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

87 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    26 (30%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    3 (3%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    54 (62%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (2%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

54 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Armbar
30
16
#86e620
Choke from back
22
12
#5AD3D1
RNC
7
4
#d1212a
Wristlock
7
4
#fad11b
Choke
6
3
#f58822
Triangle
6
3
#224aba
Brabo choke
6
3
#ff9124
Kimura
4
2
#bf1f6c
Triangle armbar
4
2
#22c9a5
Bow and arrow
4
2
#fad223
Anaconda
2
1
#03861f
Inverted triangle
2
1
#039a1f
Cross choke
2
1
54
(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
2024Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
2091Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLDQPan American70KGSF2009
2262Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2779Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
2819Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLReferee DecisionWorld P. NoGiABSF2011
4516Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
4708Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
4955Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSPF2014
2021Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
2023Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
2035Katsuya ToidaWRNCDeep X IIINASPF2009
2068Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGR12009
2070Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
2073Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
2074Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
2087Rodrigo RanieriRodrigo RanieriWPts: 14x6Pan American70KG1/4F2009
2166Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGR12009
2170Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
2172Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWRNCADCC66KGSemi2009
2174Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
2259Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
2405Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
2406Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
2425Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
2433Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
2435Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2556Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2570Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2581Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGRDS2010
2582Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2010
2588Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2590Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2591Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2771Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGR12011
2775Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2777Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2818Gilmar OliveiraWPointsWorld P. NoGiABS1/4F2011
2877Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2889Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2973Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
3001Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3014Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3060Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGR12011
3100Justin RaderJustin RaderWRNCADCC66KG1/4F2011
3121Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
3135Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
3407Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
3408Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
3412Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
3414Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3774Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGR22012
3786Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGR32012
3793Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3797Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3799Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
3982Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
4297Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
4299Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
4300Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
4513Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
4514Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
4694Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGR12013
4703Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
4705Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
4862Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
4871Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
4877UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
4878UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
4879UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
4930Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
4932Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
5392Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5395Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5405Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
5408Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
5410Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
5820Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGR12014
5821Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGR22014
5822Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
5823Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
5828Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
6161Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSPF2015
6167Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWRNCBerkut Open NoGiABSSPF2015
6874Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG1/8F2015
6882Phillipe D. MonicaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70Kg1/4F2015
6883Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockWorld Champ.70KGSF2015
6884Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015
7024UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KG1/4F2015
7025UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGSF2015
7026UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGF2015
7027UnknownWArmbarBullterrier CupABS1/4F2015
7030Anderson TakahashiWArmbarBullterrier CupABSSF2015
8887Brian StuebnerWN/ASan Antonio Open70KG1/4F2016
8889Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinWPointsSan Antonio Open70KGSF2016
8890Gabriel MarangoniWPts: 12x0San Antonio Open70KGF2016

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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