It’s been fifteen years or so since Ricardo Liborio stepped on the mats as a competitor… until today.
The 48 year old Rio de Janeiro native was known as one of Carlson Gracie’s most technical black belts in his day. But since then, he’s become known for co-founding American Top Team at his new home base in Coconut Creek, Florida. Together with American businessman Dan Lambert, Liborio has devoted his recent time to crafting MMA champions and contenders, including UFC middleweight titlist Robbie Lawler.
But today at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission wrestling championships in Sao Paolo, Brazil, the old legend turned back the clock — taking on another Carlson Gracie standout in Mario Sperry in a “Superfight” grappling match.
The 48 year old Sperry is among the most decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu players in history and also enjoyed a successful career in MMA. But similar to Liborio, he’s likely best known for co-founding Brazilian Top Team, which was a force in the PRIDE organization in the heyday of Japanese MMA.
According to an account of the match on Facebook from Paul Moran of Open Mat Radio (available in three parts: 1, 2 & 3), the two mostly wrestled to a stalemate in the match — but Liborio, who may have been a bit more aggressive, received the judges’ nod.
Robert Whiteford of American Top Team celebrated on Twitter:
— Robert Whiteford (@Flyinjudoka) August 29, 2015
Guilherme Cruz included a pic of both competitors after the match:
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) August 29, 2015
Here’s a nice gallery from Marcelo Alonso at Sherdog:
— Sherdog.com (@sherdogdotcom) August 29, 2015
Video is said to be forthcoming, so stay tuned!