Vinny Magalhaes, also known as “Pezão”, is one of the elite BJJ’ers in MMA today. A jiu jitsu black belt and Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 8 finalist, Vinny is famous for his offensive BJJ style, a game he has used to submit great fighters such as Marcio Cruz, Rodrigo Cavaca, Roberto Cyborg, Bruno Bastos and many others in Grappling competitions. Today Vinny is established in the USA where he teaches and competes in both MMA and Submission Wrestling.
Vinny Magalhaes Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Vinicius de Magalhães
Nickname: “Vinny” is a name that first came about in 2004 when Magalhães moved to America. He started being called that by Cesar Gracie and he embraced it as it was an easy solution for the frequent miss spelling of his first name by the locals.
“Pezao” means Big Foot in Portuguese, the name was given by Bernardo Treco from the Gracie Tijuca academy (where Vinny trained). Magalhaes was only 14 years old at the time and his feet were disproportionate when compared to his still developing body frame, thus the name
- ADCC Champion (2011);
- Nogi World Champion (2007 black belt);
- 3x World Jiu Jitsu Champion (2005 brown belt weight and absolute, 2002 blue belt);
- Pan American Champion (2002 blue belt);
- Brazilian National Champion (2005 brown belt absolute);
- Pan American Silver Medallist (2005 brown belt);
- Brazilian National Silver Medallist (2003 purple belt);
- 3x ADCC Bronze Medallist (2011 absolute, 2009 weight and absolute)
Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94kg-207lbs) or Super Pesado (100kg-221lbs)
Favourite Position/Technique: Flower Sweep and flying armbar
Association/Team: Was linked in with Gracie Tijuca and Gracie Humaitá, in the US he has fought for Team Quest and Cesar Gracie.
Vinny Magalhaes Biography
Vinicius Magalhaes was born on the 2nd of July 1984 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Vinny lived the life of a normal kid in Rio de Janeiro often playing football or shooting some hoops, but it was only in 1998 (when he was 14) that he started practicing the sport that would change his life, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He started training at a small gym in his neighbourhood (Bairro de Olaria) with Jair Reis but shortly after he moved to train with Professor Germano Junior from the Strauch Academy with whom he stayed until the end of 1999 when he got his blue belt.
Shortly after getting his blue belt Vinicius moved clubs to meet the man that would become his true master, Professor Vinicius Aieta from Gracie Tijuca – where Saulo Ribeiro also taught. Under Aieta’s supervision Magalhaes Jiu Jitsu evolved tremendously and there he started developing his unique fighting style, always seeking the submission at all cost.
Odly enough, though he proved more then often his worth on the mats, his black belt was earned due to a lost bet between his master Vinicius Aieta and Royler Gracie at the Mundial in 2005. After an amazing performance at the brown belt Super Pesado weight division, where he submitted every single one of his oponents (including Rodrigo Cavaca in the final), Vinny Magalhaes went on to have a total of 7 fights in the absolute division reaching the final with just two fighters surviving his submission onslaught (one of whom was Romulo Barral to whom Vinny won by 7×0). Royler told Aieta he was “sandbagging” and Aieta believed Vinny was not yet ready for the black belt as he had only been a brown belt for 10 months. It was agreed between the two masters that if Vinny submitted his oponent in the final he would get his black belt, if he didn’t he would stay a brown belt for a while longer. Turns out Vinny destroyed his oponent Gabriel Kitobert in one minute via armbar receiving the black belt on the podium from his master and Royler Gracie.
In 2004 Vinny Magalhaes took a big chance and moved to the United States. He was dating Cesar Gracie’s cousin at the time, and she told Vinny of a vacant coaching spot at the Gracie’s academy. Vinny applied for the spot imediately and got it even though he did not speak a word of English.
From Cesar Gracie’s gym, Vinny Magalhaes went on to coach grappling/BJJ at one of the greatest Mixed Martial Arts teams in the world, Team Quest, a team led by two MMA legends, Dan Henderson and Mat Lindland. Being in a big team like Quest, many oportunities presented themselves to a gifted athlete like Magalhaes, the was biggest probably his chance to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, a TV show in which you fight your way into a contract with a major fighting organization (the UFC). In Vinny’s case, he managed to get in the show without even going to the series of trials. What happened was that at the time “Pezão” heard that the UFC was doing a series on light heavyweights, he asked Dan Henderson to give UFC president – Dana White a call and put in a good word for the Brazilian ace, which worked out perfectly. Magalhaes went to the house and put on good performances that allowed him a spot in the final against Ryan Bader, a fight Vinny lost by TKO.
Coming to a big show like TUF was a mixed bag, in one hand there was the exposure of being in a main stream show, but on the other hand Vinny was still very new to the sport and had very basic knowledge of the stand up aspect of the game. Continuing his bad luck streak, Vinny left Team Quest when he returned from the Show, there were certain issues with the team’s management and Magalhaes slammed the door on the academy. Making the mistake of not having a stand up coach and only doing grappling sparring consistantly his career with the UFC also came to an abrupt end after his loss to another TUF competitor, Eliot Marshal (this time by decision).
Vinny was in need of a reboot, and that he did, by moving to Las Vegas where he found new training partners and coaches that have helped him recreate his MMA career. He is still relatively active in Submission Grappling events, namely Grapplers Quest and ADCC.
Vinny Magalhaes vs Bruno Bastos
Vinny Magalhaes vs Daniel Gracie
Vinny Magalhaes vs Marcus Almeida
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Alihan Magomedov
Vinny Magalhaes Highlight