provided by FloGrappling).

“Being a master means learning to be beaten. It’s a cycle that concludes. I can’t win anymore, age slows everyone down regardless of how good you are. The next step after becoming a master is to seek physical, mental, and spiritual health. Find a reason that takes you back to the mat every day. In my case, I find joy in being there to help. Passing on concepts, experience, and values. This is part of my philosophy. I left an important position at Banco do Brasil years ago to live from Jiu-Jitsu. I love Jiu-Jitsu and I feel like the happiest guy in the world.”

Liborio was awarded his BJJ black belt in 1993 by his first instructor, the legendary Carlson Gracie.

As one of Gracie’s top students throughout the 1990s, Liborio competed frequently and found plenty of success on Brazil’s competitive circuit. In 1996, he took home gold at the IBJJF World Championships. He would go on to earn third at the 1999 ADCC World Championships and second at the same tournament in 2000.

In 2000, Liborio split from Gracie and, along with Bebeo Duarte, formed Brazilian Top Team. Shortly thereafter, though, he met American businessman Dan Lambert, and the two joined forces to create American Top Team (ATT).

ATT remains one of the world’s top MMA camps today, producing world champions like Amanda Nunes, Alexandre Pantoja, Kayla Harrison, and Dustin Poirier.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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