ADCC champion Orlando Sanchez passes away

The jiu-jitsu community is in mourning, as veteran black belt competitor Orlando Sanchez has passed away at the age of 40, per a report from FloGrappling.

A longtime Gracie Barra representative and owner of his own Gracie Barra academy, Sanchez was known as much for his gregarious personality as his impressive competitive accomplishments.

After a colored belt career that saw him winning an IBJJF world championship as a blue belt, Sanchez made his mark on the sport by winning gold in the heavyweight division at the 2015 ADCC World Championships. He would earn second at the 2017 ADCC World Championships, losing on points to legendary competitor Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida in the final.

Sanchez most recently competed at the 2022 ADCC World Championships.

An outspoken advocate for mental health, Sanchez was always open about his own struggles with drugs and addiction. He often credited jiu-jitsu for turning his life around.

Sanchez is survived by his wife and three children, whom he proudly posted about often on his social media.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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