Bulldar: Who is Ruy Menezes?
A comment made on the BJJ heroes site some four and a half months ago had me asking this question earlier this morning.
Posted under the published list of Carlson Gracie blackbelts (compiled by the late Carlson himself), a user identifying himself as one Ruy Menezes claims the list should include him as he received his belt from Carlson in 2008. The list notwithstanding, this claim is a problem as Carlson Gracie passed away in 2006.
A screenshot of that claim:
In the comment, Ruy Menezes also claims a third place finish in the 1997 mundials as a brownbelt (11 years before he apparently got his black). With a slightly varied spelling, it is true that a Rui Menezes took third in the 1997 ultraheavyweight division:
After this victory, however, there is no record of him receiving his blackbelt from either Carlson or Carlson Jr., and his name doesn't appear in the previously linked list of blackbelts, nor this list from Carlson Jr.:
Ruy Menezes' name does appears prominently in searches, as that of the Chinese Top Team coach of Zhang Tiequan, first ever Chinese born UFC fighter and (apparently) China's first BJJ brownbelt. His time in China is confirmed in many places, most notably (in english) in the BJJ asia blog, where he also claims to have moved to Brazilian Top Team after his time with Carlson:
No evidence concretely linking him to Brazilian Top Team (other than his own claims) is available online.
Interestingly, the comment screenshoted above claims that he stopped training between 2008-2011, which would clash with his confirmed time at China Top Team.
His most recent move can be tracked by a comment at the bottom of the BJJ Asia article, claiming that he is done with coaching China Top Team. This is confirmed by a Gracie Mag article dated last November (five months after his BJJ Asia statement) affirming that blackbelt Menezes is moving to Colombia to open a Carlson Gracie affiliate school:
His Colombian school does not currently appear in the official list of Carlson Gracie Global schools:
Gracie Mag apparently gleaned this information from an email Menezes sent them, which also suggests his split with China Top Team wasn't amicable.
All this information does not suggest honesty on the part of Ruy and brings me back to my first question: who is Ruy Menezes? Has anyone here heard of him before? If he is a blackbelt, under whom? And, as an aside, is he the source of Zhang Tiequan's brownbelt? Because if so, it would be unfortunate that a fighter with such a dangerous guillotine could hold an illegitimate BJJ ranking.