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Marcelo Mafra

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Heel Hook Instructional by John Danaher

Marcelo Mafra, commonly known as ‘Lapela’, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Demian Maia, having worked extensively with other well-known instructors such as Everdan Olegário (Mestre Dan), Fernando Tererê, Lucas Leite and Leonardo Vieira. Mafra is well known for his achievements as a competitor on the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit, with medals at the Brazilian, Pan, World NoGi and World Masters championships.

Marcelo Mafra Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Marcelo França Mafra

Nickname: The nickname Lapela (meaning lapel in Portuguese) started by way of Marcelo’s training partner Sergio Moraes when they shared the mats at the COHAB academy in São Paulo. Mafra was already a regular competitor at the time and used his judo experience to strangle many of his opponents with lapel chokes. For that reason, Moraes started calling him Mr. Lapela and the name ended up being associated with Marcelo throughout his career.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti (Cavalcante) > Fabio Gurgel > Demian Maia > Marcelo Mafra

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Masters (2016 Master 1)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World NoGi (2014/2016 Adult, 2017 Master 1)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan American (2018 Master 1)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian NoGi Nationals (2018 Master 1)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2016 Master 1)
  • 1st Place IBJJF San Diego Open (2018)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Las Vegas Open (2013/2014/2016)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World NoGi Championship (2013)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2013)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan No-Gi Championship (2015)
  • 2nd Place CBJJ Brazilian NoGi Nationals (2015)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World NoGi Championship (2011/2015)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF American Nationals Championship (2010**)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World NoGi Championship (2008 brown)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2008 brown)

Favorite Position/Technique: Half-Guard

Weight Division: Peso Médio (82,30 kg / 181.5 lbs)

Team/Association: Checkmat

Marcelo Mafra Biography

Marcelo Mafra was born in 1985 in the city of Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil.

It was in Manaus that Marcelo was introduced to martial arts, namely judo, at the age of 8, and it was with the Japanese art of throwing that Mafra discovered his interest for competition, a love he carried with him when he joined jiu-jitsu.

Mafra conquered a few junior judo tournaments but eventually moved to the São Paulo district of Itaquera, which forced him to interrupt his training. As a 12-year-old, he joined a jiu-jitsu class with the well known Cohab team of “Master Dan” Olegário, a coach who produced several high-level grapplers such as Serginho Moraes, Dimitrius Souza, Guilherme Augusto to name a few.

At first, Mafra used jiu-jitsu as a past time activity, that changed when he turned 18, a time when Marcelo started taking his focus to a professional level. He was a blue belt at the time. This mindset would lead Lapela to Fernando Tererê as a purple belt, as did many of Olegário’s students, who had a very close relationship with the TT team (Tererê/Telles).

Under the guidance of Tererê, Lapela met an array of future BJJ legends. Names such as Cobrinha, Lucas Lepri, André Galvão and many more, all training under one roof, and it was Fernando who graded Lapela to brown belt.

After Fernando Tererê ran into a few personal problems and abandoned the sport (2004), Marcelo trained with a few different coaches under the Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu academy banner. One of those was Demian Maia, someone who helped Mafra tremendously as a brown belt, providing the opportunity for Lapela to move to the United States in 2007.

In 2008 Mafra was promoted to black belt by Demian Maia. Also by the end of that same year that Lapela joined the Checkmat Academy, training extensively with another competitor who had recently arrived in the country, Lucas Leite as well as João Assis, Robert Drysdale, André Galvão and more.

By 2013 Marcelo Mafra opened his own academy in California, a gym that would expand into 3 in the following years, with extensive affiliated academies.

Marcelo Mafra Grappling Record

46 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    18 (39%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    5 (11%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    18 (39%)
  • BY DECISION
    5 (11%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

18 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
RNC
28
5
#86e620
Straight ankle lock
11
2
#5AD3D1
Outside heel hook
6
1
#d1212a
Choke from back
6
1
#fad11b
Violin armlock
6
1
#f58822
Submission
6
1
#224aba
Straight anke lock
6
1
#ff9124
Calf slicer
6
1
#bf1f6c
Ankle lock
6
1
#22c9a5
Guillotine
6
1
#fad223
Footlock
6
1
#03861f
Kneebar
6
1
#039a1f
Toe hold
6
1
18
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
27 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    5 (19%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    5 (19%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    7 (26%)
  • BY DECISION
    7 (26%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    2 (7%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (4%)

7 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES

#214eb8
Choke from back
29
2
#86e620
Triangle
29
2
#5AD3D1
Ezekiel
14
1
#d1212a
Toe hold
14
1
#fad11b
Armbar
14
1
7
(100%) SUBMISSIONS

Marcelo Mafra Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
2416Daniel MoraesDaniel MoraesLReferee DecisionNoGi Worlds79KG4F2009
2549Kayron GracieKayron GracieLN/APan American82KG4F2010
3624Victor EstimaVictor EstimaLEzekielPan American82KG4F2012
3890James PuopoloJames PuopoloLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.ABSR22012
4185Bill CooperBill CooperLToe holdGQ UFC ExpoABSF2012
4230Marcus AntelanteMarcus AntelanteLDQNoGi Worlds82KG4F2012
5094JT TorresJT TorresLPts: 2x0NoGi Worlds76KGF2013
5349Lucas rochaLucas rochaLReferee DecisionPan American82KGR12014
5778Victor EstimaVictor EstimaLAdvWorld Champ.82KGRDS2014
6264Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraLChoke from backLong Beach Pro82KGF2014
6846Tim SpriggsTim SpriggsLChoke from backPan American94KG4F2015
7437Vitor OliveiraVitor OliveiraLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.82KG4F2015
8157Otavio SousaOtavio SousaLPts: 2x2, AdvNoGi Pan Ams82KGF2015
8289Felipe CesarFelipe CesarLArmbarBrasileiro NoGi79KGF2015
8408Jonathan SatavaJonathan SatavaLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds79KGSF2015
9005Diego HerzogLTriangleSan Jose OpenABSSF2016
11239John CombsJohn CombsLReferee Decision5 Super League77KGSF2016
12804Diego RamalhoDiego RamalhoLPts: 0x0, AdvLas Vegas Open82KGSF2017
13056Roberto SatoshiRoberto SatoshiLTriangleWorld Champ.76KG8F2017
13600Rodrigo CaporalRodrigo CaporalLReferee DecisionACBJJ 775KG4F2017
13835Garry TononGarry TononLPts: 0x0, PenADCC77KG4F2017
14878Luan CarvalhoLuan CarvalhoLPointsACB 1075KGSPF2018
17175Michael TrassoMichael TrassoLPts: 0x0, AdvLV NG Open79KG4F2018
17857Gilbert BurnsGilbert BurnsLPointsBlack Belt CBD83KGSF2018
19531Servio TulioServio TulioLPenADCC SP Trials77KGR22019
20160Rolando SamsonRolando SamsonLPointsDallas Spring Open82KGSF2019
21104Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLReferee DecisionF2W Pro 12276KGSPF2019
2412Mike FowlerMike FowlerWRNCNoGi Worlds79KG8F2009
2543N/AWPointsPan American82KGR12010
2773Ryan BeauregardRyan BeauregardWStraight ankle lockUFC ExpoN/AN/A2010
2774Anthony CincottaWRNCUFC ExpoN/AN/A2010
2790Nathan MurphyWRNCGrapplers QuestN/AN/A2011
2791Will WeedWOutside heel hookGrapplers QuestN/AN/A2011
3350Clark GracieClark GracieWPts: 2x0No Gi Worlds82KG4F2011
3611Marcos SouzaMarcos SouzaWPts: 2x0Pan American82KGR12012
3617Gabriel GoulartGabriel GoulartWAdvPan American82KGR22012
3878Gabriel RochaWPointsWorld Champ.ABSR12012
4024Tim BruceWChoke from backWorld Champ.82KGR12012
4184Leonard KimWViolin armlockGQ UFC ExpoABSSF2012
4227Matt DarcieWSubmissionNoGi Worlds82KGR12012
4327Javier TorresWStraight anke lockGrapplers QuestN/ASPF2013
5093AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWReferee DecisionNoGi Worlds76KGSF2013
6014Nic RubenNic RubenWRNCNoGi Worlds79KG4F2014
6016Ben HendersonWPts: 3x0NoGi Worlds79KGSF2014
6261Magid HageWAdvLong Beach Pro82KG4F2014
6263Rodrigo FreitasRodrigo FreitasWPts: 4x2Long Beach Pro82KGSF2014
6843Jurandir ConceicaoJurandir ConceicaoWPointsPan American94KGR22015
7434Magid HageWPointsWorld Champ.82KG8F2015
8105Vinicius AgudoWStraight ankle lockDallas NoGi Open79KGSF2015
8107Michael LieraMichael LieraWPts: 2x2, AdvDallas NoGi Open79KGF2015
8155Jonathan SatavaJonathan SatavaWPts: 4x0NoGi Pan Ams82KGSF2015
8284Nicolau EduardoWCalf slicerBrasileiro NoGi79KG4F2015
8287Gabriel TimbóWPointsBrasileiro NoGi79KGSF2015
8403Nic RubenNic RubenWPts: 4x0NoGi Worlds79KG4F2015
8998Gabriel ProcópioWPointsSan Jose Open82KGSF2016
9008Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWAnkle lockSJose NoGi Open82KGF2016
9840Gabriel MarangoniGabriel MarangoniWPts: 6x2Las Vegas Open76KGF2016
10881Marcel GoncalvesMarcel GoncalvesWReferee DecisionNoGi Worlds79KG4F2016
10886Marcos TinocoMarcos TinocoWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds79KGSF2016
10887Jonathan SatavaJonathan SatavaWGuillotineNoGi Worlds79KGF2016
11238Mansher KheraMansher KheraWReferee Decision5 Super League77KG4F2016
11693Ruan OliveiraRuan OliveiraWFootlockADCC RJ77KGR12017
11702Rodrigo ConceicaoRodrigo ConceicaoWRNCADCC RJ77KG4F2017
11706Lucas AraujoWKneebarADCC RJ77KGSF2017
11707Gabriel RolloGabriel RolloWReferee DecisionADCC RJ77KGF2017
12262Jeffrey CummingsWPointsChicago Sp. Open76KGSF2017
12263Joao AlvesWPointsChicago Sp. Open76KGF2017
13043John RickelWToe holdWorld Champ.76KGR12017
13374Richie MartinezRichie MartinezWReferee DecisionFIVE Super LeagueABSSPF2017
13831O. TazaWPts: 2x0ADCC77KGE12017
15215Rodrigo CaporalRodrigo CaporalWPointsACBJJ 1175KGSPF2018
16229Bruno MachadoWPointsSan Diego Open82KGSF2018
16230Rolando SamsonRolando SamsonWAdvSan Diego Open82KGF2018

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