One of the most successful trainers in MMA has decided to step away from coaching — as Andre Pederneiras, the co-founder and head coach of Brazilian powerhouse Nova União, has announced he will take a different role in the organization by year’s end.
In a report from Portal do Vale Tudo, first reported in English by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting, “Dede” (seen second from left, above) says he will continue to take part in training fighters, but will no longer be head coach or act as cornerman.
“I will complete 1000 fights as a coach this year, so I thought that this is a good number to go and say ‘it’s good, I’ve done my job as a cornerman and I want to stay at backstage now’,” he said. “I will become a consultant for Nova União, that’s my goal today, and continue to manage the fighters.”
Pederneiras is mostly known for guiding the likes of Jose Aldo and Renan Barão, who became UFC champions under his tutelage. His other students include former Bellator 145 lb kingpin Eduardo Dantas. He also recently worked with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
But, the team Pederneiras founded with fellow Brazilian Wendell Alexander, Nova União, was originally noted as Brazilian jiu-jitsu power — helping mold champions like Robson Moura, one of the most decorated BJJ competitors ever, and BJ Penn, the first American to win the BJJ Worlds. Pederneiras student John Lewis was another pioneer for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA in the US.
A black belt under Carlson Gracie, Pederneiras also had several MMA bouts in the late 1990’s.