Mario Sperry talks about the early days of Carlson’s academy and shares several epic stories including fighting Wallid Ismail on a bathroom floor, surfing brawls and his old rivalry with Royler Gracie. He also talks about the Pride days and his new school. Click “read more” for show notes!


  • Origins
  • Surfing
  • Confidence
  • Learning Judo with Jiu-Jitsu
  • Finding Carlson Gracie’s academy
  • Fighting Wallid Ismail on the bathroom floor
  • Luta Livre vs Jiu-Jitsu in the 90’s
  • “The best martial art”
  • His rivalry with Royler Gracie
  • Carlson’s position with the rest of the family
  • Steroid use in Brazil during the 80’s and 90’s
  • The Pummel
  • His intro to Vale Tudo
  • Brazil’s Vale Tudo scene in the 80’s and 90’s
  • Why he doesn’t watch MMA in public anymore
  • The Brazilian Top Team vs Chute Boxe rivalry in Pride
  • The Team Carlson split / The formation of Brazilian Top Team
  • Pride’s Yakuza roots
  • His final MMA fight
  • His new academy in Miami
  • Learning English
  • His favorite thing about teaching
  • How he would like to be remembered