Rodrigo Cavaca is one of the top fighters in the “Pesadissimo” jiu jitsu division, and the main coach of the Checkmat Santos team branch, one of the main talent hubs for Checkmat‘s competition team, an academy where stars such as Marcus Almeida, Nivaldo Oliveira, Michelle Nicolini train before the main competitions. In 2010 Cavaca had one of his best years as a competitor, winning the world title and the Brazilian national title, cementing his name as one of the great jiu jitsu fighters of his generation.
Rodrigo Cavaca Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Rodrigo Henriques Cavaca
- World Champion (2010);
- 2x European Champion (2010, 2009);
- 2x Brazilian National Champion (2010, 2008);
- World Silver Medallist (2009);
- Pan American Silver Medallist (2009);
- 2x Pan American Bronze Medallist (2010, 2008)
Favourite Position/Technique: Achilles hold
Weight Division: Super Pesado (under 221lbs), Pesadíssimo (over 221lbs)
Rodrigo Cavaca Biography
Rodrigo was born in Santos, Brazil, on the 27th of January 1981. Growing up Cavaca had always been a football (soccer) buff, having played competitively in Futebol de Salao (also known as 5-a-side). It was only when Rodrigo reached 19 years of age that he decided to take a shot at Jiu Jitsu, he had a couple of very good friends who were blue belts and were always talking about BJJ, challenging the big man to train with them, one day he finally said yes.
His first training was at his home town of Santos with an instructor called Sarruço in a satellite academy of Alliance. He stayed with Sarruço for the most part of two years, achieving the blue belt at this academy. With time his footballing career seemed to be going nowhere and he decided to start enjoying the benefits of Jiu Jitsu, a sport where he already showed tremendous potential.
After these two years with Sarruço he decided to move on to the Integração Jiu Jitsu Team in Santos as the training in his previous academy was just not competitive enough for Cavaca. At the Integração he found new, more challenging training partners and also his new instructor, Élcio Figueiredo, a Carlson Gracie black belt who ran the academy. With a new academy and a lot of hard work, Cavaca managed to ad some big wins to his BJJ curriculum, such as 2 titles in the “Brasileiro” (the Brazilian National Championships) and two “Mundial” titles in the purple and brown belt divisions. After 5 years with Figueiredo he received his black belt (28th of October 2005).
Having reached two World titles in the lower belts, it was time to put his black belt to the ultimate test, at the Worlds. Unfortunately in the Jiu Jitsu game, if you are not evolving you are regressing and the small Integração team in Santos wasn’t big enough for Cavaca’s hopes of one day becoming a World champion, and so he sought out Leonardo Vieira who at the time was one of the head teachers of the Brasa team in Sao Paulo. This was one of the best teams in the World at the time, with a cartel of fighters such as Vieira himself, Robert Drysdale, Demian Maia, André Galvão, Lucas Leite, Felippe Porto “Linguica” (rest in peace), and many, many others. Cavaca started training there 3 times per week, making the travel between the two cities.
After 2 years fighting for the Brasa banner, there was a split in the team. Leonardo Vieira then founded another team with his brother called Checkmat and Rodrigo followed his instructor. Cavaca then opened an affiliate academy of Checkmat’s in Santos and a few more around the World.
Rodrigo Cavaca vs Roberto Abreu