Ricardo Abreu was born in Cidade de Dourados (Mato Grosso) but came to live in Ribeirao Preto in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil when he was 9 years old. He began training Jiu Jitsu when he was 14 years old.
Training out of Academia Winner, he became one of the hottest prospects at Nova Uniao BJJ, a team which has always lacked a serious contender in the heavy weight categories. Winning the Brazilian National Championship 5 times in the lower belt divisions, he was considered Andre Galvao’s nemesis as a brown belt. Galvao was unbeaten in that division until facing Ricardo. He defeated the Terere protégé on two occasions - World Cup 2004 and the FESP Championship at Black Belt in 2005.
Although the future seemed bright for Ricardo, he had to stop training completely in 2006 due to a lack of critical sponsorships, a problem that haunts so many Jiu Jitsu fighters throughout the world. During his time off the mat, he worked on his academic career in law and as a consulting specialist in a finance firm. Three years later an unexpected proposal from close friend Jose Carlos Calixto was offered, and Ricardo grasped it with both hands. After only 5 months of preparation, he finished 2nd in his weight class at the World Championships in 2009 by submitting the former champion on the way to the podium.
His streak of great results continued throughout 2009, winning the Sao Paulo State Championships (one of the toughest in Brazil) by submitting every opponent in both his weight class and the open weight division. In 2010, Demente won 5 hard matches to claim the World Pro Cup Trials and secure his spot in the final in Abu Dhabi, the biggest prize money competition in the world of Jiu Jitsu. With everything set to go, a logistical problem made Ricardo miss the flight to the grand final in Abu Dhabi. Ricardo’s sponsor Jose Carlos Calixto was miraculously able to get him on the next flight to Abu Dhabi and in to the final.
Ricardo was on the plane for two days and arrived the same day of the fight. Although he was jet lagged from the long flights, he was able win the grand final in Abu Dhabi +98 kilos weight class taking home the title, a large cash prize, and a gold watch from the Sheiks.
Ricardo was plagued by a knee injury in 2010 which required surgery. After a short recovery, he managed to win the European Jiu Jitsu Championships. Demente moved to Rio de Janeiro to train at X-Gym and helped Anderson Silva prepare for his fight with Damien Maia. While in Rio, he trained with many other champions including Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Rafael dos Anjos. In 2011, Ricardo was hired by Tito Ortiz and brought to California to run Tito’s training camp and work on his Jiu Jitsu. After Tito’s training Camp concluded, Ricardo was brought on to work with fighters such as Fabricio Werdum and Michael Bisping. Ricardo was later recruited to Las Vegas to train with Wanderlei Silva.
Demente made his Mixed Martial Arts debut in July 2011. The fight ended quickly with a win by submission. In 2014, Demente competed on the Ultimate Fighter Brazil Season 3 finishing 3rd and earning a contract in the UFC. His professional MMA Record is 5-1 with the one loss coming via split decision. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015 to join Team Jackson Winklejohn and teach Jiu Jitsu at the UFC Gym Albuquerque. While teaching BJJ at the UFC Gym, Demente realized his passion for teaching and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He then set out to open his own gym, Ricardo Demente Abreu BJJ.
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