Friday, February 9, 2007

Brazilian fighter right at home

By Mindy Bush

Professional mixed martial artist Adriano 'Nasal' Pereira says he never gets nervous before a fight.

"It is my job, my work," said Pereira, 32, through his thick Brazilian-Portuguese accent and a smile. "I fight every day."

A black belt, former world champion of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the reigning Ring of Combat super welterweight champ, Pereira has the opportunity to add another victory to his 5-1 record on Saturday, when he takes on Cuban lightweight Javier Vazquez at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, in the first mixed martial arts event to be televised live on Showtime.

In December 2006, Pereira moved from Rio de Janeiro to Memphis with wife Julia to work and train at Memphis Judo & Jiu-Jitsu after meeting the school's owner, David Ferguson, a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and promoter of the Memphis-based Submission Sport Grappling Championships.

"It's simple. When you get to a certain level, you need someone to push you," said Ferguson of his decision to sponsor Pereira and hire him as a full-time instructor. "Nasal can take us to the next level, and with him being a world champ, having him here brings credibility to the school and to our sport."

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