27 Time Mundial Champion, Renato Laranja

I started a long time ago when I was eight years old. I was raised in Rio De Janeiro. I was a street kid. I was wild. I ran around the favela. I did a lot of things that was illegal. I didn’t have a lot of supervision. I had a Dad but he was like from that song, “Papa Was a Rolling Stones”. On the street, he sold gum and stuffs like that. He was a street vendor.
I was having some hard times. I was one night very hungry. I was very cold. I was curled up in the corner next to some garbage can. My little legs was very skinny and I was just wear some shorts. And I don’t have a shirt. I was shivering. And then, all of a sudden, I see a face come close to me. It was a man. He cover me with something. But it was not a blanket, it was a gi top. He put the top over me like a blanket to tuck me in. And I look that man and I think at first he was the guy from the movie, Evil Dead 2, Bruce Campbell. Also now he’s on the show Burn Notice. The man was Murilo Bustamante. He take me under his wing. That day was the change for my whole life. He take me to train. He teach me how to live. I was no longer do bad things. Before I was experiment with some “Heefer” and with some smoke. Also I was sniff glue. And I was also do what they call huff paint. But now I do everything good. I learn to fight. I learn how to train. I learn how to take some natural foods for my body. I take to jiu-jitsu like a fish take to…jiu-jitsu.
It was a very natural for me from the beginning. The natural progression for me was to get into Vale Tudo. When I was about seventeen, they start to put me in some fights. That’s why when a lot of people ask if I do MMA, I say I’ve did so many fights in MMA but back then it was called Vale Tudo. They don’t keep the “hecords” for that. I would fight anywhere. I would fight anybody. I would fight in some empty swimming pool. I would fight in a “Haquetball” court. One time I fight in the studio apartment of my friend.

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