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Vagner Rocha

Vagner Rocha

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Vagner Rocha, commonly known as Ceará is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Pablo Popovitch, known for his achievements in grappling and mixed martial arts (MMA) – having competed for the top promotions in both sports, the ADCC (BJJ) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (MMA). Rocha is also the founder of Vagner Rocha Martial Arts, a well known association in the South of Florida region.

Vagner Rocha Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Vagner Rocha

Nickname: ‘Ceará’ is a word often used to reference Vagner, which is the name of a state in Brazil’s Northwest. Those native of this area are often depicted as Brazil’s ‘hillbillies’ – tough country folk, though also ridiculed by their lack of sofistication and for the size of their heads. The name was associated to Vagner by Jorge Popovitch when Rocha started training because even though he wasn’t born in Ceará, he fit the description.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Crolin Gracie > Jorge Popovitch > Pablo Popovitch > Vagner Rocha

Main Achievements:

  • ADCC US East Trials Champion (2015/2010)
  • ADCC US West Trials Champion (2017)
  • EBI Combat Champion (2017)
  • IBJJF Pans Champion (2007 brown)
  • Florida Grappling League Champion (2009**)
  • Grapplers Quest Champion (2009**)
  • EBI 13 2nd Place (2017)
  • EBI 11 2nd Place (2017)
  • ADCC US West Trials 2nd Place (2013)
  • ADCC 3rd Place (2017)
  • UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro – No-Gi 3rd Place (2011**)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: 50/50 of the Arms

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

Team/Association: Vagner Rocha Martial Arts

Vagner Rocha Biography

Vagner Rocha was born on June 6, 1982 in Nova Friburgo, a Brazilian mountainous region included in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

At the age of 5 Vagner’s family moved to the United States, settling in Fort Lauderdale – South of Florida. It was there that Rocha spent most of his childhood and formative years, being also the place where he was introduced to martial arts, at the age of 7 through taekwondo.

Vagner practiced TKD for 2 years, losing his connection with the martial art as a brown bet, he would re-engage with combat sports as an 18 year old – this time through jiu jitsu. His newfound love for grappling was sparked in his native Brazil 2 years earlier, while on holiday playing around with a cousin who had gained some experience with the sport/martial art. Vagner and this cousin would engage in playful fighting every holiday since they were little and always on even grounds, this changed that Summer when Rocha was totally manhandled, choked and tapped at will. Vagner soon understood his cousin’s new skills were owed to BJJ. It didn’t take long for Rocha to start contemplating signing with a gym, though it took him 24 months to finally join.

Vagner started training jiu jitsu in 2001 with Jorge Popovitch. He was forced to slow down his training soon after he due to the birth of his first child. He put training on he background to provide for his family, but once he found a steady job at a construction site and finished night school he returned, giving his full dedication to grappling.

The Popovitch family (Jorge and son  Pablo) were an integral part of Vagner’s progression in jiu jitsu, awarding him all belts – including his black belt, a promotion that took place at the team’s end of year dinner party on December 2007.

In 2008 Vagner was offered a position as a coach at the BJJ Centre (Popovitch academy). He learned the art of coaching and running a gym there, gradually leaving his construction job behind to focus solely on BJJ. Rocha would later add a career in mixed martial arts to his skill set, a competitive circuit he premiered in, in 2009 and eventually found his way to the sport’s top promotion – the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2011.

2011 was also the year when the Popovitch + Rocha partnership ended and Vagner Rocha Martial Arts (VRMA) was born – Vagner’s own association:.

Rocha is often associated with Fight Sports, another well known academy based in Florida. This link between Vagner and FS comes from Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu whom he met in 2007. Vagner had known of Roberto for long, from bumping into him in jiu jitsu events, but the first time they interacted was that year at a grappling tournament called ‘Copa America’. Both Rocha and Cyborg made it through to the final of CA’s open weight class, and in the process of an epic battle they gained great mutual respect, which led to friendship. Training together on a regular basis, in 2009 Rocha and Abreu formed an alliance and a bigger team was born. It was named The Avengers.

The Avengers were a merged formation, combining Cyborg, Rocha, Pablo Popovitch, Marcus Almeida, Rodrigo Cavaca, Raphael Chaves and a few other well known black belts. The team took the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds by storm in 2010 but eventually fell through – though the union between Rocha and Abreu persisted, someone Vagner has described as both a friend and an inspiration.

Cover photo by Blanca Marisa Garcia @ Combat EBI World Championship

Vagner Rocha Academy Web: vagnerrochamartialarts.com

Vagner Rocha Grappling Record

42 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    20 (48%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    0 (0%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    17 (40%)
  • BY DECISION
    5 (12%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

17 SUBMISSIONS WINS

#214eb8
Short choke
24
4
#86e620
RNC
18
3
#5AD3D1
Reverse triangle
12
2
#d1212a
Armbar
12
2
#fad11b
Triangle armbar
6
1
#f58822
Triangle
6
1
#224aba
Anaconda choke
6
1
#ff9124
Choke
6
1
#bf1f6c
Kimura
6
1
#22c9a5
Submission
6
1
17
(100%) SUBMISSIONS
14 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    6 (43%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    2 (14%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    3 (21%)
  • BY DECISION
    2 (14%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    1 (7%)

3 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES

#214eb8
Footlock
33
1
#86e620
RNC
33
1
#5AD3D1
Inside heel hook
33
1
3
(100%) SUBMISSIONS

Vagner Rocha Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
2408Carlos FerreiraLPointsNoGi Worlds79KG4F2009
2766Matt ArroyoLPointsMMAC GrapplingABSF2011
3193Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLFootlockADCC77KGR12011
3987Diego BorgesDiego BorgesLPointsWorld Champ.82KGR12012
4300G. TononLPointsADCC US Trials77KGF2013
7822Otavio SousaOtavio SousaLReferee DecisionADCC77KG4F2015
7870Joao RochaJoao RochaLPts: 3x0ADCCABS4F2015
10488AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmLDQF2W Pro 1477KGSPF2016
10563Gordon RyanGordon RyanDN/ASapateiro 2ABSSPF2016
11716Gordon RyanGordon RyanLRNCEBI 1177KGF2017
12899DJ JacksonDJ JacksonLPts: 25x8Grappling Pro77KGSPF2017
13502Lucas LepriLucas LepriLReferee DecisionADCC77KGSF2017
13795Garry TononGarry TononLInside heel hookEBI 1370KGF2017
14189Gilson NunesGilson NunesLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds73KGR22017
14247Jared DoppJared DoppLPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi WorldsABSR12017
1836David VieiraWPointsCopa AmericaABSF2008
2764A. AgazarmWTriangle armbarMMAC GrapplingABS4F2011
2765Corey HillWReverse triangleMMAC GrapplingABSSF2011
2779UnknownWRNCFGLABSR12011
2780UnknownWRNCFGLABS4F2011
2781UnknownWReverse triangleFGLABSSF2011
2782Danilo VillefortWPts: 6x0FGLABSF2011
2783Edson DinizWPts: 2x0FGL77KGF2011
3159UnknownWTriangleADCC EC Trials77KGR12011
3160UnknownWAnaconda chokeADCC EC Trials77KGR22011
3161UnknownWArmbarADCC EC Trials77KG4F2011
3162UnknownWChokeADCC EC Trials77KGSF2011
3163Tony TiptonWPointsADCC EC Trials77KGF2011
4287Anton YalchWKimuraCopa AmericaABS4F2013
4288Jeremy YorkWShort chokeCopa AmericaABSSF2013
4289Dan MartinezWPointsCopa AmericaABSF2013
4297Ed CummingsWPointsADCC US Trials77KG4F2013
4299Enrico CoccoEnrico CoccoWReferee DecisionADCC US Trials77KGSF2013
7095UnknownWPointsADCC US Trials77KG8F2015
7098UnknownWPointsADCC US Trials77KG4F2015
7101Jonathan SatavaJonathan SatavaWPointsADCC US Trials77KGSF2015
7102Magid HageWPointsADCC US Trials77KGF2015
7815Milton VieiraWPts: 2x0ADCC77KGR12015
7865Romulo BarralRomulo BarralWPts: 2x0ADCCABSR12015
11707Joe BaizeWPointsEBI 1177KGR12017
11712Sergio ArdilaSergio ArdilaWShort chokeEBI 1177KG4F2017
11714Craig JonesCraig JonesWPointsEBI 1177KGSF2017
12162Edmund KimWPts: 3x0ADCC WC Trials77KGR12017
12177Werther MarcialesWRNCADCC WC Trials77KGR22017
12190Will DurkeeWArmbarADCC WC Trials77KG8F2017
12196Stephen MartinezWSubmissionADCC WC Trials77KG4F2017
12201Jonathan SatavaJonathan SatavaWReferee DecisionADCC WC Trials77KGSF2017
12202AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWReferee DecisionADCC WC Trials77KGF2017
13493Tero PyylampiWPts: 3x0ADCC77KGE12017
13499DJ JacksonDJ JacksonWReferee DecisionADCC77KG4F2017
13504Garry TononGarry TononWPts: 2x0ADCC77KG3RD2017
13785Issa AbleWPointsEBI 1370KGR12017
13791PJ BarchWPointsEBI 1370KG4F2017
13794Nathan OrchardWPointsEBI 1370KGSF2017
14184Nicolas ReinerWShort chokeNoGi Worlds73KGR12017
14316Dustin AkbariWReferee DecisionF2W Pro 5882KGSPF2018
15080Bill CooperBill CooperWShort chokeF2W Pro 6877KGSPF2018

Vagner Rocha vs Eddie Cummings

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