Edílson Nascimento (full name: Edílson do Nascimento Azevedo) was born on April 1, 1986 to a family of modest means in the northeastern state of Paraíba, Brazil. He grew up in the state capital, João Pessoa, in the Mangabeira neighborhood. From a very young age he loved sports, particularly the martial arts. He learned judo and eventually earned the highly coveted black belt. It was at a judo competition where Elian Gallardo, owner of Elian Gallardo Model agency in the city of Recife (capital of Pernambuco state), spotted him and immediately recognized his potential as a model. Elian approached Edílson and invited him to sign with his agency.