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

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Digitsu Free BJJ Techniques

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
Brabo choke
5
3
#f58822
Triangle armbar
5
3
#224aba
Choke
5
3
#ff9124
Triangle
5
3
#bf1f6c
Kimura
3
2
#22c9a5
Bow and arrow
3
2
#fad223
Anaconda
2
1
#03861f
Inverted triangle
2
1
#039a1f
Cross choke
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
2026Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
2093Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLDQPan American70KGSF2009
2264Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2798Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
2838Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLReferee DecisionWorld P. NoGiABSF2011
4542Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
4741Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
4992Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSPF2014
2023Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
2025Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
2037Katsuya ToidaWRNCDeep X IIINASPF2009
2070Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGR12009
2072Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
2075Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
2076Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
2089Rodrigo RanieriRodrigo RanieriWPts: 14x6Pan American70KG1/4F2009
2168Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGR12009
2172Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
2174Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWRNCADCC66KGSemi2009
2176Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
2261Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
2407Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
2408Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
2427Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
2435Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
2437Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2558Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2572Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2591Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGR12010
2592Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22010
2598Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2600Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2601Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2790Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGR12011
2794Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2796Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2837Gilmar OliveiraWPointsWorld P. NoGiABS1/4F2011
2896Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2908Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2992Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
3020Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3033Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3079Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGR12011
3119Justin RaderJustin RaderWRNCADCC66KG1/4F2011
3140Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
3154Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
3426Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
3427Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
3431Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
3433Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3797Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGR22012
3809Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGR32012
3816Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3820Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3822Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
4005Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
4321Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
4323Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
4324Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
4539Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
4540Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
4727Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGR12013
4736Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
4738Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
4891Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
4900Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
4906UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
4907UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
4908UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
4963Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
4965Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
5441Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5444Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5454Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
5457Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
5459Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
5877Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGR12014
5878Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGR22014
5879Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
5880Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
5885Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
6240Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSPF2015
6246Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWRNCBerkut Open NoGiABSSPF2015
6955Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG1/8F2015
6963Phillipe D. MonicaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70Kg1/4F2015
6964Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockWorld Champ.70KGSF2015
6965Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015
7113UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KG1/4F2015
7114UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGSF2015
7115UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGF2015
7116UnknownWArmbarBullterrier CupABS1/4F2015
7119Anderson TakahashiWArmbarBullterrier CupABSSF2015
9052Brian StuebnerWArmbarSan Antonio Open70KG1/4F2016
9054Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinWPts: 0x0, AdvSan Antonio Open70KGSF2016
9055Gabriel MarangoniWPts: 12x0San Antonio Open70KGF2016
9212Vitor PaschoalWArmbarLas Vegas Open70KGSF2016
9213Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWArmbarLas Vegas Open70KGF2016
9290Ichitaro TsukadaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22016
9298Leo SaggioroWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2016
9300Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWTriangle armbarWorld Champ.70KGSF2016
9302Marcio 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

 

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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