Eight-time jiu-jitsu world champion Leandro Lo, 33, was confirmed brain dead after being shot in the head at a nightclub in São Paulo this morning. The multi-champion dated model Dani Bolina and was essential for his entry into the sport in a professional way.
Dani has been training jiu-jitsu since 2015, and is now a purple belt graduate. A while after starting to fight, she appeared dating Leandro Lo. At the time, she said that it was thanks to him that she accepted the challenge of facing a world championship.
In an interview given to UOL in 2017, Dani, now 38, said he started practicing jiu-jitsu just as a way to keep his head busy. However, things quickly changed when she started to take the gentle art more seriously, precisely because she accompanied her then-boyfriend in his competitions.
“People said that it was cool to participate, that I would have a positive influence to open my mind, for the girls to come and train. And I said I didn’t want to”, he explained.
“As I accompanied my boyfriend to the championships, they said that it wouldn’t hurt to sign up and compete. [campeonatos] that I went with him, it was more my shit even though I didn’t fight. Then the girls from the academy asked if I would go to the worlds, and I said I would go with Leandro. They asked why I wouldn’t compete. Then they convinced me, I signed up and competed.”
In the championship in question, held in California, she won two fights, still at white belt, but lost the third. Today she is married to UFC fighter Thiago Rela and mother of little Luna, four months old. Furthermore, she and her husband manage a jiu-jitsu academy in Jersey City, New Jersey.
On her Instagram profile, Rela paid tribute to Leandro Lo, and posted a photo with the caption: “Legends never die!”