Ricardo Liborio’s early years
Ricardo Liborio is a lifelong martial that has been training nearly his whole life. Starting in Judo, when he was 4, then training in Taekwondo, and finally training Jiu Jitsu when he was 15.
He began training Jiu Jitsu at the Carlson Gracie Academy in Copacabana directly under Master Carlson Sr. Under Master Carlson’s tutelage, Ricardo was immediately successful within Jiu Jitsu.
Winning several tournaments within his first year of training. His Judo background helped him pick up Jiu Jitsu fast and especially in competition, where he excelled.
Liborio would often compete in the heavyweight and absolute categories, because he liked fighting bigger opponents. His walking around weight was only 80kg(178lbs), but he would use his Judo and speed to beat the heavyweights.
Before he was 30, Liborio would win multiple Brazilian championships and also a world title in 1996.
The formation of Brazilian Top Team
Ricardo had a special relationship with Master Carlson, but their relationship would fray during the late 90s. Carlson Sr began spending more time at his Chicago school away from his Rio de Janeiro school.
Leaving many of his top students to run the school while he was out of the country. This caused friction within the school as his students were left to train for competitions without their leader.
Gracie’s top students forced him to sign a contract that he would train them for competitions, but he didn’t follow it. Liborio would go to ADCC in 2000 with his teammate Ricardo Arona, then immediately to Japan to corner Murilo Bustamante.
Once Ricardo returned to Brazil, he found out that Master Carlson had expelled him and many of his top students. Ricardo flew to Chicago to talk to Gracie, but Carlson would not overturn his decision.
Upon returning to Brazil, Liborio met up with expelled students Mario Sperry, Murilo Bustamante, and Bebeo Duarte. They would form one of the best Jiu Jitsu camps in the world, Brazilian Top Team.
Ricardo Liborio forms American Top Team
Liborio would only spend a year with BTT after helping form the team. After cornering Minotauro Nogueira in Japan, Ricardo was offered to coach in Japan for 6 months.
Before accepting the offer, Ricardo went to the US to help his friend Murilo Bustamante train for Chuck Liddell. When he was in Florida, he met an American businessman and Jiu Jitsu practitioner Dan Lambert.
Liborio began telling Lambert about his proposal in Japan and Dan made Ricardo another offer. He wanted Ricardo to help him create one of the biggest training centers in the world.
Ricardo loved living in the US, so he immediately jumped at Lambert’s offer. He would cut contractual ties with BTT, while still staying on good terms with them.
Lambert and Liborio would recruit the Silveiro brothers Marcelo and Conan to create American Top Team. Liborio bought the ATT name and they would open American Top Team in 2001.
ATT dominates MMA
Within the first decade of the gym’s existence, the gym immediately became a powerhouse in MMA and Jiu Jitsu. Florida became a huge hot spot for MMA and hundreds of fighters began flocking to ATT.
A lot of their success is due to being created close to the UFC’s explosion in popularity. Any time you watch a major MMA event, there is usually at least one fighter from ATT on the card.
Ricardo was already a very respected grappler and coach, but respect for him went into the stratosphere after ATT was formed. He took Lambert’s idea and constructed the world’s best training center.
Ricardo Liborio notable students
Liborio has had literally thousands of students that have trained under him including numerous high caliber fighters. Here are two of his most notable fighters.
Murilo was Ricardo’s training partner for years at Carlson Sr’s school before Ricardo started to help train him. Ricardo would help organize training camps for Murilo and prepare for various MMA and BJJ competitions.
While training with Liborio, Bustamante would win the ADCC championship in 2000 and BJJ World Championship in 1999. Also helping Bustamante in the prime of his career when he was in the UFC and Pride.
Another one of Liborio’s young teammates that he ended up training was Ricardo Arona. Ricardo was a huge up and coming athlete from Carlson’s with a lot of buzz around him.
During the prime of his BJJ and MMA career, he was primarily trained by Mario Sperry. Liborio has had a hand in helping Arona prepare for fights before going off to create ATT.
In the late 90s, Arona would win the World BJJ Championship twice and the ADCC in 2000. Then going on to earn a 14-5 record in MMA before retiring.
Ricardo Liborio creates helps create an MMA empire
With the help of Liborio, ATT became a powerhouse in the MMA world. They have produced numerous MMA champions and have grown to multiple training centers in Florida.
In 2009, Liborio was recognized for his work as a coach and won Fighter’s Only Coach of the Year award. An achievement that Liborio received in only 9 years of the gym’s existence.
Not only has helped train top MMA fighters, many of whom became great coaches after their fight careers. Two of those fighters that now coaches at ATT are Mike Thomas Brown and Thiago Alves.
Liborio’s work within MMA and BJJ also got him recognized in Fight! Magazine. He is currently ranked 13th in most significant power players, movers, shakers, ambassadors, and game-changers in MMA.
Martial Arts Nation
Fourteen years after helping form ATT, Liborio left ATT to form Martial Arts Nation. A martial arts firm that specializes in consulting and helping martial arts businesses get licensed.
On top of his firm, Liborio created a Jiu Jitsu program at the University of Central Florida. Also creating the first afterschool martial arts program within in Orange County, Florida.