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Throwback Thursday Video: Rafael Mendes Vs Cobrinha From The 2012 Pan Am Games

The Pan American Games are coming this weekend.

This is the first big tournament of the year and it is usually a good indicator for what techniques people will bring to the World Championships in the summer. Today, I look back at the 2012 Pan American Games where Art of Jiu Jitsu’s Rafael Mendes took on Alliance’s Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles.

Cobrinha is an all-time great in the sport. In 2011, it appears that Cobrinha took the Pan American Games off. That year, Rafael Mendes and teammate Bruno Frazatto performed a close out which is quite common in the finals of big tournaments. A close out is if teammates meet in the finals they will defer to the senior member who will be awarded the championship. 2012 is considered a transitional year as the dominant Cobrinha met who would become the next dominant man in the division. Cobrinha wouldn’t defeat Rafael in a tournament until the 2013 ADCC.

In this matchup you will see a lot of things you don’t see in MMA. The matchup starts with Rafael “pulling guard.” This is a calculation many high level Jiu Jitsu athletes make. Jiu Jitsu is often a game of control, since submissions are hard to come by. The calculation is that the athlete feels confident enough in his guard to launch attacks and is less worried about the guard passing. This match-up actually ends with Rafael sweeping Cobrinha, then submitting him with an armbar, which is a dominant victory.

We’ll have more videos in the future of not only the legends, but the folks who are making their names today.

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