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Thiago Cardial Gaia

Second-Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt

High-Performance Athlete & Coach

8-1 Professional MMA Record

Jiu-Jitsu World Champion


Thiago Gaia was born on the 25th of March,1990. Although his family is historically from Ilhabela, an island located just off the coast of São Paulo, Thiago was born in the state capital. This was so his mother could receive adequate care during the birth of Thiago due to his being a risk pregnancy. The Gaia family returned to Ilhabela shortly after the birth of Thiago.

At the age of 8, Thiago’s mother enrolled him in a judo club in an attempt to ease off her son’s hyperactivity. The success of this experiment meant that from there on Gaia had a busy sporting life, playing football (soccer), swimming, sailing and at the age of 10 jiu-jitsu, with coach Rezende.

In the very beginning, Thiago’s motivation to start training jiu-jitsu was Price FC, particularly the performances of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the ring of the famous Japanese MMA promotion.

At first, BJJ was just a game, something followed half-heartedly, but as Thiago turned 15 he started focussing more in his training and developing a taste for competition.

At the age of 16, Thiago was promoted to blue belt by coach Nelson who ran an affiliate gym of the TT academy in São Sebastião. Gaia’s desire to improve and be the best grappler he could be led him to move to the capital – São Paulo, in order to train at the TT headquarters where names such as CobrinhaEduardo TellesAndré GalvãoTererê, and Marcelo Mafra trained.

Thiago then found Leonardo Vieira and AKA Jiu-Jitsu Coach Leandro Vieira (Brasa and later Checkmat) who was Gaia’s coach throughout his formation years, grading him with his purple and brown belts.


Athletic Titles

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Titles

IBJJF World Championship

  2007: Gold

  2009: Silver

  2015 (No-Gi): Bronze

IBJJF Pan American

   2011: Silver

ADCC Brazilian Tournament

   2015: Silver

IBJJF Brazilian National

  2010: Gold

  2015 (No-Gi): Gold

IBJJF San Jose Championship

  2019: Silver (No-Gi)

IBJJF Sao Paulo Championship

  2017 (No-Gi): Gold

  Bronze: Open Class

BJJ Tour American Cup

  2019: Gold

FPJJ Paulist Championship

  2010 (No-Gi): Gold

  2013 (No-Gi): Gold

CBJJE Pan American

  2016: Gold

  Overall Team Won Silver

CBJJE World Championship

  2008: Gold

Jiu-Jitsu By the Bay

  2019: Gold

  Silver: Open Class

Fight 2 Win Championship

  2019: Champion

  Submission (Rear Naked)

  Round: 1

Fight 2 Win Championship

  2019: Champion

  Unanimous Decision

  Round: 1

Mixed Martial Arts Titles

Pro Record: 8-1 (Win-Loss)


2018 MMA Brazil Tour

  Win Method: Submission (Triangle)

  Round: 1

2017 Ultimate Reborn Fight

  Win Method: Submission (Heel Hook)

  Round: 1

2016 X-Fight MMA Grand Prix

  Win Method: Submission (Armbar)

  Round: 1

2016 Attitude Fight

  Win Method: Submission (Rear Naked)

  Round: 1

2015 Bison Combat

  Win Method: Submission (Triangle)

  Round: 1

2014 Heroes Championship

  Win Method: Submission (Armbar)

  Round: 1

2013 Standout Tournament

  Win Method: Submission (Triangle)

  Round: 2

2013 MAP Championship

  Win Method: Submission (Rear Naked)

  Round: 1

Mixed Martial Arts Highlights

News Publications

• Avacate BJJ

• Tatame


• BJJ Forum

• BJJ Heroes

• BJJ One News

• Diario do Litoral

• Expresso Jornal

• Fala Caragua

• Gracie Mag

• Globo Esportes

• Jiu-Jitsu Times

• Jiu-Jitsu Portugal

• Jornal do Litoral

• Lamattina News

• MMA Premium

• MMA Crazies

• ND Mais

• Noticario Paulista

• Nova Imprensa

• Portal Caicara

• Portal R3

• Psicoticos Por VT

• Radar Litoral

• Tudo em Ilhabela

• Tribuna Do Povo

• UOL Esportes

Events Organized


First Annual Jiu-Jitsu Beach Tournament

  Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  Coordinated the first edition of a now annual competitive BJJ event including both children and adult divisions of gi and no-gi

Charitable Seminar to Gather Donations for the Elderly

  Ilhabela, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  Planned, directed, and taught seminar to collect donations of funds, clothing, and supplies for elderly home

Charitable Seminar to Support Medical Treatment for Ill Children

  Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

   Assisted in marketing, coordination, and organization of event supporting project to raise funds for treatment of children with             Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Additional Skills


• Adaption of instructional methods to develop pinpointed martial arts skills

• Modification and customization of sparring style to replicate different opponents

• Negotiation with athletic managers and sponsors on behalf of athletes and teams

• Development of footwork, striking combinations, and offensive/defensive patterns

• Design of training plans for high-performance competitors, including practice drills

• Collaboration with other athletic professionals, such as nutritionists and specialists

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