In the town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin lives one of the great legends of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Daniel Wanderley. Daniel, is also known by his nickname, ‘Cachorrão’ or ‘the Big Dog’ a name that was given to him by his sparring partners back in his native hometown of Recife in Brazil. One day in the midst of sparring, Daniel found himself with both of his hands in use and instead of give up the grip, he used his mouth to grab his opponents Gi lapel, which prompted his fellow students to say he looked like a dog. The nickname stuck and over the years he has earned a few other monikers as well; ‘The Recife Shark’, for his relentless attacking style of jiujitsu and the strength that he has in his holds, have led his opponents to say his grip and holds feel like the force of a sharkbite.
Daniel Wanderley, born 19th February 1980, was a late bloomer in the sport and began his jiu-jitsu training in the year 2000, at the age of twenty years old, after trying out the martial arts styles of capoeira and later with karate. He received his black belt in the Carlson Gracie style of jiujitsu from Gutenberg Melo, one of Carlson Gracies best black-belt students. Daniels natural jiu-jitsu skill was quick to develop and he had risen to the top of the schools ranks within five-years. Daniel made a trip to the Chicago in the United states in 2005 to attend to some family issues and while he was there, he stayed with the founding legend of Carlson Gracie jiujitsu, Carlson Gracie.
During his stay with Gracie, he attended the gym of Duke Roufus, four-time world kickboxing champion, legendary striking coach and founder of the Roufusport gym. Roufusport has produced countless champions in all major fight leagues. At the time, Roufus was assisting Stephan Bonnar with his training camp ahead of his scheduled bout with Forrest Griffin and Carlson Gracie was working with Bonnar on his jiu-jitsu technique. After months of close study with the master himself and working with legends in the MMA game like Duke Roufus, Daniel returned to Brazil where he had the honor of a Black-belt bestowed upon him and in the ten years to come he has since earned his third Dan in the style.
A fierce competitor, Daniels list of accolades include;
- Pan American No-Gi Champion (2010, 2011)
- World No-Gi Championship Runner-up (2010 master)
- World No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2012 master)
- UFC Fan Expo/Grapplers Quest No-Gi Champion (2013 advanced)
- New York Open Champion (2013 master)
- NAGA Expert Div. Champion (2013)
- Chicago Winter No-Gi Open 3rd Place (2013 master)
- NAGA Gi champion (2016)
- US National Gi champion (2016)
His thirst for competition has seen his professional career record in the MMA scene of 3-2, with all of his wins by devastating submissions. In 2013, Daniel found himself once again in the Roufusport gym, training to improve his MMA skill set. As the months went by, duke eventually asked Daniel to stay on with Roufusport as the head Jiu-jitsu coach, where he founded ‘Wanderley Jiujitsu’ a move that has produced some incredible champions. Daniel worked with Anthony Pettis on the ultimate fighter, a show that Pettis won and then went on to win the lightweight title due to the expert instruction of Daniel and Duke.
Nowadays, Daniel spends his days in the Roufusport gym training and instructing fighters like Bellators Emmanuel ‘Él Matador’ Sanchez, the UFCs Erik Koch and Sergio Pettis as well as RFA champion; Chico ‘King’Camus, VFC middleweight champion; Mike ‘Biggie’ Rhodes and bright future prospects such as Raufeon Stots. When he isnt at the gym, he is with his family, something that he values most in life. Daniel has proven himself to be one of Jiu-jitsu’s shining lights and we are sure his career in the sport will continue to shine in the years to come.