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Midnight Mania! ADCC champion Orlando Sanchez — infamous sparring partner of UFC Vegas 66 headliner Sean Strickland — dead at 40

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In unfortunate news, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Orlando Sanchez has been reported dead at 40 years of age by Flograppling. He passed away on December 15th.

Sanchez is a well-established jiu-jitsu competitor. In 2015, he won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) +99kg division, which is the peak of no-gi jiu-jitsu. In addition, he was a Brazilian National Champion, and across his career picked up wins over legendary names like Dean Lister, Leandro Lo, and Vinny Magalhaes. “The Cuban Tree Stomp” was well-known for his powerful style of grappling.

BJJ Heroes lists his record in elite competition as 13-9.

For MMA fans, Sanchez is best known for a brief feud with tomorrow night’s UFC Vegas 66 headliner Sean Strickland. While the duo were training together, Sanchez applied a shoulder lock that Strickland deemed dirty. Strickland pushed him away and threw a couple strikes, but Sanchez was adamant he was merely teaching Strickland a technical lesson, not trying to hurt him. The duo were reportedly training together not long afterward, so perhaps it wasn’t so serious an issue after all.

Rest in peace.

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