Originally Posted by Stephan Pepin
Yes Leo is most definitely the man! His battles with Shaolin and Rani Yahya are legendary!
He had a very good run at the 09 ADCC and I don't know why he didn't choose to fight for 3rd place. I know Rani has a dislocated/broken elbow from Cobrinha's Kimura. Maybe Leo was injured also? The Glover/Hall fight was awesome though! Cobrinha and Rafael Mendes were just too much for everyone last year. This is Rafa's time, and Leo fought a good fight, but there was no stopping the 20 year old. It seemed like Rafa had an Anaconda, back-take, or leglock at every turn. In fact, on a small side note, Rafael Mendes' Brilliant 5-time use of the Anaconda choke at the ADCC has made me re-evaluate the choke. Once I learned the Darce, I figured it was much more versatile both in setups and finishing options and I stopped doing the Anaconda. I still believe that, but Rafa can get the Anaconda and finish it from some odd angles and positions. It's now a pet project for me in 2010. Back to the point...
To me, Leo Vieira maybe has the best wrestling for submission grappling. His takedowns and takedown defense are ferocious. He is relentless with his wrestling. He is also one of the top 3, if not the top guard passer in the grappling world. I look forward to his book on guard passes. He cuts through the guards of black belts like they were nothing. He's also very athletic and has amazing Guillotines, RNCs, and arm triangles.
Watch how he never pulls guard and just fights and fights for the dominant position against Shaolin at 5:16. Leo is in the black shorts: