Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the Lightweight Grappling scene.
Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more - find more of his 2013 Worlds Match Breakdowns EXCLUSIVELY at http://microbjj.com/championbreakdown
There are few names that ring bells in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community the way that Rafael Mendes does. An innovator that is helping progress the sport at such a young age, Rafael is the top-of-the-crop when it comes to BJJ talent. A mainstay in the elite competitons, it was no surprise that Rafael made his way to the 2013 World Championship finals with ease.
Meeting him there was Augusto Mendes, a man for whom Rafael had met in the 2011 World finals, and took home the victory. However, the man they call Tanquinho—“Little Tank”—had vengeance on his mind and was not about to let another IBJFF Finals slip past him, especially if it was the same man who defeated him in the 2011 finals.
The question on everyone’s mind: is this going to be 2011 all over again, or will it be different? Staying One Step Ahead Of Your Opponent This is the best way I can describe how Augusto Mendes looked in this match. Little Tank knew just how dangerous Rafael Mendes can be, and did not want him to find his groove and rhythm. Knowing he had to set the pace, Augusto came out and put Mendes on his back and made him work from there. Well aware of the Berimbolo sweep—Rafa’s go-to move—Augusto did a fantastic job of eliminating it from the match, making sure he held dominant position through out.
Check out Tanquinho's entire 2013 Worlds Interview and match breakdown right here Even as the match grew older, and as Rafael began obtaining the more dominant position, Augusto kept his cool and was able to control the pace of the match, and didn’t allow it to get the better of him.
As time ticked away, the crowd began sensing it, as did Augusto; this could actually happen! Then it happened; Rafael began to escape, getting back to his feet. Hot on his trail, Augusto leaped up and slammed Rafael straight to the mat and the crowd erupted!
Next thing you know; it’s over. Augusto has toppled the King they call Rafael! The Meaning Of The Victory The meaning behind the victory runs deep for Little Tank. As I previously mentioned, Rafael had gotten the better of him back in 2011, and Augusto knew a win would wash away the agony of that match. Yet it doesn’t stop there.
Heading into that match, Rafael boasted an astounding 38 straight victories in the premier grappling events! For Augusto to end that streak is mind blowing, and gives him some serious bragging rights. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Little Tank can now say that he has a nice new piece of shiny gold to add to the mantle back home.
Simply put, this was an historic upset. It’s sure to help put Augusto on the right path to continue his run, and it will re-ignite the flame and make Rafael comeback stronger.