Andre Pederneiras also known as Dede is one of the best Jiu Jitsu and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) coaches in the World, the leader and co-founder of the Nova Uniao team was voted Best MMA coach in the World in October 2010 by the renowned PVT magazine (Portal do Vale Tudo) in a referendum made between fighters, coaches and journalists of the sport.
André Pederneiras in Detail
Nickname:, Dedé is a friendly way of saying André, in Portuguese.
Main Achievements (BJJ/MMA/Grappling) He won 6 National Championships in BJJ as an athlete, although he achieved fame through a teacher’s stand point. His team, Nova Uniao has won 2 world titles in BJJ and is one of the most prolific teams in MMA today. They were considered the best lightweight team in the world for the most part of the 1990’s and early 2000´s
Favorite Technique: there is a reason why Nova Uniao is famous for their lapel techniques (chokes and sweeps) Dede’s creative lapel work, from half and butterfly guard is the driving force behind this
Weight Class: Lightweight (76kg-167lbs)
Famous Fight was against the Japanese MMA star Rumina Sato (check the fight on the video at the bottom of this page)
Andre Pederneiras Biography
Not much is known about Andre Pederneiras’s childhood. He started his training under Carlson Gracie, whom later gave him his Black Belt. In the early 1990’s he split Carlson’s academy to start his own. Although his team reached success relatively fast, he found it hard to compete against the bigger teams, teams like Gracie Barra, Carlson Gracie Team who won most of the tournaments due to the sheer number of their athletes. He met Wendel Alexander at one of those championships in Rio de Janeiro, he (Wendel) was in the same situation.
They arranged to organize training sessions between both teams and competed as one team in the following tournament with great success. To this strong new team they decided to call “Nova União” – which in Portuguese means “New Union”, a team who holds strong to this day.
André Pederneiras also made the headlines in the 1990’s for being one of the first Brazilians to open the doors of his dojo to foreigners, namely Joe Charles and BJ Penn. The gesture was frowned upon by the Brazilian media and most of the coaches and fighters at the time. His old master, Carlson called him a “Creonte” a less then amicable way of calling someone you believe is a traitor. The fact that Joe Charles fought Carlson Gracie’s son Junior did not help Pederneiras’s cause. Fortunately with time, this animosity towards the foreign fighters faded away and today it is totally accepted.
In the late 90’s early 2000’s Dede ventured into the early stages of MMA winning his first fight against heavy favorite Rumina Sato, losing later against the MMA legend Pat Miletich in America, drawing his other two fights in Japan, finishing his career in MMA and dedicating himself fully on his coaching.
In 2003 Andre Pederneiras decided to pull his team out off the CBJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Confederation) tournaments because he believed (and believes still) that if BJJ wants to a
chieve a professional level, fighters should be paid when fighting in major tournaments. For this he organized his own federation CBJJO “Olympic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation”, this was built with the help of “KF” Kimono’s president (and Nova Uniao sponcer) Luis Herminio – Luizinho. The arm wrestling contest between Nova Uniao and CBJJ (presided by arch rival team leader “Carlinhos” Gracie – Gracie Barra) lasted for four years until finally Nova Uniao fighters returned to the Mundial and CBJJO was dissolved with several internal problems.
Andre Pederneiras has also opened Upper Sports Club a very successful health club in Rio de Janeiro. Which he uses to help the local community in the Favela’s (Brazilian slums), in fact Mr Pederneiras is an activist in improving the life style of the people in the poorer areas of Rio de Janeiro.
Besides his BJJ team he is also in charge of their MMA team with fighters like Jose Aldo, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thales Leite, Robson Moura, Marlon Sandro, Wagney Fabianno among many others. He also presides Shooto Brazil, an MMA organization with the intent of finding new starts in the sport of MMA in Brazil.
Andre Pederneiras vs Rumina Sato