Pederneiras urges fighters to leave Brazil
Andre ‘Dede’ Pederneiras has brought extraordinary leadership, coaching, and vision for the future of mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 1995, Pederneiras and Wendell Alexander created the world-renowned Nova Uniao team, is one of the top BJJ and MMA teams worldwide. Pederneiras is also credited with being one of the first coaches in Brazil to open his doors to foreigners, including BJ Penn and John Lewis. In addition, he was a pioneer in opening his academy to Brazilians of very little means. His vision for teaching the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to everyone helped pave the way for the sports of BJJ and MMA.
Now in an extraordinary interview with AG Fight, Dede says that given the lack of support and structure in Brazil, it not the best pursue a career as a professional fighter.
“Brazil is going through some tough times,” said Pederneiras, as translated byLucas Rezende for BE. “If I could, I would send them all abroad. I said it before, they can leave today. I see a lot more advantages outside than staying in the conditions Brazil offers today. I train them so they can change their lives. If I can’t do that here, then I really want them to move away. No matter what team they join.”
“If it were up to me, I’d send them all away today. But it’s up to them. Jose Aldo is just too attached to his roots. He won’t leave his neighborhood. If I tell him to move to another one, he gets upset. Aldo has financial stability, though. If I could give a piece of advice to other fighters, not only from my team, it would be to migrate to the USA, or one of those countries with better conditions than Brazil. It’s too hard to be an athlete in Brazil today, training and growing financially.”
“If you take USA’s history in the Olympics and other world championships, you’ll see the investment is absurd. We never had that in Brazil. You can’t describe the kind of athlete we have over here. We go there and we win titles even with the structures we have. We still build good athletes, with no support. We don’t do 50% of what we could be doing.”