How Depression Nearly Ended Mauricio Oliveira's Promising Jiu-Jitsu Career

From 2016-2018 Mauricio Oliveira of GF Team was one of the hottest prospects in jiu-jitsu, winning Worlds at blue, purple, and brown belt in consecutive years. 

A product of the legendary “Cachanga” champions factory at the original GF Team in Meier, Rio de Janeiro, Mauricio left home as a teenager to move to a new city and sleep on the mats. 

Watch Fight 2 Win LIVE!

Nov. 2 | 4pm ET

That sacrifice paid off Mauricio in competition results, as he won arguably the deepest brackets at his belie two years in a row at blue middleweight and purple middleweight. Then he moved on to brown belt, slicing his way through the medium-heavyweight division at both Pans and Worlds. 

Watch: Mauricio Oliveira Wins Purple Belt Worlds

Savvy followers of the jiu-jitsu scene had him pegged to be a sure star at the black belt level, but not long after receiving his black belt in 2018 Mauricio disappeared from the competition scene. 

“I had this empty feeling inside of me, even though I was having a great time with my career. I was living a fake happiness; I had no motivation and didn’t even want to put my kimono on. I wanted to be alone all the time, then I realized I was depressed. I went back to Brazil and my mother invited me to her church. When I got there I had a spiritual meeting with Jesus, he transformed me and removed the empty feeling I had inside. That made me get back into training and competition. Today I only depend on Jesus to be happy; it is a feeling nothing in the world can buy." 

Since returning to competition, Mauricio has been back to the success he grew accustomed to at the colored belts, racking up a 15-2 record including a big win over Pans and Euros champ Levi-Jones Leary at the IBJJF New York Pro. 

His relentless chain passing is back in action, evidenced by his quick torreando pass inside the first minute of his recent match with Matt Leighton at Fight 2 Win 129. 

Other big wins for Mauricio in his short black belt career include Guthierry Barbosa, Mathias Luna, and Servio Tulio.

Watch: Mauricio Defeats Matt Leighton At F2W 129

Watch Fight 2 Win LIVE!

Nov. 2 | 4pm ET

Big Goals For 2020

Mauricio is still undecided if he will compete at middle or medium-heavyweight next year, but has his sights set on the biggest events he can do: “I want to compete at all of the biggest tournaments next year. I’m going to give it my best.”

Up next for Mauricio is a marquee matchup at Fight 2 Win 130 with Manuel Ribamar. Mauricio is currently ranked seventh at middleweight, and a win over third-ranked Ribamar would be huge for him. Ribamar is coming in hot: He had big wins recently in Los Angeles over Isaque Bahiense, Marcos Tinoco, and Ronaldo Junior. 

"It’s going to be a great fight. Ribamar is a great fighter and it is an honor to fight with him."

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Brandon Royval Sends Warning To 'Boring' Wrestlers

The flyweight division has undoubtedly had their ups and downs. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Episode 222)

The UFC has escaped Florida and is on the way home to Vegas. Of course, Top Turtle MMA has you covered with all the good for the welcome back. 

Benson Henderson Grappling Game Analysis

There are only a handful of competitors who jump from gi to no-gi and to MMA. Gilbert Burns and AJ Agazarm spring to mind, as does former UFC lightweight champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Flo's Official Predictions: Lovato vs Maidana

We'll see the return of Rafael Lovato to gi competition against Checkmat standout Arnaldo Maidana in the main event. The support act will be carried out by Edwin Najmi and Benson Henderson, a match that is nothing short of a guaranteed scrap.  

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Lovato, Najmi, Benson & More Set To Bring The HEAT To Dallas

Fight To Win has set up another thrilling night of matches for Memorial Day weekend! 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Top Turtle MMA Podcast (Ep. 221)

Holy 8 days, Batman! What a crazy week-plus it has been, but Dave and Gumby have you covered. 

Thiago Moises' Mean Leg Lock Sends Him Home Victorious

Last Wednesday Thiago Moises got the grappling fans to their feet with a leg lock victory over divisional stalwart Michael Johnson. 

FloCombat's UFC Fight Night Picks

The hits keep on coming as the UFC will roll out its third card in about a week in Florida.

FloCombat's UFC Fight Night 175 Picks

UFC 249 gave us some great action and an interim champ so why not run it back asap, right? Another hefty fight card is set to go down on Wednesday so we made our picks of who we think will leave the Octagon with their hands in the air.