Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He began training in Jiu-Jitsu in 1986 under the late Marcelo Behring who was a 5th degree black belt under Rickson Gracie. In January of 2002, Mario received his 4th degree on his black belt from Otavio de Almeida, President of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He currently works as a referee for several Mixed Martial Arts organizations, the most notable being the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).