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Black belts guaranteed at NY Open

Sign-ups end today, but a lot of black belts put in their names in advance to not miss the New York International Open to take place May 1 at City College gymnasium.Up until now, black belts like Marcelino Freitas, Josef Manuel, Emerson Souza, Ryan Hall, James Harbison, Gustavo Carpio and Rodrigo Teixeira, João Cunha, Steve...
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Rousimar Palhares was born in a town called Dores do Indaiá on the interior region of Minas Gerais – Brazil on the 20th of February 1980.

He was raised in an extremely humble environment, working from a young age in the nearby farms. When he was 15, after watching some Mixed Martial Arts competitions, he decided he wanted to become a fighter and started training every chance he had after work with Iran Brasileiro, a black belt from the Pantera Negra gym.

Competing in a few minor shows for the “Pantera Negra” gym, he believed he had potential to fight in a bigger stage, but in order to do so he needed to leave his home state and find professional tuition. For that, he counted with his guts and a little help from his brother who lended him 300 reals (around 170 dollars) to go to Rio de Janeiro and pursue his dream.

Rousimar sought out the BTT address (the most famous MMA team at the time in Brazil) from a magazine and went there to train. As money was scarce and Rousimar had to make the most of his brother’s loan, sleeping on bus stops and under bridges to save money for food was often the only available option. When Murilo Bustamante and Bebeo Duarte (the BTT owners) found out about this, they took Rousimar under their wing and gave him shelter.