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

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Rafael Mendes, also known as “Rafa” Mendes, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) black belt world champion under the illustrious coach Ramon Lemos. Considered a grappling “phenom” since his late teens and acclaimed as “the king of the featherweight division” by many grappling enthusiasts, Rafael was also one of the competitors who brought recognition to the 50-50 guard and the berimbolo, positions he used to de-throne the former 4x world champion Rubens Charles. Rafael Mendes is also the brother of another Jiu Jitsu World Champion – Guilherme Mendes. On the 31st of May 2015, at the 20th World Jiu Jitsu Championship, Rafael Mendes broke the record of featherweight world titles set by Royler Gracie in 1999, with his 5th win at black belt.

Rafael Mendes Jiu Jitsu

Rafael Mendes: Rafael Mendes Godoy

Nickname: “Rafa” which is short for Rafael.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Ramon Lemos > Rafael Mendes

Main Achievements:

  • World Champion (2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010)
  • ADCC Champion (2009, 2011)
  • Pan American Champion (2012, 2011)
  • European Champion (2014, 2010, 2009)
  • Jiu Jitsu World Pro Cup Champion (2010, 2009)
  • Brazilian National Champion (2010)

Favorite technique: Leg-Drag Guad Pass, Berimbolo & 50-50 Guard

Weight Division: Peso Pena (70kg – 154lbs)

Affiliation/Team: Atos Jiu Jitsu.

Rafael Mendes Biography

Rafael was born on the 20th of June, 1989 in Rio Claro, a city in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Rafael and Guilherme Mendes, his brother, started their jiu jitsu training through an older cousin named Thiago Mendes, who was a purple belt under Leonardo Santos. After only a few months of training with Thiago, their cousin immediately spotted great potential for the youngsters and took them to come and train at the main academy with Santos, as they would progress a lot quicker. This main gym was led by Leonardo and Ramon Lemos – the man who would later become the Atos Team leader. Being just 13 years old, but already incredibly gifted Rafael and his brother picked up all the techniques with amazing ease, and started dedicating himself to BJJ almost full time, training at least two times per day.

It was also around this time that the Mendes’s parents split, leaving both brothers without a fatherly figure. Guilherme and Rafael have reported to the media several times of how their coach Ramon Lemos filled most of that void, teaching them not only BJJ but the moral values with which they built their character. Rafael was an amazing BJJ student winning all World Championships from blue belt all the way to brown in consecutive years, achieving the bronze medal in his first year as a black belt (2009) and winning his first world gold medal as a black belt in 2010.

Rafael’s amazing rise to BJJ stardom came overnight, when he was just 17. Having never competed without a gi (kimono) before, Ramon Lemos enlisted the teenager Rafael in the ADCC Brazilian Trials, arguably the hardest trial event in the world for its biggest Submission Wrestling tournament (the ADCC). Rafael made it to the final of the trials losing a hard fight against Bruno Frazatto (who would later become his friend and team mate at Atos).

Ramon Lemos awarded Rafael his black belt in late 2008, the young Mendes was not scared with the task at hand, and almost immediately started paving his road with success. Rafael won the Jiu Jitsu World Pro Abu Dhabi Cup, one of the best and hardest competitions in the world, winning a gold medal also at the ADCC finals, placing 3rd in the Mundial… medaling on all 3 competitions and fighting against Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” (Considered the best fighter of 2009 by the Brazilian Press).

Below is an account of Rafael Mendes’ jiu jitsu fight record in the most important tournaments of the jiu jitsu calendar.

Banner picture taken by Ross Finlayson.

Rafael Mendes Grappling Record

93 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    26 (28%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    5 (5%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    59 (63%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (2%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

59 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Armbar
32
19
#86e620
Choke from back
22
13
#5AD3D1
Wristlock
7
4
#d1212a
RNC
7
4
#fad11b
Triangle armbar
5
3
#f58822
Choke
5
3
#224aba
Triangle
5
3
#ff9124
Brabo choke
5
3
#bf1f6c
Kimura
3
2
#22c9a5
Bow and arrow
3
2
#fad223
Cross choke
2
1
#03861f
Anaconda
2
1
#039a1f
Inverted triangle
2
1
59
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
7 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    1 (14%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    1 (14%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    0 (0%)
  • BY DECISION
    4 (57%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (14%)

0 SUBMISSION LOSSES

Rafael Mendes Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
2025Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
2092Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLDQPan American70KGSF2009
2263Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2797Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
2837Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLReferee DecisionWorld P. NoGiABSF2011
4538Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
4735Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
4981Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSPF2014
2022Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
2024Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
2036Katsuya ToidaWRNCDeep X IIINASPF2009
2069Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGR12009
2071Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
2074Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
2075Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
2088Rodrigo RanieriRodrigo RanieriWPts: 14x6Pan American70KG1/4F2009
2167Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGR12009
2171Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
2173Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWRNCADCC66KGSemi2009
2175Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
2260Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
2406Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
2407Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
2426Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
2434Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
2436Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2557Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2571Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2590Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGR12010
2591Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22010
2597Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2599Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2600Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2789Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGR12011
2793Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2795Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2836Gilmar OliveiraWPointsWorld P. NoGiABS1/4F2011
2895Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2907Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2991Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
3019Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3032Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3078Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGR12011
3118Justin RaderJustin RaderWRNCADCC66KG1/4F2011
3139Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
3153Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
3425Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
3426Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
3430Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
3432Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3796Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGR22012
3808Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGR32012
3815Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3819Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3821Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
4004Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
4319Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
4321Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
4322Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
4535Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
4536Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
4721Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGR12013
4730Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
4732Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
4885Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
4894Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
4900UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
4901UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
4902UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
4956Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
4958Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
5418Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5421Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5431Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
5434Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
5436Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
5846Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGR12014
5847Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGR22014
5848Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
5849Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
5854Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
6189Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSPF2015
6195Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWRNCBerkut Open NoGiABSSPF2015
6902Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG1/8F2015
6910Phillipe D. MonicaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70Kg1/4F2015
6911Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockWorld Champ.70KGSF2015
6912Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015
7052UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KG1/4F2015
7053UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGSF2015
7054UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGF2015
7055UnknownWArmbarBullterrier CupABS1/4F2015
7058Anderson TakahashiWArmbarBullterrier CupABSSF2015
8935Brian StuebnerWArmbarSan Antonio Open70KG1/4F2016
8937Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinWPts: 0x0, AdvSan Antonio Open70KGSF2016
8938Gabriel MarangoniWPts: 12x0San Antonio Open70KGF2016
9092Vitor PaschoalWArmbarLas Vegas Open70KGSF2016
9093Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWArmbarLas Vegas Open70KGF2016
9169Ichitaro TsukadaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22016
9177Leo SaggioroWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2016
9179Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWTriangle armbarWorld Champ.70KGSF2016
9181Marcio AndreMarcio AndreWPts: 10x19, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2016

Rafael Mendes vs Cobrinha

Rafael Mendes vs Justin Rader

Rafael Mendes vs Gustavo Falciroli

Rafael Mendes Berimbolo Highlight by the Jiu Jitsu Lab

Rafael Mendes Highlight

 

Digitsu Free BJJ Techniques

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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