Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1977 and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Francis holds a black belt in two different martial arts: 3rd DAN in Judo under Sensei George Mehdi and a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under renowned masters such as Roberto Traven, Alexandre Paiva, Sylvio Behring, Francisco Toco Albuquerque, Muzio De Angelis and Rilion Gracie. Besides his martial arts background, Francis is a business developer, with strong record in marketing/branding, events/operation and product management with events and brands such as: Brazilian Wrestling Federation (CBW), FILA (United World Wrestling), UFC and Barcelona FC. He holds a BA from Universidade Cândido Mendes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), with certifications at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland.

Francis began his martial arts training at the young age of seven. What began as a passion now has grown into a career and led him to instruct over 700 kids and adults for over 15 years at Sensei Mehdi Dojo (Rio de Janeiro), as well as at Master Sylvio Behring’s academies in Rio. In addition, he has conducted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminars in Europe and Canada and overseen the production of events in the US, Europe, Asia, and Brazil.

Also an entrepreneur, Francis created and developed a sports and tourism agency, known as Rio Sports Tour, which specializes in exchange programs for martial artists in the city of Rio de Janeiro. RST has been operating for approximately 10 years and has currently hosted more than 500 travelers from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

He is fluent in Portuguese and English and proficient in Spanish and French. Also a dedicated family man, Francis is married and the father of two children.