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Augusto Mendes “Tanquinho”

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Augusto Mendes, commonly known as “Tanquinho”, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Master Francisco Mansur, being also one of the big names of his generation in the sport’s featherweight division, a stance solidified by his International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World title and Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) bronze medal. Aside from his accomplishments in grappling, Tanquinho also ventured into mixed martial arts (MMA), reaching the UFC in 2016. This while being one of the most recognized referees in jiu-jitsu as well as a respected grappling coach and co-founder of the Soul Fighters Academy.

Augusto Mendes Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Augusto Lopes Mendes

Nickname: Tanquinho means “little tank” a name that came after Augusto started “going through” everyone in training. His older brother which started training a year earlier already had the name “Tanque”, so Augusto as the youngest and smallest got “Tanquinho”.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Francisco Mansur > Augusto Mendes

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2019)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2013)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2012/2015)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro (2011/2013)
  • 1st Place CBJJ/IBJJF South American Championship (2010**)
  • 1st Place USBJJF/IBJJF American Nationals (2012)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Team Nationals (2008/2009/2010)
  • 1st Place FJJR Rio State Championship (2008/2010)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Rio Open (2009, 2010)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Las Vegas Open (2012)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Boston Open (2012)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF European  Open (2013)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF New York Open (2010)
  • 3rd Place ADCC World Championship (2015)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2009/2011/2013)
  • 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2005/2008/2010/2011)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

Weight Category: Peso Pena (70,00 kg / 154.5 lbs)

Favorite Position/Technique: Pressure Passing

Team/Association: Soul Fighters

Augusto “Tanquinho” Biography

Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes was born March 3, 1983, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He began training jiu-jitsu in 1997 after his brother Bruno, who had already begun training, encouraged Tanquinho to join him. After being talked into it, he started his jiu-jitsu career in Kioto gym in Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. Just a few classes in, Tanquinho had become completely hooked.

During this time his training was under professors Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, under the supervision of master Francisco Mansor. Just 4 months into training, Tanquinho fought the Rio State Championships and took the bronze medal. It was on this day that Tanquinho found his passion for training and especially for competition.

He began competing at any opportunity, taking second in the Brazilian Championships that same year and winning countless smaller tournaments. By 14 years old Tanquinho was living jiu-jitsu and training three times a day.

What was to put him ahead in the gym and in competition came with the invitation to begin teaching at the Kioto gym in 1999. He began his career as a trainer and instructor, always under the close watch of Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, as well as Marcos Carvalho. Carvalho was a major influence during this time, teaching Tanquinho how to teach and correcting any errors.

In 2000 Tanquinho took home his first world title as a blue belt juvenile. In five tough matches, he secured his hold on the gold medal and became Kioto’s first world champion. His passion for jiu-jitsu was so great at this point that he took every penny he earned teaching class and put it toward a degree in physical education. At the University Estacio de Sá, Tanquinho dedicated himself fully to learn and improve his knowledge about training and teaching.

The Mundial in 2002 meant another world title for Tanquinho, this time after six matches at purple belt featherweight. Moving on in stellar fashion, he took silver in the 2003 Mundial as a brown belt. Despite impressive results in major tournaments, Tanquinho had to lighten up on training in order to finish his degree in Physical Education.

Tanquinho was promoted to black belt on December 2004 under 9th-degree black belt master Francisco Mansor, after which Augusto continued juggling between his academic studies and his BJJ training. Once he finished his degree Mendes became a full-time grappler (2006).

June 2005 was a decisive moment for Tanquinho, who then severed ties with Kioto. This was due to diverging ideas with regards to the direction of the team. With his brother Bruno Mendes, also a black belt at this point, the two left and founded Renovação BJJ.

It was a difficult time for the brothers, who soon realized that trying to run a gym by themselves left little time to focus on their own training. In 2007 Tanquinho began to cross-train with his friends Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa and Leandro “Tatu” Escobar, who had also found themselves without many students to push them. Tatu and Formiga quickly joined hands with Tanquinho and Bruno Mendes, along with master Alvaro Mansor, to form the association Soul Fighters on January 2008.

After the founding of Soul Fighters, the structure created a system that allowed Tanquinho to have a tight group of talented training partners. Tanquinho continued evolving winning the Rio Open as a black belt and the Brazilian Team Championships twice–where he competed under GFTeam.

Soul Fighters quickly grew into an international team, with over 1000 students spanning over 20 affiliate schools world-wide.

Tanquinho is also a renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu referee certified by the CBJJ and one of the Federations main referees.

In January 2010, Augusto Tanquinho booked his place in the World Pro Cup (in Abu Dhabi) by winning the Portuguese trials in Lisbon, making a total of 47 points on his way to the podium (3 matches). The first match Augusto was winning by 15×0 before submitting his opponent with an armbar, the second he scored  14×0 before submitting with a choke from the mount, and his final he beat his adversary by 18×0.

A promising mixed martial arts (MMA) career was also a part of Augusto Mendes’ athletic endeavors. A career started in 2014 which led him to the top promotion in this sport, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2016.

Banner photo by Ross Finlayson

Augusto Mendes Grappling Record

    31 (45%)
    7 (10%)
    17 (25%)
    9 (13%)
    2 (3%)
  • BY DQ
    3 (4%)


Arm in guillotine
Cross choke
Choke from back
Arm in Ezekiel
Toe hold
    14 (47%)
    6 (20%)
    4 (13%)
    6 (20%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Heel hook

Augusto Mendes Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1411Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo RibeiroLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KG4F2006
1746Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG4F2007
1913Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoLPointsWorld Champ.70KG4F2008
2164Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLArmbarPan American76KGSF2009
2212Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLPointsADCC Trials77KG4F2009
2334Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.76KG4F2009
2608Lucas LepriLucas LepriLRNCNo Gi Worlds76KGF2010
2686Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvWorld Champ.76KG4F2010
2882Lucas LepriLucas LepriLPts: 4x2Pan American76KGSF2011
2942Davi RamosDavi RamosLPointsWorld P. NoGi74KGR12011
2960Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsBrasileiro76KGSF2011
3149Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3266Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLHeel hookADCC77KG4F2011
3384Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvNo Gi Worlds76KGF2011
4161Tanner RiceTanner RiceLPts: 4x0IBJJF Pro League82KG4F2012
4365Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsArizona OpenABSF2013
4398Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 5x2Copa PodioABSSPF2013
4447Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPts: 2x0European Open70KGF2013
4554Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsPan American70KGSF2013
4981Justin RaderJustin RaderLReferee DecisionADCC66KGR12013
7969Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGSF2015
10906Rodrigo FreitasRodrigo FreitasLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds73KG4F2016
10965Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLReferee DecisionNoGi WorldsABSSF2016
13464Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLPointsACBJJ 665KGSF2017
13918Pablo MantovaniPablo MantovaniLReferee DecisionADCC66KG4F2017
14977Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLPointsACB 1065KGSPF2018
16343Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinLPointsACBJJ 1365KGSPF2018
17841Vagner RochaVagner RochaLReferee DecisionF2W 8970KGSPF2018
19368M. LutesLReferee DecisionSpyder Inv.76KGSF2019
19371Levi JonesLevi JonesLPts: 6x0Spyder Inv.76KG3RD2019
2161UnknownWArmbarPan American76KG4F2009
2528UnknownWArmbarWPC Lx Trials74KG4F2010
2529UnknownWCross chokeWPC Lx Trials74KGSF2010
2530UnknownWPts: 18x0WPC Lx Trials74KGF2010
2607JT TorresJT TorresWPointsNo Gi Worlds76KGSF2010
2772Davi RamosDavi RamosWDQSouth American76KGSF2010
2773Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 0x0, AdvSouth American76KGF2010
2774Nivaldo OliveiraNivaldo OliveiraWPts: 4x2South AmericanABSSF2010
2776Mario ReisMario ReisWDQSouth AmericanABSF2010
2785Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 9x0Team Nationals68KGF2010
2878Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 4x0Pan American76KGR12011
2880Rodrigo CaporalRodrigo CaporalWDQPan American76KG4F2011
2900Ary FariasAry FariasWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGR12011
2903Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 3x2World Pro.65KG8F2011
2904Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWAdvWorld Pro.65KG4F2011
2908Eduardo RamosWAdvWorld Pro.65KGSF2011
2909Rafael MendesRafael MendesWReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
3020Ryan HallRyan HallWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
3107Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPenWorld Champ.70KG4F2011
3137Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3233Vagner RochaVagner RochaWFootlockADCC77KGR12011
3353Thomas MichaelWArmbarNo Gi Worlds76KG4F2011
3372Della MonicaWPts: 5x0No Gi Worlds76KGSF2011
3706Rodrigo FariasWArm in EzekielAmerican Nat.76KGF2012
4180Steve RosenburgWEzekielLas Vegas Open76KGSF2012
4181Della MonicaWAdvLas Vegas Open76KGF2012
4229Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 9x0NoGi Worlds76KGSF2012
4230JT TorresJT TorresWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds76KGF2012
4444Masahiro IwasakiMasahiro IwasakiWArmbarEuropean Open70KG4F2013
4445Ed RamosWN/AEuropean Open70KGSF2013
4490Renan BorgesWArmbarNYC World Trials74KGSF2013
4491Marcel GonclavesWPointsNYC World Trials74KGF2013
4547Spenser GuilliamWPts: 15x0Pan American70KGR12013
4551Isaque OliveiraWPointsPan American70KG4F2013
4656Michel MaiaWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGSF2013
4660Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGF2013
4782Eduardo RamosWPointsWorld Champ.70KG4F2013
4786Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2013
4787Rafael MendesRafael MendesWPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
6076Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWReferee DecisionWorld ExpoABSSPF2014
6315Rafael DomingosWPts: 2x0Fight Blok Pro79KGSPF2014
7960Nicholas RenierWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGR12015
7965Eddie CummingsEddie CummingsWPenADCC66KG4F2015
7970Geo MartinezGeo MartinezWToe holdADCC66KG3RD2015
8397Matthew MaganaWRNCNoGi Worlds67KG8F2015
8403Vitor PaschoalWKatagatameNoGi Worlds67KG4F2015
8408Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 2x0NoGi Worlds67KGSF2015
8548AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWReferee DecisionBerkut 2ABSSPF2015
9410Eddie CummingsEddie CummingsD---Polaris 370KGSPF2016
10900Ross NichollsRoss NichollsWKatagatameNoGi Worlds73KGR22016
10959Nic RubenNic RubenWPts: 5x0NoGi WorldsABS8F2016
10964Muslim PatsarigovMuslim PatsarigovWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi WorldsABS4F2016
11776Jeff GloverJeff GloverWReferee DecisionF2W 25N/ASPF2017
13461Rafael MansurRafael MansurWPointsACBJJ 665KG4F2017
13912Yuta ShimadaYuta ShimadaWPts: 4x0ADCC66KGE12017
14590Milton BastosMilton BastosWKimuraACB JJ 960KG4F2017
14594Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPointsACB JJ 960KGSF2017
14596Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWArm in guillotineACB JJ 960KGF2017
16734Kim TerraKim TerraWPointsACBJJ 1465KGSPF2018
18197Kim TerraKim TerraWPts: 2x0Kasai Pro 465KGR12018
18199Ethan CrelinstenEthan CrelinstenWPts: 2x0Kasai Pro 465KGR22018
18203Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoD---Kasai Pro 465KGR32018
18205Frank RosenthalFrank RosenthalWPts: 9x0Kasai Pro 465KG3RD2018
19365Lucas RochaLucas RochaWPts: 6x0Spyder Inv.76KG4F2019
21370Marcelo MafraMarcelo MafraWReferee DecisionF2W 12276KGSPF2019
21866Keith KrikorianKeith KrikorianWKatagatameADCC66KGR12019
21875Matheus GabrielMatheus GabrielWReferee DecisionADCC66KG4F2019
21899Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWReferee DecisionADCC66KGSF2019
21902Kennedy MacielKennedy MacielWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGF2019
21953Matheus GabrielMatheus GabrielWReferee DecisionF2W 12770KGSPF2019
28991Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWReferee DecisionBJJ Stars70KGSPF2021

Augusto Tanquinho vs Rafael Mendes

Roberto Jimenez BJJ Attacking The Back


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