Interview with Renato Laranja

Renato Laranja

Inside BJJ
What is your background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? How did you get started? When did you receive your black belt?

Renato Laranja
I started a long time ago when I was eight years old. I was raised in Rio De Janeiro. I was a street kid. I was wild. I ran around the favela. I did a lot of things that was illegal. I didn’t have a lot of supervision. I had a Dad but he was like from that song, “Papa Was a Rolling Stones”. On the street, he sold gum and stuffs like that. He was a street vendor.

I was having some hard times. I was one night very hungry. I was very cold. I was curled up in the corner next to some garbage can. My little legs was very skinny and I was just wear some shorts. And I don’t have a shirt. I was shivering. And then, all of a sudden, I see a face come close to me. It was a man. He cover me with something. But it was not a blanket, it was a gi top. He put the top over me like a blanket to tuck me in. And I look that man and I think at first he was the guy from the movie, Evil Dead 2, Bruce Campbell. Also now he’s on the show Burn Notice. The man was Murilo Bustamante. He take me under his wing. That day was the change for my whole life. He take me to train. He teach me how to live. I was no longer do bad things. Before I was experiment with some “Heefer” and with some smoke. Also I was sniff glue. And I was also do what they call huff paint. But now I do everything good. I learn to fight. I learn how to train. I learn how to take some natural foods for my body. I take to jiu-jitsu like a fish take to…jiu-jitsu.

It was a very natural for me from the beginning. The natural progression for me was to get into Vale Tudo. When I was about seventeen, they start to put me in some fights. That’s why when a lot of people ask if I do MMA, I say I’ve did so many fights in MMA but back then it was called Vale Tudo. They don’t keep the “hecords” for that. I would fight anywhere. I would fight anybody. I would fight in some empty swimming pool. I would fight in a “Haquetball” court. One time I fight in the studio apartment of my friend.

Inside BJJ
You made a transition into Vale Tudo when you were seventeen. How old were you when you received your black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Renato Laranja
I got my black belt when I was twelve years old. It took me four years.

Inside BJJ
After four years? For most people it’s a big deal to receive a blue belt and that alone can take a year or two. Was it controversial to get your black belt in four years? Did you face any criticisms or challenges?

Renato Laranja
There was nobody to say nothing because I beat all the critics. I would choke anybody who was to say something. Like I said, I don’t back away from nothing. Anybody who was have a big mouth and was say, “you don’t deserve a black belt”, I’m gonna show that guy.

Inside BJJ
Many traditional jiu-jitsu guys such as Andre Galvao, Roger Gracie, and Marcelo Garcia have tried the transition to MMA but haven’t achieved the same level of success they had in traditional jiu-jitsu. Can you talk about the challenges of making the transition from jiu-jitsu to MMA?

Renato Laranja
I mean that’s a problem for those guys because for one reason. They don’t expand their game for the standup. When I was sixteen, I was find that I have some holes in my game. Not in jiu-jitsu but in my standup, so I learned Capoeira. I also trained with some guys for Goju Karate.

Inside BJJ
You had a developed ground game and standup also?

Renato Laranja
I have a lot of things. I also learn how to play the instruments for Capoeira. People ask me how I was play the tambourine so good in that show, “Return of The Deathknuckle”, I learn tambourine from my Capoeira background.

Inside BJJ
You’ve been a martial artist since Bustamante tucked you in with his gi?

Renato Laranja
God knows where I would have end up if that don’t happen that night.

Inside BJJ
Who were your toughest opponents?

Eddie Bravo

Renato Laranja
I fought the best. I don’t know who was the toughest but I’m gonna tell you the easiest fight that I had my whole life and that was in my fight with Eddie Bravo. He beat Royler so I’m think that guy have something in his sleeves. That guy just try a lame takedown so I put him in a north south choke. It was easy. I put him to sleep with that. That was a surprise to me. That was shock me because I don’t expect that.

Inside BJJ
Eddie Bravo was an easier fight than you expected? Why did Royler Gracie lose to Eddie Bravo?

Renato Laranja
I think he was probably sick. He don’t think too much about Eddie Bravo. He was probably think about some other thing that day. I think it’s like the same thing like Buster Douglas.

Inside BJJ
Eddie Bravo lost to Leo Vieira the very next match.

Renato Laranja
Of course he’s gonna lose. He’s gonna lose every time because he’s a fake.

Inside BJJ
What about the criticism Eddie Bravo has received? He built his name from winning one match. He hasn’t launched any major competitors. He renames existing techniques as his own?

Renato Laranja
You just say everything I think. He has some guys? Who does he have? Vinny Magalhaes who just win ADCC but who cares about that you know? That’s just one guy. He has some UFC guys. Who cares about UFC guys.

Inside BJJ
In the US, there’s a debate regarding whether or not traditional gi training is necessary for MMA. Traditional schools focus on the gi and don’t really stray from it. What are your thoughts on training in the gi for MMA?

Renato Laranja
It’s like if you gonna marinate some food. You can marinate some chicken breast. I gonna marinate that at home. Then when I’m take it to the barbecue, the people don’t have to see the marinade. All they have to see is the chicken. The chicken already have the flavor.

Inside BJJ
I’ve never heard it put that way.

Renato Laranja
That’s why you come to me. Because you’ve try everybody else. Now you come to the real thing.

Inside BJJ
Does the type of gi matter when you’re preparing for an MMA fight?

Renato Laranja
I’m gonna tell you the truth. I have some kimono companies who pay me to wear their gi. But if you wanna know what I’m wearing right now in my house, that’s MKimono. I like because they’re made by real Brazilian people who love the sport and the philosophy behind jiu-jitsu.

Inside BJJ
Do you think there’s a difference between jiu-jitsu in America versus Brazil?

Renato Laranja
Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil versus America is like the same thing as soccer in Brazil versus America. It’s very weak here. A lot of guys do stuffs they don’t know what they doing. They do a lot of wrestling moves. You have some Armenian guys who do some leg lock but that’s not jiu-jitsu. That’s a different thing. Maybe that’s why you call it 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu because it’s come from another planet. You have to be so high on “Heefer” or mushroom to believe that stuffs is jiu-jitsu.

Inside BJJ
Do you have a problem with people who open academies and are not black belts?

Renato Laranja
You can open anything you want. The problem is gonna be for the students who gonna waste their money. Why you gonna train there when you can train with real black belt. You go to some guy in Omaha who don’t know nothing. He’s  never been in a street fight.

Inside BJJ
You mentioned your extensive Vale Tudo experience and in some of your videos online you have talked to Joe Rogan about the UFC. You seem to feel like Joe Rogan blows you off in the video. If I was Dana White right now, what would say and who would you like to fight in the UFC?

Renato Laranja
Dana White and Joe “Hogan” is aware of me. He know my skill because he seen with his eyes what I can do. They wanna make Brazilians to look bad. They don’t wanna have another Brazilian champion. They don’t like me because I’m speak such good English. They don’t want a young Brazilian guy who can speak perfect English like me. I’ve worked so long on my accent that its appear seamless. It’s like I don’t even have an accent. They don’t want to see a positive image of a Brazilian. Dana White know who I am. Joe Silva know who I am. Joe “Hogan” know who I am. They can only duck from me for so long.  Chael Sonnen has a big mouth. That’s gonna be my first fight. I hear that he’s talk alotta stuffs. I’m gonna do a seminar in Portland, Oregon soon and I’ve heard through the grape line that he’s gonna try to crash the party. He’s gonna see that I’m ready for that.

Dana White and Joe Rogan

Inside BJJ
It’s interesting you bring up Chael Sonnen because I wanted to ask you about him. In particular, he had a fight with Anderson Silva where he was on his way to winning the fight up until the very end. Give us your thoughts on that fight? How would do in a fight against Chael Sonnen?

Renato Laranja
That’s easy fight for me. Anderson Silva only looked bad in the beginning because he had some broken “hibs”.

Inside BJJ
He had broken hands?

Renato Laranja
Hibs!

Inside BJJ
He had broken hips?

Renato Laranja
No, hibs! You ever hear that song from Chili’s, “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…hibs!” Also, there is Tony Homa’s, a place for hibs. What I’m speaking? Chinese?

Inside BJJ
Oh ribs! I understand now. I thought you said hip.

Renato Laranja
I’m sorry you misunderstand that. Anderson was weak and he still put a triangle to that guy. Chael Sonnen’s jiu-jitsu is so bad. Matt Horwich can submit that guy. It’s embarrassing that guy’s jiu-jitsu. I can do anything I want to that guy.

Inside BJJ
What technique would you use?

Renato Laranja
Probably to add insult and put injury for him, I would use a triangle. He’s the poster boy for triangles. He should be on the cover of Pink Floyd’s next album because when I see him, all I see is a triangle.

Inside BJJ
What is your opinion of him as a competitor? He has a controversial track record.

Renato Laranja
Chael Sonnen is famous for being a big mouth wise guy who is a “Hepublican” who talk alotta stuffs. He talk a lot of stuffs but he also have a lot of losses. If he try to bark on the wrong tree, he’s gonna lose again.

Inside BJJ
What do you think about his Testosterone Replacement Therapy? I don’t know if you’re familiar with the IBJJF and the talk of potentially testing for performance enhancing drugs? What is your opinion of drug use in MMA and jiu-jitsu?

Renato Laranja
I’m not afraid of that. If I come in shape, that guy can be on any thing he want. He can be on steroids. He can be on “heefer”. I’m still gonna win. The most controversial thing about Chael Sonnen is his “Heal” Estate techniques. I’m a worried about his “Heal” Estate license. I don’t know how he got that. He’s a shyster.

Inside BJJ
I don’t know if he’s still in real estate.

Renato Laranja
I’m hope not.

Inside BJJ
You mentioned the US has good wrestlers. We’re starting to see a trend in the UFC where wrestling is becoming a primary base where it used to be jiu-jitsu. What do you think about guys who dabble more in wrestling than jiu-jitsu?

Renato Laranja
I don’t think so much for those guys. Look at Brock Lesnar. The last time Brock Lesnar fight he was “dabble” in losing. You can still bring any of those guys. I can fight “Hic” Flair. I can fight Ko Ko B. Ware. I’m not afraid of that black guy. He also have a big mouth and flashy clothes. That’s kid stuffs. jiu-jitsu is number one in my book. The night of the fight I’m gonna show that.

Inside BJJ

Ko Ko B Ware

I’m surprised you have a knowledge of Ko Ko B Ware and wrestlers from that era. Changing gears a bit, there has been talk of Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake having a homosexual relationship. What are your thoughts on that?

Renato Laranja
With a name like Brutus the Barber Beefcake, I’m not surprised by that. I was always wonder about Adrian Adonis myself.

Inside BJJ
He had the Flower Shop.

Renato Laranja
That’s right. Also, the jury is still out on Tugboat.

Inside BJJ
Sorry, I’m just surprised you have a deep knowledge of professional wrestling. Did you watch it Brazil?

Renato Laranja
People think in Brazil that we live in the dark ages. Of course I watch those guys. We start to have WWF at least three or four years ago.

Inside BJJ
I want to play a word association with you. I’ll say a name or word and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind.

Renato Laranja
I can do that.

Inside BJJ
Acai

Renato Laranja
Lifeblood.

Inside BJJ
Fear Factor.

Renato Laranja
Boring. “Hedundant”. Garbage.

Inside BJJ
Chuck Norris

Renato Laranja
Old. Ginger. “Hepublican”.

Inside BJJ
Fruits and Vegetables

Renato Laranja
The best. Strength! Life. Get you fruits and vegetables here.

Inside BJJ
Nick Diaz

Renato Laranja
Talks Tough. Undefeated in hospitals. Wears a wetsuit and a funny helmet and rides a ten speed.

Inside BJJ
Quatoof

Renato Laranja
Horrible. Black. Not funny.

Inside BJJ
Helio Gracie

Renato Laranja
Master. Angel. Prophet.

Inside BJJ
Tiki Ghosn

Renato Laranja
Loser. Jewish American fighter. Hanukkah.

Inside BJJ
Interesting word associations you come up with there. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?

Renato Laranja
Right now I’m so busy. I get so many offers to do alotta things. I’m got allota movie scripts coming in. Also I’m working on a video game. Right now, it’s called Renato Laranja Jiu-Jitsu.

Inside BJJ
That’s the name of the video game?

Renato Laranja
That’s the game for the Playstation. I think it’s gonna be exclusive. Yes, I’m working on a fragrance.

Inside BJJ
A fragrance?

Renato Laranja
A cologne. I’m also working on a home churrascaria grill system to have in the house. I have a lot of stuffs like that. I have some condoms gonna be made. I work on a cartoon for children starring me and Renzo Gracie. It’s gonna be very interesting to watch that. I also do a lot of work with fighters. I’m training BJ Penn, Dennis Kang, Jeff Glover, Kenny Florian, Nam Pham, Ben Saunders, Rich Antonito. I’ve also been working with Vinny Magalhaes. But he has a contract with Eddie Bravo so I can’t talk about that. I work on a lot of stuffs.

Inside BJJ
Is there any chance you’ll be on the Joe Rogan podcast? You tried to call in once but he put the kibosh on it.

Renato Laranja
That experience put a taste in my mouth. I’m not sure I’m gonna go back even if he come to beg for me to do that. I don’t know that I’m gonna do that. People like him is gonna have to learn the hard way. He’s gonna see. He’s gonna come beg like everybody else. So, I’m not sure.

Inside BJJ
It sounds like you a lot of big things on the horizon.

Renato Laranja
A lot. I’ve done so much already but that’s how I keep to be alive. To keep my spirit alive, I have to do these things. I have so much knowledge, so much talent, so much humility. I have to give this back. I have everything – money, fame, and women. Why I’m not gonna give back to some poor losers who don’t have nothing.

8 Responses to “Interview with Renato Laranja”

  1. mitchell says:

    Renato Laranja has amazing BJJ. I’ve seen him fight in a tournament a while ago, and he was chewing through black belts, choke after choke. What else would you expect from a guy who pioneered the black Gi?!

    Gi jiu jitsu is where it’s at! The no-gi MMA wrestling is a fad that will go away in the next year or two.

    Renato we will see you at the ADCC! You are a true black belch

  2. Moncada, S. says:

    Renato Laranja is a character played by the 10th planet jiu-jitsu brown belt/actor, Rhasaan Orange.
    I can’t believe people think he’s a real guy. This is a widely known fact :)

    • insidebjj says:

      What I can’t believe is people who feel like it’s their duty to be a jiu-jitsu cop and spoil the fun for everyone else. See what I’m saying?

  3. josh says:

    this guy really is the best. i saw him fight back in like 06′ when i was down in brazil. totally amazing ground game, little bit of frog style but not too much, just enough you know? he makes roy jones look like brian redban. keep your eyes peeled for this guy…

  4. Daddy Bob says:

    I do not think this guy is a black belt.They put this out there to get dumb people to give the web site money.Im on to this game and it aint going to work.I can whoop that guy.Iv trained with people who are halve as bad as bruce lee and mike tyson.Put together.I once fought for 4 hours and coverd up and blocked 4000 punches until I kicked the dude in the balls and then beat him with a head lock.Iv made over one hundred people tap out to my head lock.

  5. Eddie Rogan says:

    To bad Eddies stuff no work without his gi pants. THis guy say he hat ethe gi but can not fight without gipants. 10th planet is a cult not a BJJ school. This guy is not that funny and I take offense to his representation of us as Brazilian.

    I train with eddie when he cisit us in Brazil. this guy talk so much and 4 of 5 guys tapp him. He is a big talk to make a great fight.

    Who eddie bravo has made a champion? who is fighter form his school? why his music so bad.

    Joe Rogan even say this guy has bad music. he the besy friend, no like music

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