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

Polaris Jiu Jitsu Event

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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

82 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    22 (27%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    3 (4%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    54 (66%)
  • 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
Wristlock
7
4
#d1212a
Mata leao
7
4
#fad11b
Brabo choke
6
3
#f58822
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
54
(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
1805Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
1948Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2376Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
3883Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
4052Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
4272Clark GracieClark GracieDN/AMetamoris 3ABSSPF2014
1802Michael ReynaWChokeCapital Challenge70KG1/4F2008
1804Mario ReisMario ReisWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
1807Katsuya ToidaWMata leaoDeep X IIINASPF2009
1824Van BaardewijkWTriangleWorld Pro.65KGRD12009
1826Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2009
1829Renato TavaresRenato TavaresWPts: 6x0World Pro.65KGSF2009
1830Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
1853Jayson PatinoWTriangleADCC66KGRD12009
1857Justin RaderJustin RaderWAnacondaADCC66KG1/4F2009
1859Leonardo VieiraLeonardo VieiraWMata leaoADCC66KGSemi2009
1861Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPointsADCC66KGF2009
1945Carlos LemosCarlos LemosWPts: 4x0World Champ.70KG1/4F2009
2037Wellington DiasWellington DiasWArmbarEuropean70KGSF2010
2038Renan BorgesWPts: 2x0European70KGF2010
2057Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWPts: 2x0WPC SD trials65KGSF2010
2065Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGSF2010
2067Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWChoke from backWPC Gr Trials65KGF2010
2171Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGF2010
2185Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2196Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 5x2World Champ.70KGRDS2010
2197Gustavo CaprioWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2010
2203Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2010
2205Denilson PimentaDenilson PimentaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2206Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2368Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWBrabo chokeWorld Pro.65KGRD12011
2372Gustavo FalciroliWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG1/4F2011
2374Bruno MalfacineBruno MalfacineWPts: 7x0World Pro.65KGSF2011
2457Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2469Justin RaderJustin RaderWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
2553Leonardo SaggioroWInverted triangleWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2011
2581Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
2594Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
2639Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGRD12011
2679Justin RaderJustin RaderWMata leaoADCC66KG1/4F2011
2700Robson MouraRobson MouraWPointsADCC66KGSF2011
2714Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPenADCC66KGF2011
2938Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2012
2939Justin RaderJustin RaderWTrianglePan American70KG1/4F2012
2943Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockPan American70KGSF2012
2945Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3263Sandro “Batata”WBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGRD22012
3275Cristiano RenatoWKimuraWorld Champ.70KGRD32012
3282Takayuki KoyamaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2012
3286Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2012
3288Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
3470Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBrabo chokeHouston Open70KGF2012
3676Renato VieiraWArmbarPan American70KG1/4F2013
3678Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGSF2013
3679Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
3880Mayko BorgesWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2013
3881Mario ReisMario ReisWAdvWorld Champ.70KGSF2013
4038Y. TakahitoWKimuraADCC66KGRD12013
4047Tetsu SuzukiWArmbarADCC66KG1/4F2013
4049Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPts: 2x0ADCC66KGSF2013
4202Geoffrey VillarealWArmbarSF Open70KGSF2013
4211Gustavo CarpioWWristlockHouston Open70KGSF2013
4217UnknownWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KG1/4F2013
4218UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2013
4219UnknownWArmbarRickson Cup70KGF2013
4254Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0European70KGSF2014
4256Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 3x0European70KGF2014
4677Tumas KristenWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4680Nicollas AraujoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
4690Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG1/4F2014
4693Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2014
4695Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
5072Yagi VicenteWTriangle armbarRickson Cup70KGRD12014
5073Tsukada IchitaroWWristlockRickson Cup70KGRD22014
5074Hirao YutoWCross chokeRickson Cup70KG1/4F2014
5075Okamoto YujiWArmbarRickson Cup70KGSF2014
5080Charles GasparWBow and arrowRickson CupABSSF2014
5378Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWChoke from backBerkut OpenABSSPF2015
5384Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWMata leaoBerkut Open NoGiABSSPF2015
6045Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG1/8F2015
6053Phillipe D. MonicaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70Kg1/4F2015
6054Mario ReisMario ReisWWristlockWorld Champ.70KGSF2015
6055Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015
6177UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KG1/4F2015
6178UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGSF2015
6179UnknownWArmbarBullterrier Cup70KGF2015
6180UnknownWArmbarBullterrier CupABS1/4F2015
6183Anderson TakahashiWArmbarBullterrier CupABSSF2015

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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