Matheus Gabriel seemed destined for greatness from an early age.
Born in the Amazonian city of Manaus, Brazil, the rambunctious and energetic Gabriel was first introduced to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at age 8. The youngster was a fast learner and a natural athlete, quickly progressing through the early colored belts before moving to Rio de Janeiro to pursue a career as a professional grappling competitor.
Showing a tremendous amount of potential, Gabriel moved to the United States as a teenaged purple belt. Training at a Checkmat-affiliated academy in Dallas, Texas, he soon became known throughout the BJJ community as one of the sport’s most promising stars. He developed that reputation by racking up gold medals at the world’s most prestigious tournaments.
As a brown belt, Gabriel captured both gi and no-gi IBJJF World Championships, prompting his promotion to black belt in 2018. Now competing at the highest level available, he immediately lived up to the hype, winning his first of two IBJJF Black Belt World Championships.
Throughout his already illustrious career, the Brazilian has never shied away from challenges. He has competed in a wide variety of rule sets and a number of different promotions, constantly testing himself against the best grapplers in the world in both gi and no-gi competition.
Gabriel is much more than just his accomplishments on paper. In fact, he is one of the planet’s most technically proficient yet aggressive competitors. With his feared system of armbar and back-taking attacks known as “The Black Hole,” the Brazilian has earned one of the highest submission rates of any elite black belt in his weight division.
That submission-hunting approach and dizzying array of accomplishments caught the attention of ONE Championship, which added the jiu-jitsu phenom to its ever-growing roster of world-class submission grapplers in 2022.