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Sergio Rios

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Sergio Rios, also known as “Pichilinga”, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Marcos Matos of the Academia Dojô Jiu-Jitsu, having also worked extensively with Helder Menezes and Eduardo Telles at team 99 Jiu-Jitsu (Ninety-Nine BJJ) headquarters gym in California. Well known for his aggressive and crowd-pleasing jiu-jitsu style, Rios made his career in BJJ by conquering important titles of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) tournament circuit while also maintaining a winning streak in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Sergio Rios Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Sergio Raimundo Rios da Silva

Nickname: Sergio is often referenced as “Pichilinga” which is the name of a strain of flea (small insect/parasite) in Brazilian/Portuguese jargon. Rios was given the nickname when he was a white belt by one of his senior teammates. Rios started being called Pichilinga due to his sparring style when he stuck to people like glue (or a parasite). He was lanky, wiry strong and the name suited him so well, it followed Rios’ career from then on.

Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rickson Gracie > Helder Menezes > Marcos Matos > Sergio Rios

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place ACBJJ North American Championship (2018)
  • 1st Place CBJJE Brazilian Nationals (2010)
  • 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, TYO (2018 Master 1)
  • 2nd Place ACBJJ World Championship (2018)
  • 3rd Place SJJIF World Championship (2017)

Main Achievements (Masters):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2018 / 2021**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Masters World Championship (2020 / 2022)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2019 / 2021**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2020 / 2022**)
  • 1st place IBJJF European Open (2020** / 2022)
  • 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2021** / 2022)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Masters North America (2022)
  • 1st place AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2019)
  • 1st place AJP Grand Slam, LA (2019)
  • 1st place AJP Grand Slam, LDN (2020)
  • 1st place AJP Grand Slam, RIO (2020)
  • 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, MSW (2020)
  • 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, ABD (2019 / 2020)
  • 2nd place IBJJF European Open (2022*)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Masters World Championship (2022*)
  • 3rd Place AJP Grand Slam, LDN (2018)

* Absolute
** Weight and Absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Armbar

Weight Division: Meio Pesado (88,30 kg / 195.0 lbs)

Team/Association: Rasai Jiu Jitsu

Sergio Rios Biography

Sergio Rios was born on July 31, 1988, in Campo Formoso, a municipality in the state of Bahia in the North-East region of Brazil where Sergio spent his formative years.

Growing up, like the majority of Brazilian children, Rios was into football (soccer), a sport he practiced recreationally. At the age of 15, Sergio initiated jiu-jitsu, an action taken by the influence of his brother – Junior Rios, then a purple belt who would later also become a black belt.

Rios’ first training experience (2003) was with coach Marcos Matos, at a local gym named Academia Dojô Jiu-Jitsu, located in Sergio’s hometown. Pichilinga remained under Matos’ tuition throughout all belts, including his black belt – which he achieved on November 20, 2009.

The Academia Dojô team had been founded by the late Helder Menezes (RIP), who had moved to the United States and left the academy on the hands of his trusted pupil, Marcos Matos. Helder still kept in touch with the team and seeing the talent in young Sergio Rios, in 2013, Menezes challenged Pichilinga to move to the US to earn a living there as a professional fighter and grappler. Rios accepted the offer and moved to San Diego, California. Once there he began training also under one of Helder’s best friends, Eduardo Telles at the Ninety-Nine (99) team headquarters.

Menezes passed away in 2014 and Sergio Rios started training almost exclusively with Telles from then on, although still representing and keeping close contact with the Dojô academy in Brazil.

While in the United States Rios kickstarted a successful mixed martial arts career, though remaining active in the BJJ circuit with and without the gi. In preparation for the cage, Rios became well-versed in Muai Thay, earning a red kruang (rank) from coach Alex Palm at Blue Ocean Muay Thai.

In 2022, Rios opened his own academy in San Diego, California, and started his own team, Rasai Jiu Jitsu.

Sergio Rios vs Fellipe Trovo (2019 Gi)

Sergio Rios vs Fellipe Trovo (2018 NoGi)

Sergio Rios vs Cassio Lisboa

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