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Joao Assis (Checkmat)

Joao Assis is a top competitor in Submission Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu and a ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) Champion. The Checkmat black belt under Leonardo Vieira turned a few heads his way for the first time in June 2010, after he submitted Jeff Monson, (a 2x ADCC Champion that hadn’t been tapped in competition for over 10 years) at UFC 114’s Fan Expo (Grapplers Quest), he also won, later that year, against 6x BJJ World Champion, Alexandre Ribeiro.

Joao Assis Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Joao Francisco de Moraes Assis

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Leonardo Vieira > Joao Assis

Main Titles in Jiu Jitsu and Submission Wresting:

  • ADCC Champion (2013)
  • World Nogi Champion (2010)
  • World Champion (2007 – purple belt division)
  • World Cup Champion (2007 – open weight division, purple belt – CBJJE)
  • Pan American Champion (2009 – open weight, brown belt division)
  • 10x Grapplers Quest Champion
  • 2x NAGA Champion – NO GI advanced (2009 weight and open weight)
  • 2x NAGA Champion – Jiu Jitsu (2009 weight and open weight)
  • 2008 World NO GI Champion (2008 – brown belt division)
  • 4x American National Champion
  • California State Champion (2009 – open weight)
  • ADCC Silver Medallist (2011)

Weight Category: Pesado (Heavyweight) 94kg-207lbs

Favourite Position/Technique: Half Guard sweep, takedown, footlocks and guillotine

Association/Team: Checkmat

Joao Assis Biography

Joao Assis was born on the 11th of July, 1983 in Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul. He started training relatively late (he was 17 years old) as a way to learn how to defend himself. As a youngster he got involved in a lot of fights at school as well as at parties, and he wanted to learn self defence. To start his training he sought out Luis Brito, a BJJ and MMA instructor who was from Rio de Janeiro but living and teaching in Porto Alegre.

He stayed with Luis Brito from white belt to purple, but as he got more and more interested in BJJ, Joao Assis realised that grappling was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life and that Porto Alegre just wasn’t big enough for him. Always trying to seek out the best sparring and instruction around, he travelled to Sao Paulo to train with a legend in the business, Mr Leonardo Vieira, at the Brasa headquarters (now Checkmat). Under Vieira he met a formidable team that helped his jiu jitsu game grow exponentially, earning his brown belt from Vieira and later the deserved black belt in 2009.

In another display of his fearlessness, Joao moved to the United States, travelling almost “blindfolded”. He arrived at the northern territory without any money, any job, house or even a contact number, just armed with his will power and a strong belief in himself. Luckily (or maybe as Joao Assis puts it, thanks to his prayers) he managed to find the right people that helped him get settled in, people like Fabricio Werdum, Rafael Cordeiro, Dan Henderson, Carlson Gracie Junior, Lucas Leite, Robert Drysdale amongst many others.

In America Joao Assis worked extensively on his wrestling and No Gi game to improve his MMA career, a career he started back in 2003 with a win by Mata Leao Choke against Valdir Linhares, at the Profight Combat Show. To get that high profile training Assis sought out one of the best wrestling based teams in MMA, Team Quest, who has some of the best fighters in the world – Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Matt Lindland amongst many others.


Joao Assis vs Jeff Monson

Joao Assis vs Joel Tudor

Joao Assis vs Bill Cooper

Comments (2)

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  1. CheckMat BJJ says:

    After the San Diego Abu Dhabi Pro Cup Trials, Joao is on his way to Abu Dhabi to show the world why he is a champion! I can't wait to see his BJJ Super Fight again Pablo Popovitch, spring 2011.

  2. wally says:

    Joao currently teaches at checkmat La Habra / Lucas leite bjj and at kings mma in Huntington beach

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