Rafael Mendes is no longer a rookie at black belt. In 2009, the Ramon Lemos pupil took gold the prestigious ADCC of Barcelona after a 40-minute war with Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”, where he attacked the four-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion from start to finish.
Respected for what he achieved there, after teaching class to Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed, there’s something Rafael Mendes hasn’t done yet: compete at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship, this year to take place from the 28th to the 31st of January, in Portugal. Sign-ups are open. To secure your place, click here.
“I’ll make my debut in the European as a black belt. I’m dying to get to the championship. We’ll get there on fire. I’ll fight for 40 minutes if need be, which is why we’ve been doing physical conditioning work with Thiago Mendes. The goal is to show up with 10 lungs’ worth of gas.”
Rafael Mendes’s confirmation at the European sets the featherweight division alight, since Mário Reis and Wellington Megaton guaranteed GRACIEMAG.com they will be there, too.
We’ll get there on fire. I’ll fight for 40 minutes if need be”
“I’ve never competed at a European before, but it seems to me to be a great event, which grows a lot with every year. We’ll be in all the main championships. The European kicks off the season. After the tournament Guilherme and I will spend a week in Europe teaching seminars; we’ll go to Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Spain.”
When asked whether brother Guilherme Mendes will remain in the light featherweight category, Rafael confirmed, “Yes, I’ll go as a featherweight and Guilherme will go in as a light featherweight with Ed Ramos.”