#89 Ricardo Almeida, Rener Gracie, and Fernando "Margarida"

Ricardo Almeida and Carlos Gracie Jr.
Ricardo Almeida and Carlos Gracie Jr.

Hey everyone, hope you enjoyed UFC 77 yesterday. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you on this week’s episode of The FightWorks Podcast, which meets the Intergalactic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Empire’s criteria for “totally sweet”:

A conversation with Ricardo Almeida, black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie. He began competing in mixed martial arts in 2000 and then hung up his gloves in 2004 to concentrate on other obligations. Almeida, who holds an MMA record of 8-2-0 and has submitted fighters like Dean Lister and Josh Barnett in submission grappling competitions, has been picked up by the UFC and will make his return to action in early 2008. Learn more about the man who received offer letters from all the big MMA promoters after announcing a desire to fight again this fall.

Our second interview is a brief one with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt champion Fernando Pontes, better known as Margarida. We sit down with Margarida for 5 minutes and get to know what he’s up to. Die-hard BJJ junkies will know him for medaling in the world championships in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005. He also was the only person to make it look – albeit briefly – like the indomitable Roger Gracie could be stopped on his way to winning the absolute division of the 2007 BJJ World Championships.

Lastly, we’ll have a lengthy conversation with Rener Gracie who discusses a new offering from the Gracie Academy in Torrance that was announced on Tuesday by email which stated, “Become an official Gracie Family Representative – Get Certified to Teach in 2 Weeks – No Previous Grappling Experience – Turn your school into a Certified Gracie Combatives Training Center”. He’ll also bring us up to speed on the MMA careers of his brother Ralek Gracie and Ryron Gracie.

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Transcription of Margarida Interview:

Caleb: Okay everybody this is Caleb with The FightWorks Podcast and we are here with Fernando “Margarida” Pontes. How are you doing Margarida?

Margarida: Great. How about yourself?

Caleb: I am doing great, thank you. You just completed a seminar here at Fabio Santos’ academy, and I thought we would introduce you to some of the listeners out there around the world who don’t know you yet. If you could tell a little bit about your background, like where you started training and when that would be a great start.

Margarida: I am from Brazil. I started training in Sao Paulo when I was eleven years old with Fabio Gurgel and Fernando Yamasaki. And then after that I was going to check every gym in my city. I went to Rio. I was going there for ten years, and Florianopolis. And now I just came back to the United States.

Caleb: Where were you training in Rio? Was there any one place?

Margarida: Brazilian Top Team, Paulo Carullo, I trained in Rocinha with my friends, Flamengo judo, with Carlson Gracie under Ricardo Arona, Paulo Filho, Minotauro…

Caleb: So tell people where your nickname came from. What does it mean?

Margarida: My nicknames comes from Fabio, because when I was young I was sparring all the time with big guys, so I cried all the time. So he gave me a crying name, he gave me Margarida. Like a person who cries, you know?

Caleb: Somebody who cries a lot?

Margarida: Yeah somebody who cries a lot. So, after that, I be strong, I don’t cry anymore (laughs). I try to beat everyone up and get my way.

Caleb: Well I think you do beat up a lot of people. Tell us some of the bigger titles that you have won, some of the bigger championships.

Margarida: You know, national champion three times in my weight class, the open division. I’m world champion three times too, in my weight class and open division… ten times state champion. I mean i have a lot of titles.

Caleb: That’s cool. Well what have you been doing recently? What are your plans now?

Margarida: I did my first MMA fight with Jorge “Macaco” Patino.

Caleb: Where was that?

Margarida: It was in Sao Paulo, at the end of last year. It was good. I am thinking about fighting more, you know? I just need fair money, then I will get in [and fight].

Caleb: Is that your focus right now? To turn to MMA?

Margarida: No my focus is MMA and to keep doing my essence you know, it’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And, to be happy bro.

Caleb: That’s a good goal.Talk real quickly about the mundials. Tell us how that went for you because that was a very exciting match with Roger Gracie.

Margarida: Oh yeah, he is phenomenal. And he taps [his opponents in] all his fights. He makes everyone look… under him, you know? He makes everyone look like one belt less [than they are]. I did pretty much a good fight. I hope that next year I am better. You know, in better shape, and let’s see you know, he’s a tough fighter. Him, Jacare Souza, Braulio Estima, Demian Maia… [there are] a lot of guys [who are] very good. So it will be a good war.

Caleb: Well they just announced that it is going to be in Los Angeles again next year, so that’s cool, [and] we’ll see you then.

Margarida: Oh yeah. For sure. I hope [so].

Caleb: Thank you Margarida.

Margarida: Thank you very much.

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