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Rafael Mendes - The King of Featherweight BJJ Division

Rafael Mendes - The King of Featherweight BJJ Division

1. Rafael Mendes Details

Rafael Mendes Details
Name  Rafael Mendes 
Pro BJJ Record 88-7-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
Nickname Rafa
Date of Birth 20 June 1989
Age  34 years old
Height 5′ 9″  
Weight 154 Ib / 70 Kg
Born Rio Claro, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Last fight 2012
Weight Division (70 kg / 154.5 lbs)
Career Disclosed Earning N/A
Fought out of  Brazil
College/university N/A
Foundation Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Belt Rank 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Lineage Carlos Gracie -> Carlson Gracie -> Andre Pederneiras -> Ramon Lemos -> Rafael Mendes
Team Association Art of Jiu-Jitsu (AOJ).
Favorite Position/ Technique RNC, Leg-Drag Guard Pass, Berimbolo & 50-50 Guard
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2. Rafael Mendes Biography

2.1. Who is Rafael Mendes?

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”

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).

Rafael Mendes Family And  Personal Life
Rafael Mendes Family And  Personal Life

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.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2012 Pan Ams 2012 Rubens Cobrinha Win Submission by Armbar N/A Lightweight

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.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2012 Pan Ams 2012 Justin Rader Win Triangle Choke F Lightweight

4. Rafael’s Record/ Medals

ADCC World Championship

Year Medals
2009 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2011 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2013 Silver Silver Medal Icon

ADCC South American Championship

Year Medals
2009 Gold Gold Medal Icon

World Championship

Year Medals
2009 Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2010 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2011 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2012 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2013 Silver Silver Medal Icon
2014 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2015 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2016 Gold Gold Medal Icon

Pan American Championship

Year Medals
2012 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2013 Gold Gold Medal Icon

Brazilian National Championship

Year Medals
2010 Gold Gold Medal Icon

World Cup Abu Dhabi

Year Medals
2009 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2010 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2011 Silver Silver Medal Icon

No-Gi World Cup

Year Medals
2011 Gold Gold Medal Icon
2011 Silver Silver Medal Icon

San Francisco International Open

Year Medals
2013 Gold Gold Medal Icon

5. Rafael’s Main Achievements (Belt)

5.1. Achievement as a Black Belt

Year Position Event
2010 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2011 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2012 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2014 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2015 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2016 1st place IBJJF World Championship
2009 1st place ADCC world Championship
2011 1st place ADCC world Championship
2012 1st place IBJJF pans Championship
2011 1st place IBJJF pans Championship
2009 1st place IBJJF European Open
2010 1st place IBJJF European Open
2014 1st place IBJJF European Open
2009 Ist place Abu Dhabi Pro
2010 Ist place Abu Dhabi Pro
2010 1st place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals
2013 2nd place IBJJF World Championship
2013 2nd place ADCC World Championship
2011 2nd place Abu Dhabi Pro

5.2. Rafael’s Colored Belt Main Achievements

Year Belts Event Position
2006 IBJJF World Championship Blue 1st
2007 IBJJF World Championship Purple 1st
2008 IBJJF World Championship Brown 1st
2006 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Blue 1st
2007 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals Purple 1st

6. Rafael Mendes Achievements By Weight Class

Year Weight Class
2009, 2011, 2013 -66 kg   

ADCC South American Championship

Year Weight Class
2009 -66kg

World Championship

Year Weight Class
2009 to 2016 -70 kg

Pan American Championship

Year Weight Class
2012, 2013 -70 kg

Brazilian  National Championship

Year Weight Class
2010 70 kg

World Cup

Year Weight Class
2009, 2010, 2011 -65 kg

No-Gi World Cup

Year Weight Class
2011 -65 kg
2011  Absolute

San Francisco International Open

Year Weight Class
2013 -70 kg

7. Rafael Mendes Grappling Record Breakdown

100 Matches 93 Wins 7 Losses
By points 26 1
By Advantage 5 1
By Submission 59 0
By Decision 2 4
By Penalties 1 0
By DQ 0 1

7.1 Guilherme Mendes Submission Record Breakdown

Submission Method 59 Wins 0 Loss
Armbar 19 0
RNC Choke 4 0
Choke 3 0
Brabo Choke 3 0
Kimura 2 0
Anaconda Choke 1 0
Cross Choke 1 0
Choke from Back 13 0
Wrist Lock 4 0
Triangle 3 0
Triangle Armbar 3 0
Bow and Arrow 2 0
Inverted Triangle 1 0

8. Rafael Mendes Submission/Grappling Match History

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2008 Capital Challenge Michael Reyna W Choke 4F 70KG
2008 Capital Challenge Mario Reis W Points SF 70KG
2008 Capital Challenge Rubens Charles L Points F 70KG
2009 Deep X III Katsuya Toida W RNC SPF NA
2009 World Pro Van Baardewijk W Triangle R1 65KG
2009 World Pro Robson Moura W Points 4F 65KG
2009 World Pro Renato Tavares W Pts:6x0 SF 65KG
2009 World Pro Rubens Charles W points F 65KG
2009 Pan American Rodrigo Ranieri W Pts: 14x6 4F 70kG
2009 Pan American Rubens Charles L DQ SF 70kG
2009 ADCC Jayson Patino W Triangle R1 66KG
2009 ADCC Justin Rader W Anaconda 4F 66KG
2009 ADCC Leonardo Vieira W RNC SF 66KG
2009 ADCC Rubens Charles W ADDC SF 66KG
2009 World Champion Carlos Lemos W Pts: 4x0 4F 70kg
2009 World Champion Rubens Charles L Referee Decision SF 70kg
2009 European Wellington  Dias W Armbar SF 70kg
2009 European Renan Borges W Pts:2x0 F 70kg
2010 WPC SD Trails Denilson Pimenta W Pts:2x0 SF 70 KG
2010 WPC trails Denilson Pimenta W RNC SF 65 KG
2010 WPC Trails Theodoro Canal W Pts:4x2 F 65KG
2010 World Pro Guilherme Mendes W 4x2 F 65KG
2010 Brasileiro Rubens Charles W Pts:4x2 F 70 KG
2010 World Champion Ryan Hall W Pts:5x2 R1 70 KG
2010 World Champion Gustavo Caprio W RNC R2 70 KG
2010 World Champion Daisuke Nakamura W Armbar 4F 70 KG
2010 World Champion Denilson Pimenta W RNC SF 70 KG
2010 World Champion Rubens Charles W Pts:4x4, Adv F 70KG
2011 World Pro Marcelino Freitas W Brabo Choke R1 65KG
2011 World Pro Gustavo Falciroli W RNC 4F 65 KG
2011 World Pro Bruno Malfacine W Pts:7x0 SF 65 KG
2011 World Pro Augusto Mendes L Referee Decision F 65 KG
2011 World Pro No-Gi Glimar Oliveira W Points 4F ABS
2011 World P. No-Gi Rodolfo Vieira W Referee F ABS
2011 World Champ. Daisuke Nakamura W Choke RDS 70 KG
2011 World Champ. Justin Rader W Choke RDS 70 KG
2011 World Champ. Leo Saggioro W Inverted Triangle 4F 70 KG
2011 World Champ. Mario Reis W Pts:4x2 SF 70 KG
2011 World Champ. Augusto Mendes W Pts 4x4, Adv F 70 KG
2011 World Champ. Augusto Mendes W Pts4x4, Adv F 70 KG
2011 ADCC Bruno Frazatto W Pts: 6x0 R1 70 KG
2011 ADCC Justin Rader W RNC 4F 66KG
2011 ADCC Rubens Moura W Points SF 66KG
2011 Pan American Andre Monteiro W Armbar 4F 70 kg
2011 Pan American Justin Rader W Triangle 4F 70KG
2011 Pan American Mario Reis W Wrist Lock SF 70 KG
2012 Pan American Rubens Charles W Armbar F 70 KG
2012 World Champion Sandro Batata W Brabo choke R2 70 KG
2012 World Champion Cristiano Renato W Kimura R3 70 KG
2012 World Champ Takayuki Koyama W RNC 4F 70 KG
2012 World Champ Mario Reis W Pts;2x0 SF 70 KG
2012 World Champ. Rubens Charles W Referee Decision F 70 kG
2012 Houston Open Andre Monteiro W Brabo Choke F 70 KG
2013 Pan American Renato Vieira W ArmBar 4F 70 KG
2013 Pan America Mario Reis W PTS;2x0 SF 70 KG
2013 Pan America Rubens Charles W Armbar F 70 KG
2013 World Champ Mayko Borges W Armbar 4F 70 KG
2013 World Champ Mario Reis W Adv SF 70 KG
2013 World Champion Augusto Mendes L Pts:2x2, Adv F 70 KG
2013 ADDC Y. Takahito W Kimura R1 70 KG
2013 ADCC Tesu Suzuki W Armbar 4F 66 KG
2013 ADCC Joao Miyao W Pts 2x0 SF 66 KG
2013 ADCC Rubens Charles L Referee Decision F 66 KG
2013 SF Open Geoffrey Villareal W Armbar SF 70 KG
2013 Houston Open Gustavo Carpio W Wrist Lock SF 70 KG
2013 Rickson Cup Unknown W Triangle Armbar 4F 70 KG
2013 Rickson Cup Unknown W Armbar SF 70 Kg
2013 Rickson Cup Unknown W Armbar SF 70 KG
2014 European Gianni Grippo W Pts:5x0 F 70 Kg
2014 European Paulo Miyao W Pts:3x0 F 70 Kg
2014 Metamoris Clark Gracie Draw N/A SPF ABS
2014 World Champ Tumas Kristen W RNC RDS 70 KG
2014 World Champ. Nicholas Araujo W RNC RDS 70 KG
2014 World Champ Gianni Grippo W RNC 4F 70 KG
2014 World Champion Mario Reis W RNC SF 70 KG
2014 World Champion Rubens Charles W Pts; 10x8 F 70 KG
2014 Rickson Cup Yagi Vicente W Triangle Armbar R1 70 KG
2014 Rickson Cup Tsukada Ichitaro W WristLock R2 70 KG
2014 Rickson Cup Hirao Yuto W Cross Choke 4F 70 KG
2014 Rickson Cup Okamoto Yuji W Armbar SF 70 KG
2014 Rickson Cup Charles Gaspar W Bow and Arrow SF ABS
2015 Rickson Cup Osvaldo Moizinho W Choke from Back SF ABS
2015 Berkut Open Osvaldo Moizinho W Berkut Open NoGi SPF ABS
2015 World Champ. Philipe D. Monica W Choke from back 4F 70 KG
2015 World Champ. Mario Reis W Wrist Lock SF 70 KG
2015 World Champ. Rubens Charles W Pts:6x4 F 70 KG
2015 Bull Terrier Cup Unknown W Armbar 4F 70 Kg
2015 Bull Terrier Cup Unknown W Armbar SF 70 KG
2015 Bull Terrier Cup Unknown W Armbar F 70 KG
2015 Bull Terrier Cup Unknown W Armbar 4F 70 KG
2016 San Antonio Open Brian Stuebner W Armbar 4F 70 KG
2016 San Antonio Open Isaac Doederlein W Pts:0x0, Adv SF 70 KG
2016 Las Vegas Open Gabriel Marangoni W Armbar F 70 KG
2016 Las Vegas Open Vito Paschoal W Armbar SF 70 KG
2016 Las Vegas Open Samir Chantre W Armbar F 70 KG
2016 World Champ. Ichitaro Tsukada W Choke from back R2 70 KG
2016 World Champ. Leo Saggioro W Pts:6x0 4F 70 KG
2016 World Champ. Osvaldo Moizinho W Triangle Armbar SF 70 KG
2016 World Champ. Marcio Moizinho W Pts: 10x10, Adv F 70 KG

9. Rafael Mendes Historic Fight Links

Rafael Mendes vs Rubens Cobrinha | Pan Ams 2012

Rafael Mendes vs Justin Rader | Pan Ams 2012

Rafael Mendes vs Gustavo Falciroli | WP 2011

Rafael Mendes: Berimbolo Evolution

RAFAEL MENDES HL 2009

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