Orlando Sanchez AKA The Cuban Tree Stump - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete

Orlando Sanchez AKA The Cuban Tree Stump - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete

1. Orlando Sanchez’s Details

Name Orlando Mario Sanchez
Pro MMA Record 5-0-1 (W/L/D)
Nickname The Cuban Tree Stump
Date of Birth February 05, 1982
Date of Death December 15, 2022
Nationality American
Born La Canada, California
Height 5’9 ft
Weight 235 Lbs / 106.59KG
Stance Peso Pesadissimo (over 100kg/221lbs)
Last fight April 18, 2015, in CRF
Weight Class Ultra Heavy Weight
Rank Black Belt (Orlando Sanchez has no current regional rankings due to inactivity).
Career Disclosed Earnings N/A
Fought out of Pasadena, California
College/University Gracie Barra School
Trainer/Coach José “Zé
Radiola”, Alberto Crane, and
Romulo Barral
Team Gracie Barra
Foundation Style Guard Passing
Lineage Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Junior -> Jose Olimpio -> Orlando Sanchez

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1.1. Who is Orlando Sanchez?

Orlando Sanchez A.K.A “The Cuban Tree Stump” was born in California, an American-born jiu-jitsu black belt fighter. He competes in the ultra-heavyweight division for Gracie Barra in BJJ tournaments. Orlando Sanchez is also recognized for his life experience, especially for overcoming his drug addiction through jiu-jitsu, a martial art in which he gained the level of black belt in four years, one of the most rapid promotions in American history.

Orlando Sanchez taught in his gym, Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu School in Pasadena. His latest participation was at a Who's #1 heavyweight event in January 2022. He died at the age of 40 on December 15, 2022.

2. Orlando Sanchez’s Early life and Amateur Fighting

Growing up, Orlando was very fond of playing football, so much so that he gained a scholarship to play during college. After finishing college, Orlando couldn't see any path opening up for him, instead turning to partying and drugs to fill the void.

At the age of 26, Orlando started gaining weight as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and fell into depression. He was well aware that if he didn’t make a change, he would be miserable and helpless for the rest of his life.

Orlando first started his training at a Muay Thai gym close to his house in Pasadena, California. Soon after, Orlando started training classes at a Gracie Barra School and fell in love with the art of jiu-jitsu. He loved training at the school since it allowed him to get back in shape and that jiu-jitsu helped him get over his struggles.

His training began under the guidance of his trainers Jose “Ze Radiola” Olimpio, Romulo Barral, and Alberto Crance.

Orlando spent hours on the mat every day, honing his jiu-jitsu skills to perfection. His trainers were unable to pry him away from the mat.

His passion for BJJ was evident and he soon planned to start practicing the sport professionally.

3. Orlando Sanchez’s Historic Fights

Within a short time, Orlando discovered that he had a natural talent for grappling and began competing regularly. Orlando started participating in jiu-jitsu competitions if they  were being held in his area. He spent less than a year as a white belt before being promoted to the blue belt rank. In this weight class, Orlando Sanche dominated the super heavyweight and absolute divisions. He won tournaments including the IBJJF Pan American Championship, Brazilian Nationals, Grapplers Quest, and the Gracie Nationals.

Orlando had numerous opportunities to train with Gracie Barra’s network of outstanding trainers and competitors including Draculino, Romulo Barral, and Jose Olmpio after completing his training with Alberto Crane.

Following a successful competitive year as a brown belt, Orlando won major tournaments in both his weight class and open weight divisions.

Rising to the ranking of brown belt in just three years of training. Orlando became a close friend of Olympio. Orlando was given his black belt in September 2012 by Radiola.

3.1. Mixed Martial Art(MMA) Career

Orlando Sanchez, also pursued mixed martial arts (MMA) from 2010 to 2015 under the training of Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, who encouraged him to learn MMA. He would  eventually become one of Fabricio Werdum’s head training partners.

Orlando fought his first match in 2010, a TKO win in under 13 seconds. He fought three  more matches in 2011 and 2012 where he won two tournaments by TKO and the third  by submission. Before announcing his retirement in 2015, he took his last TKO, where he earned an undefeated record of 5-0-1.

3.2. ADDC Championship 2015

The ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships is an elite, invitation-only tournament that pits the world's top grapplers against one another. In 2014, Orlando qualified for the 2015 ADCC Championship in the +99 kg division held in Sao Paulo.

Orlando, being the underdog of the stacked division at the time. He fought against world champions like Joao Gabriel, Dean Lister, and Vinny Magalhães.

3.3. ADDC Championship 2017 & 2019

To defend his title, Orlando returned to the 2017 ADCC Championship where he won his first match 2-0, securing his place in the quarter-finals against Tom DeBlass.

In the 2019 ADDC Championship, Orlando lost in a shocking upset in the first round. He lost by points to DDS mastermind Nicky Rodriguez.

4. Overcoming Drug Addiction

Sanchez posted a picture on his Instagram page with the caption: “26 years old white belt. My first Pan Ams Gold Medal. I was 340 lbs, dead broke, trying to quit a cocaine addiction that had been stealing my life from me daily for six years straight. I was suffering from massive depression, blood pressure was so high I couldn't pass any physical. There was no way I should have been alive.This emotion in the picture says it all, I had found a reason to live. Not a day goes by where I don't thank Jiu-jitsu for what it has done for me. I’m wishing all the best out of all the competitors at this Pan Ams.”

5. Orlando Sanchez with Sean Strickland - The Controversy

In 2021, Orlando and UFC fighter Sean Strickland got into a fight that went viral. They both were training at RCVA Training Center in LA. Sean asked Orlando to fight a grappling round with him. Orlando over hooked his arm and torqued it with a standing arm lock, nearly breaking Strickland’s arm. Sean had a fight coming up, he was irritated that he almost got his arm broken. The video went viral, for which they both were criticized by the BJJ and MMA community.

5.1. ADDC Championship 2022

Despite having several controversies in the BJJ community, Sanchez returned to compete against Max Gimenis at the ADCC World Championship but lost the bout via submission.

Orlando Sanchez’s Sudden Death

On December 15, 2022, one of the elite fighters and professors, Orlando Sanchez, died at the age of 40. It was discovered that he died due to an accidental overdose of banned drugs, particularly Fenatnyle and Methamphetamine. The news of his death was announced on his academy, Gracie Barra’s official social media account.

“The news of Professor Orlando Sanchez death saddens us. Thank you for being an amazing friend and one of the greatest athletes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others and spreading the Jiu-Jitsu legacy worldwide. Rest in peace, Professor Orlando Sanchez. You will always be remembered”.

6. Orlando Sanchez’s Championships and Accomplishments

  • ADCC World Champion
  • IBJJF World Champion
  • 3x Pan American Champion
  • Gold Brazilian National Champion
  • Pro MMA Fighter

7. Orlando Sanchez’s Main Achievements

Position Event Year
2nd ADCC World Championship 2017
1st ADCC World Championship 2015

8. Orlando Sanchez’s Main Achievements (Belts)

Position Belt Event Year
1st Brown IBJJF Pans Championship 2012
1st Brown CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 2012
1st Blue IBJJF World Championship 2010
2nd Blue IBJJF World Championship 2010
2nd Blue IBJJF World Championship 2009

9. Orlando Sanchez’s Professional Record Breakdown

Professional Record Breakdown
22 Matches 13 Wins 9 Losses
By Submission 2(15%) 2 (22%)
By Points 3(23%) 3(33%)
By Decision 6(46%) 1(11%)
By Advantages 2(15%) 0(0%)
By Penalties 0(0%) 2(22%)
By DQ 0(0%) 1(11%)

10. Submission Methods W/L

2 Submission Wins Percentage
1 RNC 50%
1 Arm Lock/Crucifix 50%

1 Submission Loss Percentage
Short Choke 50%
Verbal Tap 50%

11. Orlando Sanchez’s Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2022 ADCC Max Gimenis L Verbal Tap R1 99KG
2021 WNO Champ. Tex Johnson L DQ 4F ABS
2021 WNO Champ. Rida Haisam L Short choke RPC ABS
2019 ADCC Mateusz Juskowiak W Pts: 2x0 R1 O99KG
2019 ADCC Nick Rodriguez L Pts: 0x0, Pen 4F O99KG
2017 ADCC Hideki Sekine W Pts: 2x0 E1 99+KG
2017 ADCC Tom DeBlass W Referee Decision 4F 99+KG
2017 ADCC Jared Dopp W Referee Decision SF 99+KG
2017 ADCC Marcus Almeida L Pts: 3x0 F 99+KG
2015 ADCC Janne-Pekka W Armlock f/ crucifix R1 O99KG
2015 ADCC Dean Lister W Referee Decision 4F O99KG
2015 ADCC Vinny Magalhaes W Referee Decision SF O99KG
2015 ADCC Jared Dopp W Referee Decision F O99KG
2013 Pan American James Puopolo W Adv R1 ABS
2013 Pan American Leandro Lo W Referee Decision R2 ABS
2013 Pan American Andre Galvao L Referee Decision 4F ABS
2013 World Champ. Fernando Nara W Pts: 2x2, Adv RDS ABS
2013 World Champ. Pedro Mello W Points RDS ABS
2013 World Champ. Leandro Lo L Pts: 6x0 RDS ABS
2013 World Champ. Abraham Marte L Pts: 8x0 R1 O100KG
2013 ADCC Kitner Mendoza W RNC R1 O99KG
2013 ADCC Roberto Abreu L Pen 4F O99KG

12. Orlando Sanchez’s MMA Professional Breakdown 

6 matches 5 wins 0 losses
By knockout 4 0
By submissions 1 0
Draws 1

13. Orlando Sanchez’s MMA Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Event Year Weight Round
Juan Miranda  W TKO (knees and punches) XVT 5 2010 N/A 1
William Wheeler  W TKO (punches) National Fight Alliance 2011 N/A 1
Jullian Collins  W Submission Maxx FC 16 2012 N/A 1
C.J Leveque  W TKO (submission to punches) WFC – Resolution 2012 N/A 1
Robert Gonzalez D - WFC 4 2013 N/A 1
Cesar Stubbert Cortez  W TKO (punches) CRF 16 2015 117.9 kg 1

14. Video Links

Marcus Buchecha 🇧🇷 vs Orlando Sanchez 🇺🇸 final Adcc 2017

Orlando Sanchez vs UFC Fighter Sean Strickland | The Full Story Behind The Viral Gym Scuffle

Haisam Rida Taps Orlando Sanchez With A Nasty Crank

This week in BJJ Episode 13 with Orlando Sanchez Part 1

Photo Credit: @orlandogb72

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