Rafael Mendes continues his flawless career in Jiu-Jitsu. On June 1st, the Atos featherweight competitor exited victorious from the IBJJF Worlds for the fourth time; now he equaled the feat of two BJJ myths in his weight class, Royler Gracie and Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” – by the way, his archrival in competitions since 2009.
Fourth in the black belt world ranking of Jiu-Jitsu, Rafa, 24, showed in the Pyramid that he is in the top. In the final match he defeated Cobrinha by 10-8 in a whirlwind of sweeps.
In an exclusive interview with GRACIEMAG, Rafa examined his Jiu-Jitsu Worlds campaign. He commented the final match against Rubens Charles and said that his next biggest goal in Jiu-Jitsu is conquering the 5th Worlds tittle and becoming the best fighter of all times in his category. Check out!
GRACIEMAG: What did you feel after winning the 4th Worlds championship of your dreams?
RAFAEL MENDES: It was a great performance, I’ve prepared myself in the best way and I was confident I would reach my goal. I finished all the fights before the final match. I’ve won the final by points and equaled the feat of Royler and Rubens Charles. The final match was my hardest fight. I’ve fought Cobrinha 13 times, and it is always a tough fight; but I’ve trained a lot and I was able to perform a movement that I’ve trained to surprise him and got to a good position – a position that gave me the advantage in the fight and the victory. Next year I’m coming back with the goal of becoming the greatest featherweight of Jiu-Jitsu history. I’m only 24 years old and I will continue fighting to increase this record for a long period.
And, what was this movement you’ve trained to surprise Cobrinha, Rafa?
It was a tough fight, I managed to do the Berimbolo and win the mount, but because I was almost outside I could not get back in the same position; I got only one advantage, however I was happy to see that my technique worked. I am always learning to know me better. Jiu-Jitsu is like that- to learn that you can always go further than you think you can. I am always learning I can do more than I think I can.
What are your plans for the end of 2014, Rafa? Will you fight in another championship?
I don’t know. I’m dedicating myself to the school, and I also have scored some seminars. I will travel to Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and different places in U.S., teaching my techniques. If I find time between these commitments, I may fight in another tournament this year.