Mahamad Aly – BJJ Athlete

Mahamad Aly
Birth Name:Mahamed Aly Santos da Silva
Date of Birth:January 11th, 1994
Place of Birth:Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Team:Team Lloyd Irvin BJJ
Height:6’2″ (188cm) 
Weight Class: Heavyweight 
Martial Arts Record: 92-42
Notable Championships:4x IBJJF World Champion, IBJJF No-Gi World Champion, IBJJF European Champion, 2x IBJJF No-Gi European Champion, AJP Grand Slam Champion

Mahamad Aly tragic upbringing to MMA training

The Rio de Janeiro native, Mahamad Aly’s father was an avid boxing fan. His favorite fighter that he idolized was Muhamad Ali, who he named Mahamad after.

Tragedy would hit Mahamad Aly early on with his beloved father being murdered when he was 9 years old. His family would then move to the Jacarepaguá area of Rio de Janeiro to live with his uncle.

Later on as a teen, Aly became a big fan of MMA and wanted to take up training. He would get his chance at 15 years old. 

During one of his first training sessions, Mahamad Aly was put in a triangle choke. The simple, yet powerful movement perplexed Mahamad and he decided to take up grappling. 

His first Jiu Jitsu instructor was Eduardo Brigadeiro, who Aly would train under for 1.5 years. After a year and a half, he earned his blue belt, but wanted to try and become an MMA fighter.

Mahamad would move to Team Nogueira to try and accomplish this goal.

Mahamad Aly is convinced to compete in grappling

Mahamad Aly would spend all of 2012 doing MMA training. Predominantly learning striking with a little bit of grappling. 

He became so focused on his MMA training that he moved to the Team Nogueira fighter house to train full time. At 17 years, he weighed 98 kgs and trained with the gym’s top heavyweights.

Mahamad wanted to make his debut, but the Nogueira brother wanted to wait until he was 18 to compete. While he waited his BJJ coach Everaldo Penco convinced Aly to compete at grappling.

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Even though Aly had a blue belt, he had never officially competed in a Jiu Jitsu competition. He reluctantly accepted and would easily win his first BJJ competition.

The Nogueira brothers and Penco were so impressed with his performance that they awarded Aly with his purple belt. Professor Penco believed that Mahamad Aly could do big things in Jiu Jitsu and encouraged him to compete more.

This win and earning his purple belt would peak Mahamad’s interest in BJJ. He then decided to give up MMA and train Jiu Jitsu full time.

Mahamad Aly

Mahamad Aly’s first year as a serious BJJ competitor

2013 was the first year that Mahamad Aly dedicated himself to being a serious Jiu Jitsu athlete. At 18 and recently becoming a purple belt, Mahamad Aly would give all of his energy to becoming a champion.

He would stay busy throughout his first competitive year as a grappler. Competing in all of the major competitions in Rio de Janeiro and winning most of them.

Mahamad would then get sponsors that would enable him to travel and compete around the world. Competing in IBJJF events, as well as Abu Dhabi Pro events.

At the Abu Dhabi Pro Championship, he first met black belt Lloyd Irvin. Lloyd was impressed with Aly and would stay in contact with him. 

Irvin would meet up with Aly again at the 2013 IBJJF World Championship, where Mahamad took 3rd place at purple belt. In their second meeting, Irvin would make Aly an offer to come to the US and train at his academy in Maryland.

At this time, Aly didn’t want to leave his home in Brazil and turned Irvin down. With his first full year as a Jiu Jitsu athlete complete, Aly drastically improved his game. He would look to continue improving and attempt to win his first world title in 2014

Mahamad Aly’s first world championship

When the 2014 competition season started, Aly would take up Lloyd Irvin’s offer to train at his academy. He would make the trip with his friend Eberth Santos to do their worlds training camp with Irvin.

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Mahamad Aly would have a great camp which would result in him winning his first world championship at purple belt. Once he returned to Brazil for a short time, his instructor Peco awarded Aly with his brown belt.

Aly’s first tw competitions as a brown belt would be at No-Gi Worlds and the New York Pro Championship. He would take third at No-Gi Worlds, while winning in the absolute division at the New York Pro.

Then Mahamad would finish out the year and win the Pan No-Gi Championship. 

Since his successful 2014 started with his training camp with Lloyd Irvin, Mahamad Aly split his time between camps. He trained with Team Nogueira while in Brazil and with Team Lloyd Irvin in the US.

Mahamad Aly earns his black belt

In 2015, Mahamad Aly was ready to repeat as a world champion. This time at the brown belt level.

Mahamad would first make his European debut and win double gold at the 2015 IBJJF European Open. Also winning the American National.

Aly would then not only repeat as IBJJF World Championship, but also win in the absolute division. This would lead to Lloyd Irvin awarding him with his black belt in September of 2015.

Mahamad Aly

Mahamad Aly’s early run as a black belt

At the end of 2015, Mahamad Aly would win his first No-Gi world title as a black belt. Also earning 3rd place in the absolute division in a successful black belt debut.

Over the next couple of years, Aly would go through some growing pains as a newer black belt. In 2016, he would not win any of the top Jiu Jitsu championships. Only winning two tournaments out of the whole year. 

After going through the growing pains of his first full year as a black belt, Aly would make adjustments. Those adjustments would lead to a more successful 2017 campaign.

Starting the year by winning the European Open and at an ADCC trials event. Punching his ticket to the ADCC Championship that would take place later on in the year.

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Aly would keep himself busy before then by competing in numerous tournaments. Winning a few of the tournaments, while coming up just short in a few others.

This would lead him to his first ADCC Championship. He would go 3-3 at the event and come up short of medaling the 99+division and absolute bracket. Losing to former world champions Rafael Lovato Jr, Marcus Buchecha, and that year’s ADCC champion Gordon Ryan.

Mahamad Aly’s 2018-present competitive run

From 2018 until now, Mahamad Aly would continue having mixed results at the world’s top competitions. He would win another world championship at the 2018 IBJJF World Championship.

Beating top athletes like Nicholas Meregali, Jared Dopp, and Leandro Lo. Aly would beat ADCC champ Yuri Simoes in the opening round of the absolute division. But lost by advantage against Felipe Andrew in the next round.

Mahamad would then go through his usual trend throughout the year of winning a tournament and then losing the next one.

2019 wasn’t the most successful year of Aly’s career. Losing in both finals of the Pan American Championship and losing a rematch to Nicholas Meregali in World’s finals.

After World’s at the ADCC Championship, Aly would lose in a surprise upset against Nicky Rodriguez. He would bounce back in the absolute division by getting to victories before losing to Buchecha by RNC. Then Ali would be upset again, losing by heel hook in the bronze medal match to Lachlan Giles.

Ali unfortunately didn’t get to compete much in 2020 due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Only getting to compete in the European Open, which he did not win in either his division or the absolute division.

Now so far in 2021, Ali has gone 3-1 in competition and has a few more competitions left in the year.

Mahamad Aly’s legacy

Mahamad Aly has always been one of the hardest working BJJ athletes in the world. In his career through the lower ranks to black belt, he has won a total of 5 world championships. 

Also winning multiple European titles and Pan Championships in his 8 years career. In those 8 years, Ali has had over 100 matches against the world’s best grapplers.

What he has done is quite impressive since he only started to compete seriously after earning his purple belt. Ali is only 27 years old and is getting into the prime of his career. 

He will continue to stay in the mix for more world titles and put himself among the world’s best grapplers.