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

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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

77 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    22 (29%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    3 (4%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    49 (64%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (3%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    1 (1%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

49 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Choke from back
24
12
#86e620
Armbar
22
11
#5AD3D1
Mata leao
8
4
#d1212a
Wristlock
8
4
#fad11b
Choke
6
3
#f58822
Brabo choke
6
3
#224aba
Triangle
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
49
(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
1787Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
1930Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2249Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
3686Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
3836Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
4040Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSUPERF2014
1784Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
1786Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
1789Katsuya ToidaWMata leaoDeep X IIINASUPERF2009
1806Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGRD12009
1808Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
1811Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
1812Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
1835Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGRD12009
1839Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
1841Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWMata leaoADCC66KGSemi2009
1843Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
1927Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
2015Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
2016Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
2035Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
2043Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
2045Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2087Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2100Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2111Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGRDS2010
2112Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2010
2118Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2120Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2121Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2241Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGRD12011
2245Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2247Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2330Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2342Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2427Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
2455Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
2468Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
2507Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGRD12011
2547Justin RaderJustin RaderWMata leaoADCC66KG1/4F2011
2568Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
2582Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
2795Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
2796Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
2800Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
2802Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3088Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGRD22012
3100Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGRD32012
3107Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3111Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3113Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
3295Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
3474Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
3476Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
3477Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
3683Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
3684Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
3822Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGRD12013
3831Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
3833Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
3983Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
3985Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
3991UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
3992UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
3993UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
4022Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
4024Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
4403Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4406Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4416Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
4419Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
4421Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
4781Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGRD12014
4782Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGRD22014
4783Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
4784Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
4789Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
5086Osvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSUPERF2015
5092Osvaldo MoizinhoWMata leaoBerkut Open NoGiABSSUPERF2015
5736Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG1/8F2015
5744Phillipe D. MonicaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70Kg1/4F2015
5745Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockWorld Champ.70KGSF2015
5746Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015

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

 

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

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