About GFTeam

Having recently become one of the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teams in the world, Grappling Fight Team (GFT) formerly known as Universidade Gama Filho (UGF) has had great success in Brazil since the 1990’s, with the turn of the 2010’s decade, GFT was propelled to world wide success through a series of excellent results at an international level and the continuous production of high level fighters such as Bruno Malfacine,Rodolfo Vieira,Ricardo Evangelista,Italo Lins and many others.

How GF Team Started

It all began at the Universidade Gama Filho, a University in Rio de Janeiro famous for its Physical Education course and its sporting teams. One of the post graduate students of the University, who was also a physical education coach,Fernando Guimarães, made his monograph about the insertion of Jiu Jitsu into the University curriculum in 1978. Guimarães (also known as “Pinduka”) was a Carlson Gracie black belt and a believer in the academic benefits that BJJ tuition would bring to the school, unfortunately the request was denied by a board strongly dominated by a Judo lobby. The request was handed 3 more times (1988, 1990 and 1992) until the director of the school (Pedro Gama Filho, who was a Judo and BJJ black belt himself), helped push Jiu Jitsu into the University program (1993).

After the necessary logistics, in 1996 the academy was finally up and running at the Taquara Campus in the Northern area of Rio de Janeiro. Pedro Gama Filho and Paulo Jardim coached at the University for a short while before handing the job in the capable hands of MasterJúlio César,Marcus Bello and Alexandre Baraúna who took the project from there on, Gama Filho and Jardim stayed behind the team giving financial support.

The team’s growth was immense from the get-go and soon the camp had to be shifted to a better facility at Campus Piedade, another UGF address. Other branches of the team also started opening in places like Bairro Vila da Penha and Aracaju (capital of the state of Sergipe) with Coach Marcus Bello.

With the passing of the instrumental Pedro Gama Filho in 2004, the team lost the sponsorship of the University having to move their Head Quarters from the famous Campus Piedade to Bairro do Méier, though keeping the Gama Filho name. In 2007, however, due to some of their competitors having transitioned to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), UGF had to change their name since the University did not want to be in any way connected with the sport of MMA, thus giving birth to the name Grappling Fight Team (GF Team).

GFTeam in Detail


Grappling Fight Team

Team Lineage

Luis França Jiu Jitsu > Academia FADDA > Monir Salomao > GFTeam




Julio Cesar Pereira


Julio Cesar Pereira (Director), Bianca Pereira (Director), Vinicius Marinho (Secretary)

First Black Belt(s)

Ivan Brandão, José Alexandre e Alexandre Baraúna

HQ Address

Rua Arquias Cordeiro, 478 – Méier, Rio de Janeiro

Prominent Fighters

Rodolfo Vieira,Italo Lins,Theodoro Canal,Igor Silva,Denilson Pimenta

Main Team Achievements

4x Brazilian Teams Champion, Rio Open Team Champion (2011), State Champion (Rio)

Official Website


Other GFTeam Information

Black Belt World Championship Medallists (Adult Divisions)

$1●     Ricardo De La Riva (2002 – Bronze)

$1●     Arthur Cezar (2004 – Bronze)

$1●     Arthur Cesar (2005 – Bronze)

$1●     Bruno Malfacine (2007 – Gold)

$1●     Bruno Malfacine (2008 – Bronze)

$1●     Theodoro Canal (2008 – Bronze)

$1●     Denilson Pimenta (2010 – Bronze)

$1●     Rodolfo Vieira (2011 – Gold, Weight)

$1●     Rodolfo Vieira (2011 – Gold, Absolute)

Main Affiliates:

Grappling fight team has over 30 affiliate academies spread all over the world, being the main ones as follows below.

Head Quarters – GFTEAM Méier (Rio de Janeiro) – Prof. Julio Cesar

Brazilian Affiliates by state

Sergipe: Prof. Laus, Wancler Oliveira e Wagner Oliveira

Espírito Santo: Professor Thiago Nassur

Minas Gerais: Prof. Ulisses Silva

Recife: Prof. Renato Castro

Bahia: Evandro Nascimento

Aperibé, RJ: Prof. Daniel Seixas

Outside Brazil:

Australia: Prof. Luis Fabio “Coringa”

Chile: Alvaro Bobadilla


Califórnia: Marcelo Carvalho

Texas: Igor Santos

Nova Iorque: Roger Danton

Ohio:Vitor Henrique

Boston: Marcelo Siqueira

Source:BJJ Heroes.


GFTeam History

Started in 1996, Gama Filho University, Taquara campus in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro with encouragement from teachers Pedro Gama Filho and Paulo Jardim, the precursors in the team building, teachers Julio Cesar, Alexandre Baraúna and Marcus Bello took the first steps for growth and expansion of the team.

Initially, the work was done in the Gama Filho University-Taquara and then to the extent that the space was getting smaller compared to the growth of the team moved to the Gama Filho University campus - Piedade that offered a better infrastructure. Also began with affiliate in Vila da Penha, a suburb of Rio, and spreading out of Rio de Janeiro, Aracaju, Sergipe’s capital with Professor Marcus Bello.

We emphasize the important role of teachers and Pedro Gama Filho and Paulo Jardim all the time that supports the team and its athletes, giving scholarships, and meeting the needs as far as possible, contributing to the growth of the team.

Through teachers' Julio Cesar, Alexandre Baraúna and Marcus Bello, began training black belts accredited by the team and increasing the cores, with branches, expanding the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and abroad.

With the professionalization of the team, expanding the horizons for training athletes not only for the jiu-jitsu but also MMA, seeing the need to modify the name of the team because we could not link the MMA to an educational institution. In addition, with the death of Professor Pedro Gama Filho, we sadly lost the support of Gama Filho University and the switch was made and reformulations of the team. Then came the GFTeam (Grappling Fight Team).

In less than two years GFTeam had been consolidated, continuing with the work, expanding more and more.

Currently, the team has representatives in Rio de Janeiro, Sergipe, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Bahia, Espirito Santo, Australia, United Kingdom as well as United States, with intensive plan in action to grow even more.

The GFTeam headquarter is ​​now located in the neighborhood Meier, North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, leaded by Master Julio Cesar Pereira with a structure that meets all of the athletes needs.

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