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Born in Itatiba, Brazil, Thiago Rela started to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at TT Academy at 14 years of age. He received his black belt from Juliano Belgine and Leo Vieira of Team Checkmat at 23 years old. Renzo Gracie awarded Thiago his first degree on his black belt in 2017. ​ A two-time state BJJ champion in Brazil as well as a national gi and no-gi BJJ champion. He was a member of the BJJ national championship team, and has won multiple gold medals in local BJJ and submission grappling tournaments.


As a pro mixed martial arts fighter currently representing Team Renzo Gracie, Thiago has won the middleweight title of the Circuito Talent MMA, the largest MMA organization in Brazil. He's appeared on UFC's Ultimate Fighter and for organizations such as Xtreme Fighting Championships, Final Fight Championship, Cage Fury Fighting Championships, and most recently Bellator Fighting Championship.

The MMA Premium/Ranking Nacional, the most important rating for MMA fighters in Brazil, has ranked Thiago twice as a top 5 middleweight and as a top 10 middleweight for five of the past ten years. He's ranked the #3 pro middleweight and #5 pro welterweight fighter in New Jersey by Tapology.

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