Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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Augusto Mendes, also known as Tanquinho within the Jiu Jitsu community, is a Black belt under the legendary Master of BJJ, Mr Francisco Mansur. Tanquinho is also one of the most recognized referees in BJJ and an amazing professor of the sport, being one of the head instructors at the Soul Fighters camp. In 2011 he started raising some heads his way after a successful weight drop to featherweight (was a lightweight previously) where he competed and defeated some of the biggest names in Jiu Jitsu.

Augusto Mendes Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Augusto Lopes Mendes

Nickname: Tanquinho means “little tank” a name that came after Augusto started “going through” everyone in training. His older brother which started training a year earlier already had the name “Tanque”, so Augusto as the youngest and smallest got “Tanquinho”.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Francisco Mansur > Augusto Mendes

Main Achievements:

  • World Champion (2013)
  • World No Gi Champion (2012, 2015)
  • World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup Champion (2011, 2013)
  • South American Champion (2010 weight & absolute)
  • US Champion (2012)
  • US Open Champion (2010, 2012 weight and absolute)
  • Brazilian National Teams Champion (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Copa Podio Superfight Winner (2013 couples challenge)
  • World Expo Superfight Winner (2014)
  • Fight Blok Pro Invitational Superfight Winner (2014)
  • Rio State Champion – FJJDRio (2008, 2010)
  • Rio Open Champion (2009, 2010)
  • Las Vegas Open Champion (2012)
  • World Pro Trials Champion (2011 Lisbon, 2013 NYC weight & absolute light)
  • Boston Open 2nd Place (2012)
  • European  Open 2nd Place (2013)
  • NYC  Open 2nd Place (2010)
  • Pan American Championship 3rd Place (2009, 2011, 2013)
  • Brazilian National Championship 3rd Place (2005, 2008, 2010, 2011)
  • US Open 3rd Place (2008 weight & absolute)

Weight Category: Peso Leve (Lightweight) 75kg – 167lbs

Favourite Position/Technique: Doesn’t have one, loves every aspect of the game

Team/Association: Soul Fighters

DVD Releases: The Complete Champion 1 / The Complete Champion 2

Augusto “Tanquinho” Biography

Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes was born March 3, 1983 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He began training jiu jitsu in 1997 after his brother Bruno, who had already begun training, encouraged Tanquinho to join him. After being talked into it, he started his jiu jitsu career in Kioto gym in Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. Just a few classes in, Tanquinho had become completely hooked.

During this time his training was under professors Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, under the supervision of master Francisco Mansor. Just 4 months into training, Tanquinho fought the Rio State Championships and took the bronze medal. It was on this day that Tanquinho found his passion for training and especially for competition.

He began competing at any opportunity, taking second in the Brazilian Championships that same year and winning countless smaller tournaments. By 14 years old Tanquinho was living jiu jitsu and training three times a day.

What was to put him ahead in the gym and in competition came with the invitation to begin teaching at the Kioto gym in 1999. He began his career as a trainer and instructor, always under the close watch of Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, as well as Marcos Carvalho. Carvalho was a major influence during this time, teaching Tanquinho how to teach and correcting any errors.

In 2000 Tanquinho took home his first world title as a blue belt juvenille. In five tough matches he secured his hold on the gold medal and became Kioto’s first world champion. His passion for jiu jitsu was so great at this point that he took every penny he earned teaching class and put it toward a degree in physical education. At the University Estacio de Sá, Tanquinho dedicated himself fully to learn and improve his knowledge about training and teaching.

The Mundial in 2002 meant another world title for Tanquinho, this time after six matches at purple belt featherweight. Moving on in stellar fashion, he took silver in the 2003 Mundial as a brown belt. Despite impressive results in major tournaments, Tanquinho had to lighten up on training in order to finish his degree in Physical Education.

Tanquinho recieved his black belt in December 2004 under 9th degree black belt master Francisco Mansor. He found himself juggling studies with serious training until he finished his degree and becoming a trainer in 2006.

In June 2005, Tanquinho left Kioto gym because of differing ideas for the direction of the gym. With his brother Bruno Mendes, also a black belt at this point, the two left and founded Renovacao BJJ.

It was a difficult time for the brothers, who found that trying to start and run a gym by themselves left little time for the two to focus on their own training. In 2007 Tanquinho began to cross train with his friends Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa and Leandro “Tatu” Escobar, who had also found themselves without many students to push them. The two joined Tanquinho and Bruno Mendes, along with master Alvaro Mansor, to form the association Soul Fighters in January 2008.

After the founding of Soul Fighters, the structure created a system that allowed Tanquinho to have a tight group of talented training partners. Tanquinho continued evolving winning the Rio Open as a black belt and the Brazilian Team Championships twice–where he competed under GFTeam.

Today Soul Fighters is growing daily, with over 1000 students spanning 20 affiliate schools in Brazil and three internationally (Malaga, Spain; Bucareste, Romania; Tokyo, Japan). The team training has reached a point that approximately 10 black belts, 10 brown belts, and 10 purple belts can be found on the mats pushing training.

Tanquinho is the head instuctor at Tijuca Tenis Club, the legendary location of the Mundial before it moved to the United States. He is in charge of approximately 80 students between the ages of 4 and 60 years old.

Tanquinho is also a renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu referee certified by the CBJJ and one of the Federations main referees.

In January 2010, Augusto Tanquinho booked his place in the World Pro Cup (in Abu Dhabi) by winning the Portuguese trials in Lisbon, making a total of 47 points on his way to the podim (in 3 fights!). The first fight he was winning by 15×0 before submitting his opponent with an armbar, the second fight he scored  14×0 before submitting with a choke from the mount, and his final he beat his oponent by 18×0.

Banner photo by: Ross Finlayson

Augusto Mendes Grappling Record

    21 (45%)
    6 (13%)
    12 (26%)
    3 (6%)
    2 (4%)
  • BY DQ
    3 (6%)


Cross choke
Choke from back
Arm in Ezekiel
Toe hold
    10 (48%)
    5 (24%)
    4 (19%)
    2 (10%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Heel hook

Augusto Mendes Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1380Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo RibeiroLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2006
1710Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2007
1873Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoLPointsWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2008
2115Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLArmbarPan American76KGSF2009
2163Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLPointsADCC Trials77KG1/4F2009
2286Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.76KG1/4F2009
2557Lucas LepriLucas LepriLRNCNo Gi Worlds76KGF2010
2635Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvWorld Champ.76KG1/4F2010
2796Lucas LepriLucas LepriLPts: 4x2Pan American76KGSF2011
2855Davi RamosDavi RamosLPointsWorld P. NoGi74KGR12011
2870Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsBrasileiro76KGSF2011
3058Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3154Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLHeel hookADCC77KG1/4F2011
3270Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvNo Gi Worlds76KGF2011
4033Tanner RiceTanner RiceLPts: 4x0IBJJF Pro League82KG1/4F2012
4203Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsArizona OpenABSF2013
4234Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 5x2Copa PodioABSSPF2013
4274Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPts: 2x0European Open70KGF2013
4370Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsPan American70KGSF2013
4782Justin RaderJustin RaderLReferee DecisionADCC66KGR12013
7539Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGSF2015
2112UnknownWArmbarPan American76KG1/4F2009
2478UnknownWArmbarWPC Lx Trials74KG1/4F2010
2479UnknownWCross chokeWPC Lx Trials74KGSF2010
2480UnknownWPts: 18x0WPC Lx Trials74KGF2010
2556JT TorresJT TorresWPointsNo Gi Worlds76KGSF2010
2721Davi RamosDavi RamosWDQSouth American76KGSF2010
2722Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 0x0, AdvSouth American76KGF2010
2723Nivaldo OliveiraNivaldo OliveiraWPts: 4x2South AmericanABSSF2010
2725Mario ReisMario ReisWDQSouth AmericanABSF2010
2726Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 9x0Team Nationals68KGF2010
2792Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 4x0Pan American76KGR12011
2794Rodrigo CaporalRodrigo CaporalWDQPan American76KG1/4F2011
2814Ary FariasAry FariasWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGR12011
2817Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 3x2World Pro.65KG1/8F2011
2818Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWAdvWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2822Eduardo RamosWAdvWorld Pro.65KGSF2011
2823Rafael MendesRafael MendesWReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
2930Ryan HallRyan HallWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
3016Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPenWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
3046Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3121Wagner RochaWFootlockADCC77KGR12011
3239Thomas MichaelWArmbarNo Gi Worlds76KG1/4F2011
3258Della MonicaWPts: 5x0No Gi Worlds76KGSF2011
3585Rodrigo FariasWArm in EzekielAmerican Nat.76KGF2012
4052Steve RosenburgWEzekielLas Vegas Open76KGSF2012
4053Della MonicaWAdvLas Vegas Open76KGF2012
4100Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 9x0NoGi Worlds76KGSF2012
4101JT TorresJT TorresWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds76KGF2012
4272Ed RamosWN/AEuropean Open70KGSF2013
4313Renan BorgesWArmbarNYC World Trials74KGSF2013
4314Marcel GonclavesWPointsNYC World Trials74KGF2013
4363Spenser GuilliamWPts: 15x0Pan American70KGR12013
4367Isaque OliveiraWPointsPan American70KG1/4F2013
4461Michel MaiaWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGSF2013
4465Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGF2013
4585Eduardo RamosWPointsWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
4589Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2013
4590Rafael MendesRafael MendesWPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
5802Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWReferee DecisionWorld ExpoABSSPF2014
6019Rafael DomingosWPts: 2x0Fight Blok Pro79KGSPF2014
7530Nicholas RenierWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGR12015
7535Eddie CummingsWPenADCC66KG1/4F2015
7540Geo MartinezGeo MartinezWToe holdADCC66KG3RD2015
7932Matthew MaganaWRNCNoGi Worlds70KG1/8F2015
7938Vitor PaschoalWKatagatameNoGi Worlds70KG1/4F2015
7943Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 2x0NoGi Worlds70KGSF2015
8080AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWReferee DecisionBerkut 2ABSSPF2015
8851Eddie CummingsD---Polaris 370KGSPF2016

Augusto Tanquinho vs Rafael Mendes


This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


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