With only 22 years of age, Soul Fighters’ João Gabriel Rocha is one of the faces of the newest generation of black belts.
Competing in the World Championship since 2008, as a blue belt, when he conquered the heavyweight and placed second in the absolute, João Gabriel lives for the competition.
In Brazil, he has the impressive record of 18 gold medals in the Brazilian Nationals, a tournament he competes in since he was only 4 years old.
Owner of a pressure game, João Gabriel Rocha arrived in the black belt division and quickly proved he’s gonna be trouble for the more experienced.
In the 2013 Worlds, his performance against tough guys like Rafael Lovato Jr, Leo Leite and Bernardo Faria raised some serious eyebrows.
Two-time black belt absolute champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida had the following to say about Rocha after they fought at the 2013 ADCC:”This guy is going to be a big thing soon because he’s twenty-one now and when I was twenty-one I was doing my first worlds just as him. And he is the same size as me and kind of the same game as me.”
After two silver medals this year (Worlds and ADCC), João Gabriel comes back to the Long Beach Pyramid after the gold medal.
The Super-Heavy/Ultra-Heavy division of the 2013 BJJ Pro League could just be the opportunity Rocha is waiting to turn promise into full blown reality.
Watch João Gabriel fighting Rafael Lovato Jr in the 2013 Worlds.
Know more about the 2013 BJJ Pro League at www.bjjproleague.com