Former UFC Referee Joao Alberto Barreto Releases Book Analyzing the Evolution of MMA

By Marcelo Alonso Nov 29, 2013
Joao Alberto Barreto launched his book earlier this week. | Gleidson Venga/

Once considered the top student of Helio Gracie and main sparring partner of Carlson Gracie in the 1950's, the great master Joao Alberto Barreto recently launched his book “Do Valetudo Brasileiro ao Mixed Martial Arts” (From Brazilian Valetudo to Mixed Martial Arts) at the Club Marimbas in Rio de Janeiro.

The book analyzes the evolution of martial arts techniques, focusing primarily on jiu-jitsu and Vale Tudo. In the work , Barreto, who is a post graduate in psychology, also criticizes "the lack of importance for skilled submissions, which are being replaced by mere exchange of beating and kicking."

Barreto, who was appointed by “Big” John McCarthy as one of the first UFC referees, also gives a brief history of Vale Tudo in Brazil and "within this evolutionary process" analyzes the "commercial interest and television" which, in his opinion, is impoverishing the noble sport of fighting and saturating the market with second class confrontations. The master also questions the spelling of the word Vale-Tudo in Portuguese, which in his opinion needs to be spelled without hyphen: “Valetudo.”

In an interview with Brazilian correspondent Marcelo Alonso , Barreto reveals that his favorite current fighter is Jon Jones.

"Today wrestling is the most dominant style in MMA and, taking into account the way the guard of jiu-jitsu has been misused, I have no doubt that Jones is the most perfect fighter for MMA today,” Barreto said.

During the ceremony Barreto hosted more than 200 people ,including family, friends, fans and renowned masters such as Fernando Pinduka, Roberto Leitao, Pedro Valente, Amaury Bitetti, Bebeo Duarte and Artur Mariano.

The book, published by Tatame Publishing Company, is a scathing analysis of the fight and the fighter, supported by the experience of decades living and working in the middle of the sport as an athlete, coach, referee and psychologist.


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