Rafael Mendes, famously known as Rafa Mendes, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt World Champion. Rafael, the king of grappling, became famous because of the perfect execution of the 50/50 guard and berimbolo position. Rafael is also the brother of another Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Guilherme Mendes.
Rafael started BJJ training with his brother Guilherme and under the supervision of his older cousin Thiago Mendes. (Purple Belt under Leonardo Santos at that time) After training for a few months, Thiago realized Rafael’s quick learning pace and decided to create a mutual space to train them with Leonardo Santos at Academy Headquarters.
2.2. Rafael Mendes Amature Fights And BJJ Career
At the Age of 13, Rafael Mendes received his Yellow Belt. At 15, Rafel won more titles and Gold Medals. He fought in the colored belt categories and won many competitions.
2.3. Rafael Mendes Mature Fights And Journey To Black Belt
At 17, he moved to the featherweight category and won the World Championship at the Brown Belt level. At the Age of 18, Rafael was promoted to Black Belt by coach Ramon Lemos. Rafael became the first youngest fighter to become the champion at ADDC at the age of nineteen. Rafael also won his first World Championship in the Black Belt at the age of nineteen.
2.4. Rafael Winning The Second Black Belt Title As A Worldwide Fighter
At 21, Rafael won his second World Title as a Black Belt and became the youngest man to win two consecutive ADCC Titles. At the age of twenty-two, he won his third World Title in the Black Belt division. At the age of 24, Rafael won his fourth World Title and his fifth World title at the age of twenty-five.
2.5. Losing a Fight against Bruno Frazatto
Although he has never competed without BJJ Gi before he was enlisted by Ramon Lemos in ADCC Brazilian Trails, At the age of 17, which proved a very difficult trail for him, and resultantly he had to accept defeat against Bruno Frazatto( who became his friend at Atos)
2.6. Competition in Abu Dhabi
Rafael also won the Jiu-Jitsu World Pro-Abu Dhabi Cup in 2008. For Rafael, it was the world's toughest competition. He was successful in winning the Gold Medal in the ADCC finals. The competition was against Rubens Charles Maciel (the person who was considered the best fighter of 2009 by the Brazilian Press)
2.7. Rafael’s Retirement
He had a remarkable career, he maintained his winning streak. He was considered the best grappler of his generation. Rafael Mendes, at the age of 26, decided to spend time with his family and his work as a coach at his own academy “Art of Jiu-Jitsu” in Costa Mesa, California.
2.8. Rafael Founded His Own Academy “Art of Jiu Jitsu”
He conducted many seminars, Rafael and his brother, Guilherme Mendes who is also a world champion, decided to have a traditional BJJ school to teach. In July 2012, Rafael Mendes and his fellow champion and brother decided to open the academy under the name of “Art of Jai Jitsu” with the help of a long-term sponsor and RVCA founder Pat Tenore.
2.9. Rafael Mendes Family And Personal Life
Rafael Mendes is married to (Samira Mendes) and a father of two kids(a daughter and a son).
3. Rafael Mendes Historic Fights
3.1. Rafael Mendes Vs Rubens Cobrinha
Rafael had an amazing fight with the legendary Rubens Cobrinha. Both fighters toiled to win. Rafael tried an arm-triangle choke, which was very difficult to survive, Cabrinha tried to free himself but Rafael strangled him firmly. Cobrinha had no chance to free himself except tap for submission.
Pan Ams 2012
Submission by Armbar
3.2. Rafael Mendes vs Justin Rader
This is Rafael’s amazing fight with Justin Rader. Rafael tried his favorite armbar but Justin survived it. Finally, Rafael tried Triangle Choke and Justin tapped out.
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