#166 UNIJJ Prepares for the Mundials: Saulo & Xande Ribeiro, Leo Santos

2008 BJJ Mundials Black Belt Absolute Division Champion Xande Ribeiro trains against Big Leo Santos in preparation for the 2009 Mundials.

June 4-7 brings us another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and few places anywhere take the competition as seriously as the University of Jiu-Jitsu. The UNIJJ, started by Saulo Ribeiro and his brother Xande Ribeiro, attract some of jiu-jitsu’s toughest athletes across all weight, rank, and gender divisions. The UNIJJ’s record of successes brings an obligation to continue producing some of the best competitors in jiu-jitsu.

In today’s episode of The FightWorks Podcast, we speak with both Saulo Ribeiro and his brother Xande, as well as newly minted black belt Leo Santos. Saulo discusses the responsibility UNIJJ has to represent the highest levels of jiu-jitsu, how they go about preparing, as well as some of the individuals who choose UNIJJ as their training camp like Kron Gracie.

Xande will talk about his preparation to defend his title as the 2008 BJJ Mundials mens absolute division champion, an achievement viewed by many as the pinnacle of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition. Only a few weeks prior to the upcoming Mundials, Xande successfully fought in his second mixed martial arts fight and has had to change gears to prepare for jiu-jitsu again, much the same way Roger Gracie did, who was his opponent in the finals of the absolute division last year.

For his part, Leo Santos won the brown belt ultra-heavyweight division in the 2008 BJJ Mundials. Santos was recently promoted to black, so we will hear his thoughts on his going from the world of elite brown belt competition into the shark tank with the black belts.

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