Rodrigo Mendes celebrates return with medals

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Mandes (center) and his team

GMA member Rodrigo Mendes had some tough  times recently.

He was away from Jiu-Jitsu competitions for three years, due to injuries: “My last fight was against Fábio Leopoldo, at the 2008 Pan. I had two surgeries since, one on my back and the other on my gallbladder.”

The comeback was scheduled for the American Nationals, two weeks ago. The leader of Gracie Barra Delray Beach, in Florida, travelled to California with one thing in mind; come back with a blast.

And that he did: “I won my division and the absolute in the nogi competition and my weight category at the gi tournament”.

A bronze medal completed the set of jewerly:”The gi open class semifinal ended with a tie and the referee gave the match to my adversary, who went to the final against Saulo Ribeiro. The crowd thought I won, but I know how hard it is to ref a Jiu-Jitsu match.”

To make things perfect, Rodrigo also had some team results to celebrate, as his students gave a real showing: “With only five guys, we went back home with 13 medals.”

Rodrigo, recently graduated to the 2nd degree of the black belt by the IBJJF, knows that such results are just the beginning.

Here is a video of the absolute Nogi final:

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