Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

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Brian Mahecha

Brian Mahecha

John Danaher Instructional

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

Nickname: n/a

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. Carlson Gracie >André PederneirasJoão Roque > Jonatas Gurgel > Brian Mahecha

Main Achievements:

  • 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)

* Absolute
** 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:

Brian Mahecha Grappling Record

    13 (52%)
    2 (8%)
    9 (36%)
    1 (4%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
    13 (46%)
    3 (11%)
    10 (36%)
    2 (7%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
Toe hold

Brian Mahecha Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
6965Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoLPointsNY Spring Open70KGSF2015
7045Isaque PaivaIsaque PaivaLPointsWorld Pro65KG4F2015
7566Samir ChantreSamir ChantreLPts: 4x2American Nat.70KGSF2015
8241Marcel GoncalvesMarcel GoncalvesLReferee DecisionMiami Open76KGSF2015
8480Paulo SilvaLPts: 2x2, AdvIBJJF NY Pro70KG4F2015
8865Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLChoke from backEuropean Open70KGSF2016
9191Jon Van BurenLPts: 4x2Pan American70KG8F2016
9510Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoLPointsWorld Pro69KG4F2016
9884Jonathan ThomasJonathan ThomasLArmbarWorld Champ.70KGR12016
10369Isaac DoederleinIsaac DoederleinLPts: 6x4Grand Slam LA69KGSF2016
11450Isaque PaivaIsaque PaivaLPts: 4x2European Open70KG8F2017
12022Rubens CharlesRubens CharlesLChoke from backPan American70KG4F2017
12742Jonathan BurenLPointsAtlanta Spring O.70KGF2017
13650Thiago MacedoThiago MacedoLPts: 2x0Grand Slam LA69KGF2017
14032Brandon WalenskyBrandon WalenskyLArmbarMiami Fall Open70KG4F2017
14236Silvio DuranSilvio DuranLPts: 2x0BJJ NY Pro70KG4F2017
14356Thiago MacedoThiago MacedoLArmbarSan Antonio Open70KGSF2017
14699Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoLChoke from backEuropean Open70KG4F2018
15168Hiroaki OtsukaLPts: 6x6, AdvPan American70KG8F2018
15658Gilson NunesGilson NunesLTriangleAtlanta Sp. Open76KGSF2018
15666Matheus GonzagaMatheus GonzagaLChoke from backBoston Sp. Open70KGSF2018
16155Gilson NunesGilson NunesLN/AMiami Spring Open76KGF2018
16451Richar NogueiraRichar NogueiraLArmbarAmerican Nat.70KG4F2018
16614Deandre CorbeDeandre CorbeLPts: 0x0, AdvNashville Open70KGSF2018
16993Johnny TamaJohnny TamaLReferee DecisionLas Vegas Open76KG4F2018
17550Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoLToe holdMiami Fall Open76KGF2018
19991Kalil SilvaLPointsMiami Spring OpenABSSF2019
20081Luciano QueirozLPts: 5x0World Champ.70KGR12019
6964Jean CartagenaWArmbarNY Spring Open70KG4F2015
7040Danilo BarbosaWN/AWorld Pro65KGR12015
7565Vitor RiciottiWChoke from backAmerican Nat.70KG4F2015
8240Paulo SilvaWPointsMiami Open76KG4F2015
8549Spencer GuilliamWPointsHouston Nat. Pro77KGSF2015
8551Kevin MahechaKevin MahechaWPointsHouston Nat. Pro77KGF2015
8552Jose PortilloWReferee DecisionHouston Nat. ProO77KGSF2015
8554Kevin MahechaKevin MahechaWPointsHouston Nat. ProO77KGF2015
8861T. TammilehtoWArmbarEuropean Open70KG4F2016
8990Christopher KriebelWArmbarAtlanta W. Open70KGSF2016
8991Andre MonteiroAndre MonteiroWPts: 4x2Atlanta W. Open70KGF2016
9503Vinicius de LimaWArmbarWorld Pro69KGR12016
9507Murat BesnekWPts: 2x0World Pro69KG8F2016
10367Mario SilvaWArmbarGrand Slam LA69KG4F2016
11447Jakub WitkowskiWPts: 4x4, AdvEuropean Open70KGR12017
13644Thiago LemosWPts: 2x0Grand Slam LA69KGR12017
13646Bruno CarvalhoWSubmissionGrand Slam LA69KG4F2017
13648Brandon WalenskyBrandon WalenskyWPts: 2x0Grand Slam LA69KGSF2017
14695Tomoshige SeraWPts: 4x4, AdvEuropean Open70KGR12018
16154Francisco JacksonWN/AMiami Spring Open76KGSF2018
16773Deandre CorbeDeandre CorbeWPointsOrlando Open70KGSF2018
17546Eduardo MulkiWArmbarMiami Fall Open76KG4F2018
17549Rodrigo FrancioniWArmbarMiami Fall Open76KGSF2018
19982Esdras FelixWPointsMiami Spring Open76KG4F2019
19984Edward HohlWPointsMiami Spring Open76KGSF2019

Brian Mahecha vs André Monteiro

Brian Mahecha vs Jacob Sandoval

Craig Jones Instructional

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