Brian Mahecha is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Jonatas Gurgel representing American Top Team in the sport’s international circuit. Brian is also an inspirational figure for grappling fans across the globe; a cancer survivor who overcame the disease to became one of the leading athletes in jiu jitsu’s featherweight division, while also being an important “standard-bearer” for his generation’s grappling style, together with his twin brother Kevin Mahecha.
Brian Mahecha Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Brian Mahecha
- UAEJJF US National Pro – Houston Champion (2015**)
- IBJJF Atlanta Open Champion (2016)
- UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, LA 2nd Place (2017)
- IBJJF European Open 3rd Place (2016)
- IBJJF American National Championship 3rd Place (2015)
- IBJJF New York Spring International Open 3rd Place (2015)
- IBJJF Miami International Open 3rd Place (2015)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- IBJJF Miami International Open Champion (2013 brown)
- UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Championship 2nd Place (2013 brown)
- IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd Place (2012 purple)
- IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship 3rd Place (2011 purple)
- IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd Place (2015 brown)
- IBJJF New York Summer International Open 3rd Place (2013 brown)
- IBJJF Miami International Open 3rd Place (2012 brown)
** Weight and absolute
Favorite Position/Technique: Spider Guard/Leg Drag
Weight Division: Peso Pena (70kg/154lbs)
Team/Association: American Top Team
Brian Mahecha Biography
Brian Mahecha and his twin brother Kevin were born on October 3rd, 1988 in Manhattan – New York, USA.
Throughout their formative years, both Brian and his brother always felt a strong bond with martial arts, a bond that ultimately drove them to a kung fu and kickboxing club at the age of 15.
Over the next couple of years the Mahecha brothers emphasised on Kickboxing, beginning a successful career in the sport as junior competitors. One of their biggest achievement being a second placement at the IFK World Championship in 2008 (Brian under international rules – similar to K-1; Kevin under muay thai rules).
In 2005, while competing in an important kickboxing event, Brian’s shoulder started bothering him by popping out and popping back in the socket. This problem aggravated when Brian tried to rehabilitate by himself, through basic rotational exercises, to a point where Brian began losing range of motion.
Brian visited many doctors and did a few MRI’s but no one could understand the issue. In the process of trying to find help, Brian met Dr. Thomas H. Temple who at the time was a professor and doctor at the University of Miami Hospital. Doctor Temple discovered Mahecha had a Soft Cell Tissue Sarcoma in his left shoulder on May 1st 2006 – Brian was 17 years old.
On May 10th, 2006 Brian had a successful surgery that removed the cancer, however, in order to do so the surgeons also removed his Infraspinatus Rotator Cuff, part of his Posterior Deltoid and shaved off part his Scapula. The recovery process made through physical therapy and gruelling radiation helped improve Brian’s condition, though Mahecha also attributed his improvement to watching his brother train:
“Watching my brother train was the most important part [of recovery process] to me because it reminded me to never forget my goals; to be the best at what I do and to constantly improve and excel. At the time it was Kickboxing and soon that goal would switch to Jiu-Jitsu. A little more than a year after my surgery I got back into competition and felt great. Especially when I started focusing 100% on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I realized that my shoulder never had a negative effect on my performance or anything. This realization made me further fall in love with the gentle art. – Brian Mahecha”
Grappling appeared gradually in the Mahecha’s lives. The brothers first started playing with ground work through coach Jarett. The 3 (Brian, Kevin and Jarett) would watch Bas Rutten DVD’s and try to apply the techniques on each other. That curiosity led the Mahecha’s to the American Top Team academy on November 2007, where they were taught by the illustrious Ricardo Libório.
The initial contact with Libório helped cement the brothers interest for jiu jitsu. Another source of inspiration for the Mahechas was coach Emyr “Shark” Bussade who also led many of Brian and Kevin’s early grappling classes.
On July of 2008, Kevin and Brian were awarded their blue belts by Master Ricardo Libório. This would be the moment in which both brothers chose to make the decisive switch and commit 100% to Brazilian jiu jitsu, leaving their kickboxing days behind.
Early in 2009 coach Bussade took over Mahecha’s tuition, after opening his own American Top Team affiliate in Wellington (awarding their purple belts on December that year). It was at ATT Wellington that the two brothers would start their coaching careers, developing a style of teaching heavily influenced by Emyr Bussade.
In 2012 Brian and Kevin tightened their bond with another prestigious ATT coach, Jonatas “Tagarela” Gurgel in Coconut Creek and Aventura. While training and teaching jiu jitsu relentlessly, Brian also kept a job as a middle school teacher, he would eventually drop the position as a public school teacher to become a full time coach at ATT Aventura.
On June 11th, 2014 the two brothers were promoted to black belts by Jonatas Gurgel.
Visit the Mahecha Brothers techniques website: mahechabjj.com
Brian Mahecha Grappling Record
9 SUBMISSIONS WINS
10 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES
Brian Mahecha Fight History
|6918||Gianni GrippoGianni Grippo||L||Points||NY Spring Open||70KG||SF||2015|
|6998||Isaque PaivaIsaque Paiva||L||Points||World Pro||65KG||4F||2015|
|7515||Samir ChantreSamir Chantre||L||Pts: 4x2||American Nat.||70KG||SF||2015|
|8189||Marcel GoncalvesMarcel Goncalves||L||Referee Decision||Miami Open||76KG||SF||2015|
|8428||Paulo Silva||L||Pts: 2x2, Adv||IBJJF NY Pro||70KG||4F||2015|
|8812||Paulo MiyaoPaulo Miyao||L||Choke from back||European Open||70KG||SF||2016|
|9137||Jon Van Buren||L||Pts: 4x2||Pan American||70KG||8F||2016|
|9456||Paulo MiyaoPaulo Miyao||L||Points||World Pro||69KG||4F||2016|
|9828||Jonathan ThomasJonathan Thomas||L||Armbar||World Champ.||70KG||R1||2016|
|10311||Isaac DoederleinIsaac Doederlein||L||Pts: 6x4||Grand Slam LA||69KG||SF||2016|
|11367||Isaque PaivaIsaque Paiva||L||Pts: 4x2||European Open||70KG||8F||2017|
|11935||Rubens CharlesRubens Charles||L||Choke from back||Pan American||70KG||4F||2017|
|12651||Jonathan Buren||L||Points||Atlanta Spring O.||70KG||F||2017|
|13547||Thiago MacedoThiago Macedo||L||Pts: 2x0||Grand Slam LA||69KG||F||2017|
|13917||Brandon WalenskyBrandon Walensky||L||Armbar||Miami Fall Open||70KG||4F||2017|
|14121||Silvio DuranSilvio Duran||L||Pts: 2x0||BJJ NY Pro||70KG||4F||2017|
|14241||Thiago MacedoThiago Macedo||L||Armbar||San Antonio Open||70KG||SF||2017|
|14541||Gianni GrippoGianni Grippo||L||Choke from back||European Open||70KG||4F||2018|
|14992||Hiroaki Otsuka||L||Pts: 6x6, Adv||Pan American||70KG||8F||2018|
|15439||Gilson NunesGilson Nunes||L||Triangle||Atlanta Sp. Open||76KG||SF||2018|
|15447||Matheus GonzagaMatheus Gonzaga||L||Choke from back||Boston Sp. Open||70KG||SF||2018|
|15918||Gilson NunesGilson Nunes||L||N/A||Miami Spring Open||76KG||F||2018|
|16211||Richar NogueiraRichar Nogueira||L||Armbar||American Nat.||70KG||4F||2018|
|16353||Deandre Corbe||L||Points||Nashville Open||70KG||SF||2018|
|16699||Johnny TamaJohnny Tama||L||Referee Decision||Las Vegas Open||76KG||4F||2018|
|17239||Gianni GrippoGianni Grippo||L||Toe hold||Miami Fall Open||76KG||F||2018|
|6917||Jean Cartagena||W||Armbar||NY Spring Open||70KG||4F||2015|
|6993||Danilo Barbosa||W||N/A||World Pro||65KG||R1||2015|
|7514||Vitor Riciotti||W||Choke from back||American Nat.||70KG||4F||2015|
|8188||Paulo Silva||W||Points||Miami Open||76KG||4F||2015|
|8497||Spencer Guilliam||W||Points||Houston Nat. Pro||77KG||SF||2015|
|8499||Kevin MahechaKevin Mahecha||W||Points||Houston Nat. Pro||77KG||F||2015|
|8500||Jose Portillo||W||Referee Decision||Houston Nat. Pro||O77KG||SF||2015|
|8502||Kevin MahechaKevin Mahecha||W||Points||Houston Nat. Pro||O77KG||F||2015|
|8808||T. Tammilehto||W||Armbar||European Open||70KG||4F||2016|
|8937||Christopher Kriebel||W||Armbar||Atlanta Open||70KG||SF||2016|
|8938||Andre MonteiroAndre Monteiro||W||Pts: 4x2||Atlanta Open||70KG||F||2016|
|9449||Vinicius de Lima||W||Armbar||World Pro||69KG||R1||2016|
|9453||Murat Besnek||W||Pts: 2x0||World Pro||69KG||8F||2016|
|10309||Mario Silva||W||Armbar||Grand Slam LA||69KG||4F||2016|
|11364||Jakub Witkowski||W||Pts: 4x4, Adv||European Open||70KG||R1||2017|
|13541||Thiago Lemos||W||Pts: 2x0||Grand Slam LA||69KG||R1||2017|
|13543||Bruno Carvalho||W||Submission||Grand Slam LA||69KG||4F||2017|
|13545||Brandon WalenskyBrandon Walensky||W||Pts: 2x0||Grand Slam LA||69KG||SF||2017|
|14537||Tomoshige Sera||W||Pts: 4x4, Adv||European Open||70KG||R1||2018|
|15917||Francisco Jackson||W||N/A||Miami Spring Open||76KG||SF||2018|
|16504||DeAndre Corbe||W||Points||Orlando Open||70KG||SF||2018|
|17235||Eduardo Mulki||W||Armbar||Miami Fall Open||76KG||4F||2018|
|17238||Rodrigo Francioni||W||Armbar||Miami Fall Open||76KG||SF||2018|
Brian Mahecha vs André Monteiro
Brian Mahecha vs Jacob Sandoval