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

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Rafael Mendes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) black belt world champion under the illustrious coach Ramon Lemos. Considered a BJJ 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 that brought recognition to the 50-50 guard and the berimbolo, positions he used to de-throne the former 5x world champion Rubens Charles. Rafael Mendes is also the brother of another Jiu Jitsu World Champion - Guilherme Mendes.

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 (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

73 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    21 (29%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    3 (4%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    46 (63%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (3%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

46 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Armbar
24
11
#86e620
Choke from back
24
11
#5AD3D1
Mata leao
9
4
#d1212a
Choke
7
3
#fad11b
Wristlock
7
3
#f58822
Brabo choke
7
3
#224aba
Triangle
7
3
#ff9124
Kimura
4
2
#bf1f6c
Triangle armbar
4
2
#22c9a5
Anaconda
2
1
#fad223
Inverted triangle
2
1
#03861f
Cross choke
2
1
#039a1f
Bow and arrow
2
1
46
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
5 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    1 (20%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    1 (20%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    0 (0%)
  • BY DECISION
    3 (60%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

0 SUBMISSION LOSSES

Rafael Mendes Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1715Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
1856Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2176Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
3604Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
3754Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
3956Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSUPERF2014
1712Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
1714Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
1717Katsuya ToidaWMata leaoDeep X IIINASUPERF2009
1734Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGRD12009
1736Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
1739Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
1740Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
1763Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGRD12009
1767Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
1769Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWMata leaoADCC66KGSemi2009
1771Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
1853Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
1941Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
1942Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
1961Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
1969Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
1971Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2013Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2026Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2037Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGRDS2010
2038Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2010
2044Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2046Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2047Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2168Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGRD12011
2172Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2174Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2255Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2267Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2352Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
2380Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
2393Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
2432Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGRD12011
2472Justin RaderJustin RaderWMata leaoADCC66KG1/4F2011
2493Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
2507Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
2716Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
2717Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
2721Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
2723Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3009Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGRD22012
3021Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGRD32012
3028Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3032Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3034Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
3213Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
3392Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
3394Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
3395Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
3601Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
3602Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
3740Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGRD12013
3749Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
3751Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
3899Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
3901Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
3907UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
3908UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
3909UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
3938Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
3940Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
4319Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4322Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4332Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
4335Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
4337Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
4697Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGRD12014
4698Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGRD22014
4699Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
4700Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
4705Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
5002Osvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSUPERF2015
5008Osvaldo MoizinhoWMata leaoBerkut Open NoGiABSSUPERF2015

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

 

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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