How did Orlando Sanchez die? ADCC champion cause of death Explained

How did Orlando Sanchez die? ADCC champion cause of death Explained

Legendary wrestler Orlando Sanchez died suddenly on the night of December 15 at the age of 40. Let’s see, how did wrestler die and Orlando Sanchez cause of death in detail.

How did Orlando Sanchez die?

Orlando Sanchez, father, activist, and ADCC champion died on December 15, 2022. Sanchez, the 2015 ADCC +99kg winner as well as the Brazilian National champion, was a formidable opponent both on and off the mats.

Orlando “The Cuban Tree Stump” Sanchez passed away suddenly on Thursday night. Rumors would swirl the internet grappling community for most of the next day, until his longtime gym, Gracie Barra, verified the awful news early Friday evening through an Instagram post.

The post stated, “The news of Professor Orlando Sanchez’s passing truly saddens us. “Thank you for being a great friend and one of our greatest athletes.” They continued by praising Sanchez’s accomplishments as a teacher and a champion athlete.

Orlando Sanchez, also known as “Big-O” and “The Cuban Tree Stump,” was renowned for his raucous demeanor and commanding physique. He was a vocal advocate for mental health awareness who put his family first. Sanchez leaves behind a wife and three kids.

Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu shared heartfelt condolences to Sanchez saying,

“The news of the passing of Professor Orlando Sanchez profoundly saddens us. Thank you for being a great friend and one of our greatest athletes. You leave a legacy of toughness, kindness, and loyalty through your efforts as a competitor, professor, school owner, and regional leader.”

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others and spreading the Jiu-Jitsu legacy worldwide. Rest in peace, Professor Orlando Sanchez. We will always remember you. The Gracie Barra team wishes comfort in the heart of his family and friends.”

Orlando Sanchez cause of death:

The death of Orlando Sanchez, often known as The Big O, the BJJ Legend, or the Cuban Tree Stump, was officially announced on December 16. Fans were devastated to learn of his death after his friends confirmed it. It’s been reported that the jiu-jitsu competitor passed away suddenly. However, Orlando Sanchez cause of death was not disclosed yet.

Orlando has long been showing his talent, which has given him a large following and even led to some social media support. The family confirmed that he was not shot, dispelling the rumor that that was the reason for his death.

Orlando Sanchez’s family is requesting with the public respect their privacy as they grieve for Big O, Orlando Sanchez. Although his family has not yet disclosed the precise cause of death, it has been established that Professor Orlando did not pass away in a shooting.

Orlando Sanchez, a renowned wrestler, died at the age of 40. Orlando was one of the most recognizable individuals in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to his appearance and his “bloody” demeanor both within and outside of the tatami (BJJ).

Who was Orlando Sanchez?

Orlando Sanchez, often known as The Cuban Tree Stump or The Big O, was an American-born jiu-jitsu black belt under José “Zé Radiola” Olmpio. He rose to prominence while competing in the sport’s lower belt categories. Later on (2015), he won the ADCC World title, further solidifying his position as one of the best ultra-heavyweights in wrestling at the time.

Orlando Sanchez was lauded for his life experience as well, particularly for beating his drug addiction through the martial art of jiu-jitsu, where he became a black belt in just four years, one of the fastest promotions in American history.


  • IBJJF World Championship title (2010 blue)
  • Won 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2012 brown)
  • Won 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2012** brown)
  • Won 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2010/2009 blue)


Orlando Sanchez was born in La Cañada, California in 1982. Orlando participated in a variety of sports while growing up, excelling mainly in football. He participated in a collegiate sport. After he graduated from college, Sanchez’s life changed, and partying was all that he thought about.

Orlando’s excesses in this way of life contributed to his drinking, drug addiction, and despair. At the age of 26, Sanchez had gained 360 pounds and felt the need to alter his course in life. Orlando Sanchez tried to change his views about martial arts after being encouraged by a good buddy to join a Muay Thai club.

Orlando met Alberto Crane, a seasoned Gracie Barra competitor and his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mentor, through Thai Boxing. Soon after, Sanchez realised he had a natural aptitude for grappling and began routinely participating, reaching the rank of brown belt in an astounding 3 years of training. While doing this, he won competitions including the IBJJF Pan-American Championship, Grapplers Quest, and Gracie Nationals.

Orlando Sanchez had numerous opportunities to practice with Gracie Barra’s network of elite trainers and athletes through his training with Alberto Crane, including Romulo Barral, Draculino, and José Olmpio, also known as Ze Radiola.

After a successful competitive year as a brown belt in which Sanchez won significant competitions like the Pan American Championships and the Brazilian Nationals in both his weight class and the open weight divisions, Olmpio became a close friend of Orlando Sanchez, and it was Radiola who bestowed Sanchez with his black belt in September 2012.

Orlando Sanchez, a tough fighter who also learned MMA, trained under Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA and developed into one of the main partners of Fabricio Werdum. Orlando also competed in MMA from 2010 to 2015, in which he achieved an unbeaten record of 5-0-1.

Tributes to Orlando Sanchez

Chance Glasco tweeted,

RIP to my brother Orlando Sanchez. The only person to tap me with a knee on my belly. We started as white belts together, but he went on to get his black belt and become an ADCC Champion. Here we are in Costa Rica for his first MMA fight ever.

GRACIEMAG tweeted,

A comunidade do Jiu-Jitsu está de luto. Campeão do ADCC 2015, Orlando Sanchez morreu aos 40 anos nesta sexta-feira. Atleta da Gracie Barra, Orlando foi multicampeão na faixa-preta e era conhecido pelo espírito aguerrido.

Jiu-Jitsu Radio tweeted,

Sad to hear the news of Orlando Sanchez’s passing. Never got a chance to meet him but always enjoyed watching him compete. RIP LEGEND!

Isaiah – Fly Eagles Fly (11-1) tweeted,

Wow! Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Orlando Sanchez. One of the most polarizing figures in our sport. Someone I truly looked up to in the world of BJJ. This one hurts. A true legend of the Gracie Barra team.

Aria Pranata tweeted,

Orlando Sanchez passed away at the age of 40. Over his career, Orlando Sanchez beat many reputable people, including Tom DeBlass, Vinny Magalhaes, Dean lister, and Leandro Lo. Despite his controversial character, he is known to overcome his drug addiction by doing BJJ. RIP Orlando Sanchez! A legend in our sport is gone.

Byron Gray tweeted,

The news of the passing of Professor Orlando Sanchez profoundly saddens us. Thank you for being a great friend and one of our greatest athletes. You leave a legacy of toughness, kindness, and loyalty through efforts as a competitor, professor, school owner, and regional leader.


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