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Rafael Freitas

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Rafael de Freitas, also known by his nickname “Barata”, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt from the Gracie Barra academy best-known for his creation of a shoulder lock submission named by Rafael as the: Baratoplata. Rafael Barata is also an accomplished BJJ competitor having won important titles such as the Pan American and the World Nogi Championship and a successful MMA fighter with several fights in the professional circuit.

Rafael Freitas Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Rafael de Freitas

Nickname: “Barata” means cockroach, the name comes from his youth when he used to play football/soccer and it was given due to his quickness and frenetic pace.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Rafael Freitas

Main Achievements:

  • Pan American Champion (2011)
  • World No Gi Champion (2016 black Master 1, 2007 brown)
  • World No Gi Silver Medallist (2008, 2012)
  • American National No Gi Silver Medallist (2010)
  • Las VegasOpen Silver Medallist (2010)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2007 brown)
  • World Bronze Medallist (2010)
  • World Nogi Bronze Medallist (2015, 2010, 2009)

Favourite Position/Technique: Baratoplata (Shoulder Lock)

Weight Division: Peso Pluma (64kg/141lbs) & Galo (57kg/126lbs)

Team/association: Gracie Barra

Rafael “Barata” Freitas Biography

Rafael Freitas was raised in Brasilia, capital of Brazil and started training martial arts very young. From the age of 5 he began having Capoeira lessons, Capoeira is a famous traditional Brazilian martial art created by the Angolan slaves around the 16th century and it concentrates mainly on kicks. Rafael did not stop here and throughout his childhood he added several other martial arts to his expertise, namely Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai (Thai Boxing). He eventually found Jiu Jitsu at the age of 14 and settled there.

In seeking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to train, Rafael met Alison Brites, the famous Jucão, who had opened an academy in Brasilia, he (Alison) became a great influence in Barata’ progression in BJJ. When Rafael Freitas was a purple belt, the position now called Baratoplata occurred to him during training, in the early days it was created in the form of a bicep slicer submission, which is illegal for purple belts in IBJJF rules, with this being considered a foul Rafael had to rethink the position and adapt it to the rulebook, which he did, making it even better as a shoulder lock technique.

In 2007 Rafael was invited to come to the United States and help at the academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he arrived in the US as a brown belt and was awarded his black belt in 2008 by Carlos Gracie Junior.

Rafael Freitas – Arizona State Championship Absolute Div., 2010

Rafael Freitas Showing the Baratoplata to Renzo Gracie


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  • duda asa norte says:

    esse é o melhor lutador que ja vi em toda minha, mto tecnico, determinado, surpreendente!!Dana White, acorda pra vida, leva o BARATA PRO UFC!!

  • Valmir Amorim says:

    Fico muito feliz em ver a trajetória esportiva desse rapaz… quando adolescente, meu aluno, briguei diversas vezes com ele na tentativa de faze-lo crescer como homem e, sinceramente, depois de algum tempo achei que não resolveria nada. Hoje é um Homem com "H" maiúsculo, e fico muito, mas muito feliz mesmo por ve-lo crescer na vida!!! Parabéns Rafael!!! Abraço.

  • DJ Bola says:

    Realmente o barata surpreendeu a todos com seu carisma e determinação. Baratinha, sucesso em 2012 e que tudo de mais que certo ai na nova caminhada. 2012 vai ser o seu ano. Abração e sucesso.

  • Not only is he a great athlete but also a fantastic coach here in New Mexico. We are lucky to have him!

  • cheeKO says:

    nice submission,good luck for 2012.

  • primo parabéns…SSSucesso…Mil bjs

  • I've recently begun training BJJ and Prof. has been my main instructor for the last 9 months. He is a exemplary teacher, a highly skilled BJJ technician and just an extremely funny, friendly approachable guy. Not to mention that, at 5-0, he is one of the top up and coming flyweights in mma. Parabens, professor!

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