Thales Nakassu is a lifelong martial artist who has heavily inspired by his parents.
“The Lion Dog” was 5 years old when he learned judo from his father, who had a black belt in the sport. But during his teenage years, he made the switch to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Nakassu’s transition to BJJ ultimately proved to be a pivotal decision, and it earned him many accolades. The grappling ace became a South American Champion, a three-time South Brazilian Champion, and Sao Paulo State Champion.
His exploits on the regional scene also pushed him to move to Florianopolis. It was in that picturesque south Brazilian city where Nakassu made his MMA debut in 2012. Although he was already a professional athlete, Nakassu still had a passion for teaching, and with that, he pumped the brakes on his MMA career and relocated to Jakarta, Indonesia, to teach martial arts.
“The Lion Dog,” however, wouldn’t stay in the Indonesian capital for too long. When Nakassu traveled to Singapore to obtain his visa for work, he visited Evolve MMA and fell in love with the mega gym. He became friends with a fellow Brazilian who was coaching there, and when a job opportunity opened up, he quickly hopped on it.
Nakassu currently works as a BJJ coach at Evolve MMA and, just like his father, he is now teaching a new breed of grapplers. Although he’s oceans away from his family, “The Lion Dog” knows that the lessons he learned from his parents will always be with him.
The Brazilian may be teaching his favorite martial arts discipline in one of the world’s biggest gyms now, but he never lost the itch for MMA. In 2022, he is set to resume that part of his career with ONE Championship. Despite not fighting for eight years, the submission expert is ready to go back and show that his patience has paid off.