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Tampa 9-year-old Jiu-Jitsu phenom wins Pan Kids World Championship

Edwardo Rivero has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since he was six
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Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 18:28:23-04

BRANDON, Fla. — Edward Rivero was destined to be a fighter.

“I have video of him in Pampers, running around the living room, taking me down, giving me hammer fists,” his father Edwardo Rivero said.

Edward, 9, has been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under three-time world champion black belt Fabio Novaes for three years.

“He’s amazing,” Novaes said. “A nine-year-old kid that behaves like that, always laugh, always have a good attitude. Losing or winning, he’s the same kid.”

Lately, Edward has been winning, a lot of winning. He recently grabbed gold at the IBJJF Pan Kids World Championship in Orlando. This is the biggest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu event in the world where nearly 2,000 fighters compete.

“(Before the event), he was like 'nobody is going to touch me today,'” Edwardo said. “Four matches, they lasted 66 seconds all in total. The quickest one was seven seconds.”

Four fighters from all over the globe tapped out.

“I was super happy,” Edward told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “I started crying once I won. It is a big achievement. I trained all summer for it. I had to lose a lot. It was hard.”

Edward loves competing and the process to become great.

“That kid is amazing,” coach Anthony Busciglio said. “I really do enjoy watching him grapple, especially with Lucas. Lucas is very technical.”

Lucas Gonzalez is also a world champion in his division.

“When I first started, I was nine as well,” Gonzalez said. “He would’ve whooped me. I’m 15 now and he still gives me a little bit of a challenge.”

Edward takes on all challenges. He’s an honor roll student and was accepted into the University of Cambridge gifted program.

“Once I grow up, I want to be a geologist,” Edward said. “But my goal is to be in a (Marvel) Avengers movie. But for real, I want to be a training teacher for Jiu-Jitsu.”