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

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Rafael Mendes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 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 BJJ enthusiasts, Rafael was also one of the competitors that brought recognition to the 50-50 Guard and the berimbolo, a style 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

67 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    17 (25%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    3 (4%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    44 (66%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (3%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

44 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Armbar
25
11
#86e620
Choke from back
25
11
#5AD3D1
Mata leao
9
4
#d1212a
Brabo choke
7
3
#fad11b
Wristlock
7
3
#f58822
Triangle armbar
5
2
#224aba
Kimura
5
2
#ff9124
Choke
5
2
#bf1f6c
Triangle
5
2
#22c9a5
Inverted triangle
2
1
#fad223
Anaconda
2
1
#03861f
Cross choke
2
1
#039a1f
Bow and arrow
2
1
44
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
4 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    0 (0%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    1 (25%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    0 (0%)
  • BY DECISION
    3 (75%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

0 SUBMISSION LOSSES

Rafael Mendes Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1672Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLRefree DecisionWorld Champ.U70kgSemi f.2009
1991Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLRefree DecisionWorld Pro.U65kgFinal2011
3380Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.U70kgFinal2013
3507Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLRefree DecisionADCCU66kgFinal2013
3704Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3OpenSuperfight2014
1541Katsuya ToidaWMata leaoDeep X IIIn/aSuperfight2009
1579Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCCU66kgRd 12009
1583Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCCU66kg1/4 final2009
1585Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWMata leaoADCCU66kgSemi2009
1587Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCCU66kgFinal2009
1669Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.U70kg1/4 final2009
1756Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropeanU70kgSemi f.2010
1757Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0EuropeanU70kgFinal2010
1776Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trialsU65kgSemi f.2010
1784Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr TrialsU65kgSemi f.2010
1786Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr TrialsU65kgFinal2010
1828Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.U65kgFinal2010
1841Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2BrasileiroU70kgFinal2010
1852Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.U70kgRounds2010
1853Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kgRounds2010
1859Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.U70kg1/4 final2010
1861Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kgSemi f.2010
1862Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.U70kgFinal2010
1983Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.U65kgRd 12011
1987Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.U65kg1/4 final2011
1989Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.U65kgSemi f.2011
2070Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.U70kgRounds2011
2082Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.U70kgRounds2011
2167Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.U70kg1/4 Final2011
2195Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.U70Semi f.2011
2208Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.U70kgFinal2011
2246Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCCU66kgRd 12011
2286Justin RaderJustin RaderWMata leaoADCCU66kg1/4 Finals2011
2307Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCCU66kgSemi f.2011
2321Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCCU66kgFinal2011
2521Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan AmericanU70kg1/4 final2012
2522Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan AmericanU70kg1/4 final2012
2526Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan AmericanU70kgSemi f.2012
2528Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan AmericanU70kgFinal2012
2811Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.U70kgRd 22012
2823Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.U70kgRd 32012
2830Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kg1/4 final2012
2834Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.U70kgSemi f.2012
2836Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWRefree DecisionWorld Champ.U70kgFinal2012
3015Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston OpenU70kgFinal2012
3175Renato VieiraWArmbarPan AmericanU70kg1/4 final2013
3177Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan AmericanU70kgSemi f.2013
3178Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWRefree DecisionPan AmericanU70kgFinal2013
3377Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.U70kg1/4 Final2013
3378Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.U70kgSemi f.2013
3493Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCCU66kgRd 12013
3502Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCCU66kg1/4 final2013
3504Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCCU66kgSemi f.2013
3652Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF OpenU70kgSemi f.2013
3654Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston OpenU70kgSemi f.2013
3660UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson CupU70kg1/4 final2013
3661UnknownWArmbarRickson CupU70kgSemi f.2013
3662UnknownWArmbarRickson CupU70kgFinal2013
3686Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0EuropeanU70kgSemi f.2014
3688Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0EuropeanU70kgFinal2014
4057Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kgRounds2014
4060Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kgRounds2014
4070Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kg1/4 Final2014
4073Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.U70kgSemi f.2014
4075Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.U70kgFinal2014
4431Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson CupU70kgRd 12014
4432Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson CupU70kgRd 22014
4433Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson CupU70kg1/4 final2014
4434Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson CupU70kgSemi f.2014
4439Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupAbsoluteSemi f.2014
4722Osvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenAbsoluteSuperfight2015
4728Osvaldo MoizinhoWMata leaoBerkut Open NoGiAbsoluteSuperfight2015
Rafael Mendes Fight Videos

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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