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Augusto Mendes “Tanquinho”
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Augusto Mendes “Tanquinho”

Craig Jones Instructional

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 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

    30 (48%)
    7 (11%)
    16 (25%)
    5 (8%)
    2 (3%)
  • BY DQ
    3 (5%)


Cross choke
Choke from back
Arm in Ezekiel
Toe hold
Arm in guillotine
    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
1407Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo RibeiroLPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KG4F2006
1737Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG4F2007
1901Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoLPointsWorld Champ.70KG4F2008
2149Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLArmbarPan American76KGSF2009
2197Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLPointsADCC Trials77KG4F2009
2320Michael LanghiMichael LanghiLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.76KG4F2009
2594Lucas LepriLucas LepriLRNCNo Gi Worlds76KGF2010
2672Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvWorld Champ.76KG4F2010
2868Lucas LepriLucas LepriLPts: 4x2Pan American76KGSF2011
2928Davi RamosDavi RamosLPointsWorld P. NoGi74KGR12011
2946Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsBrasileiro76KGSF2011
3135Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2011
3252Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansLHeel hookADCC77KG4F2011
3368Lucas LepriLucas LepriLAdvNo Gi Worlds76KGF2011
4146Tanner RiceTanner RiceLPts: 4x0IBJJF Pro League82KG4F2012
4348Leandro LoLeandro LoLPointsArizona OpenABSF2013
4381Leandro LoLeandro LoLPts: 5x2Copa PodioABSSPF2013
4430Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPts: 2x0European Open70KGF2013
4534Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLPointsPan American70KGSF2013
4959Justin RaderJustin RaderLReferee DecisionADCC66KGR12013
7922Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLReferee DecisionADCC66KGSF2015
10834Rodrigo FreitasRodrigo FreitasLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds73KG4F2016
10893Yuri SimoesYuri SimoesLReferee DecisionNoGi WorldsABSSF2016
13320Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLPointsACBJJ 665KGSF2017
13770Pablo MantovaniPablo MantovaniLReferee DecisionADCC66KG4F2017
14771Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLPointsACB 1065KGSPF2018
16101Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinLPointsACBJJ 1365KGSPF2018
17534Vagner RochaVagner RochaLReferee DecisionF2W Pro 8970KGSPF2018
18932M. LutesLReferee DecisionSpyder Inv.76KGSF2019
18935Levi JonesLevi JonesLPts: 6x0Spyder Inv.76KG3RD2019
2146UnknownWArmbarPan American76KG4F2009
2514UnknownWArmbarWPC Lx Trials74KG4F2010
2515UnknownWCross chokeWPC Lx Trials74KGSF2010
2516UnknownWPts: 18x0WPC Lx Trials74KGF2010
2593JT TorresJT TorresWPointsNo Gi Worlds76KGSF2010
2758Davi RamosDavi RamosWDQSouth American76KGSF2010
2759Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 0x0, AdvSouth American76KGF2010
2760Nivaldo OliveiraNivaldo OliveiraWPts: 4x2South AmericanABSSF2010
2762Mario ReisMario ReisWDQSouth AmericanABSF2010
2771Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWPts: 9x0Team Nationals68KGF2010
2864Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 4x0Pan American76KGR12011
2866Rodrigo CaporalRodrigo CaporalWDQPan American76KG4F2011
2886Ary FariasAry FariasWPts: 4x2World Pro.65KGR12011
2889Ryan HallRyan HallWPts: 3x2World Pro.65KG8F2011
2890Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWAdvWorld Pro.65KG4F2011
2894Eduardo RamosWAdvWorld Pro.65KGSF2011
2895Rafael MendesRafael MendesWReferee DecisionWorld Pro.65KGF2011
3006Ryan HallRyan HallWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
3093Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPenWorld Champ.70KG4F2011
3123Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3219Vagner RochaVagner RochaWFootlockADCC77KGR12011
3337Thomas MichaelWArmbarNo Gi Worlds76KG4F2011
3356Della MonicaWPts: 5x0No Gi Worlds76KGSF2011
3690Rodrigo FariasWArm in EzekielAmerican Nat.76KGF2012
4165Steve RosenburgWEzekielLas Vegas Open76KGSF2012
4166Della MonicaWAdvLas Vegas Open76KGF2012
4214Leandro LoLeandro LoWPts: 9x0NoGi Worlds76KGSF2012
4215JT TorresJT TorresWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds76KGF2012
4427Masahiro IwasakiMasahiro IwasakiWArmbarEuropean Open70KG4F2013
4428Ed RamosWN/AEuropean Open70KGSF2013
4473Renan BorgesWArmbarNYC World Trials74KGSF2013
4474Marcel GonclavesWPointsNYC World Trials74KGF2013
4527Spenser GuilliamWPts: 15x0Pan American70KGR12013
4531Isaque OliveiraWPointsPan American70KG4F2013
4636Michel MaiaWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGSF2013
4640Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Pro70KGF2013
4762Eduardo RamosWPointsWorld Champ.70KG4F2013
4766Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesWPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2013
4767Rafael MendesRafael MendesWPts: 2x2, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2013
6042Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWReferee DecisionWorld ExpoABSSPF2014
6274Rafael DomingosWPts: 2x0Fight Blok Pro79KGSPF2014
7913Nicholas RenierWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGR12015
7918Eddie CummingsEddie CummingsWPenADCC66KG4F2015
7923Geo MartinezGeo MartinezWToe holdADCC66KG3RD2015
8350Matthew MaganaWRNCNoGi Worlds67KG8F2015
8356Vitor PaschoalWKatagatameNoGi Worlds67KG4F2015
8361Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 2x0NoGi Worlds67KGSF2015
8501AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWReferee DecisionBerkut 2ABSSPF2015
9351Eddie CummingsEddie CummingsD---Polaris 370KGSPF2016
10828Ross NichollsRoss NichollsWKatagatameNoGi Worlds73KGR22016
10887Nic RubenNic RubenWPts: 5x0NoGi WorldsABS8F2016
10892Muslim PatsarigovMuslim PatsarigovWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi WorldsABS4F2016
11670Jeff GloverJeff GloverWReferee DecisionF2W 25N/ASPF2017
13317Rafael MansurRafael MansurWPointsACBJJ 665KG4F2017
13764Yuta ShimadaYuta ShimadaWPts: 4x0ADCC66KGE12017
14417Milton BastosMilton BastosWKimuraACB JJ 960KG4F2017
14421Joao MiyaoJoao MiyaoWPointsACB JJ 960KGSF2017
14423Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWArm in guillotineACB JJ 960KGF2017
16483Kim TerraKim TerraWPointsACBJJ 1465KGSPF2018
17854Kim TerraKim TerraWPts: 2x0Kasai Pro 465KGR12018
17856Ethan CrelinstenWPts: 2x0Kasai Pro 465KGR22018
17860Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoD---Kasai Pro 465KGR32018
17862Frank RosenthalFrank RosenthalWPts: 9x0Kasai Pro 465KG3RD2018
18929Lucas RochaLucas RochaWPts: 6x0Spyder Inv.76KG4F2019
20798Marcelo MafraMarcelo MafraWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 11276KGSPF2019

Augusto Tanquinho vs Rafael Mendes

Guard Passing Instructional by Lucas Lepri


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