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Nowadays, Ricardo Vieira is perhaps best known as the co-founder of Checkmat, alongside his brother Leo. But for people who have been around jiu jitsu a little longer, this Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti black belt represents much, much more.

‘Rico’ was one of the top super featherweight fighters of his generation, winning his first world title as a blue belt in 1996. However, it was in a 2001 showdown against Nova Uniao’s Robson Moura that saw Vieira really start to gain attention. In a match perhaps uncharacteristically ‘modern’ for its time, Vieira and Moura put on one of the most exciting, back and forth encounters in jiu jitsu history. Rico scored in the late stages of the fight to claim victory before going on to be crowned black belt champion.

12 years later and Rico made a surprise appearance at the ADCC in Beijing, only losing to the black belt sensation Paulo Miyao on points. For Vieira, this was his chance to have one more throw of the dice and – more importantly – say goodbye to his fans.

We caught up with the head of Fight Zone to discuss ‘that match’ with Robson, forming Checkmat with his brother Leo and leaving a competition career behind him.

Pick up issue 18 HERE or Subscribe HERE to read the whole feature interview with Rico!

September 25, 2014 — Jiu Jitsu Style