The Top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champions of All Time

Champion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters

Are you curious about who the GOATs of Jiu-Jitsu are? Becoming one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) fighters of all time is something that only a handful of people will actually be able to achieve in their lifetime. One thing is for sure - those that do make it onto the best of all-time list are on the list for good reason. As a stand-alone combat sport, BJJ’s effectiveness and grace make it unlike any other sport, including its champions.

 

What makes a champion

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion has spent massive amounts of training at an elevated level that combines conditioning with strength training and traditional BJJ drills and rolling. As Malcolm Gladwell pointed out, a true expert puts in 10,000 hours. Champions are not created overnight and an evolved mindset that is unmatched and strong. To be a champion, there is simply no other way of living.

Top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fighters of all time

As the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues to evolve, it is difficult to find an unbiased and accurate way of depicting the best of all time. But we’ll give it a go, anyway! 

Roger Gracie

C’mon - let’s be real. 14x World Champion (10 in the back belt) and the first man to win three gold medals at the open weight division. Gracie is known for his willingness to commit to the submission and for being a submission specialist overall. With the Gracie blood running in his veins, he quickly got bit by the BJJ bug and began winning several championships as a blue belt. 

Stats: 

Wins: 76 | Super-Pesado

Losses: 7

Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC Championship (2005***)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2004/2005/2006/2007 **/2008/2009**/2010**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2006*)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2005**)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2003*/2004*/2005*/2006*/2008*)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2006)

Marcus Almeida 

Yes, his nickname is “Buchecha” which means chubby cheeks. Originally from Sao Paulo, Almeida originally wanted to be a soccer player. When that didn’t work out, his dream turned to surfing. When he was 14, he was introduced to BJJ and that’s what stuck. Studying underneath the infamous Rodrigo Cavaca, he soon became one of the most feared athletes in his division.

Stats: 

Wins: 138 | Pesadissimo 

Losses: 14

Achievements:

  • ADCC Champion (2017/2013)
  • IBJJF Pro League GP Champion (2016)
  • IBJJF World Champion (2012/2013/2014/2016/2017/2018)
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2011/2010)
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion (2012)
  • UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Champion (2012/2013/2014/2015)
  • WLPJJ SP Cup Champion (2010)
  • IBJJF Miami Open Champion (2010)
  • IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2018 / 2011)
  • IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place (2011)

 

Rumlo Barral 

Originally from Brazil and better known as “Rominho”, began his BJJ journey at the impressionable age of 15 and has now earned his name into the GOATs list. Barral was named “The Number 1 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fighter in the World” by Gracie Mag in 2007. Rominho is all about the strong gi game and training with the Gi in preparation for all events.

 

Stats:

Wins: 107 | Meio Pesado

Losses: 41 Losses

Achievements:

  • ADCC Champion (2013)
  • IBJJF World Champion (2007/2009/2012/2013/2014)
  • IBJJF World Masters Champion (2016 Master 1)
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion (2007)
  • IBJJF European Open Champion (2016)
  • CBJJ Brazilian National Champion (2006/2007)
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2009)
  • IBJJF European Open Champion (2013)
  • IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2007/2009/2010/2011/2014/2016)
  • IBJJF Pan American Championship Runner-up (2016/2009)
  • IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place (2017/2006)
  • IBJJF Pan American Championship 3rd Place (2017/2013/2013/2006)

Ruben Charles

Charles’ is known for being a historical figure in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and for his aggressive style on the mats. His fight name is “Cobrinha” which means “Little Snake”. He was coined Cobrinha because of his agility and flexibility. Even though he originally started out playing soccer, he found BJJ at the age of 21 and never looked back. Ruben is known for religiously training and making sure to disseminate that knowledge to other students. Don’t be surprised if you see Charles as the best Lightweight Fighter of all time.

Stats:

Wins: 118 | Peso Pena

Losses: 21 losses

 

Achievements:

 

  • 1st Place IBJFF World Championship (2006/2007/2008/2009/2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2007/2008/2011/2012)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2007/2008/2009/2017)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2013/2015/2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2013/2017)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2017)

André Galvão

We’ll let his reputation speak for itself and Galvão be the technical master that he is. “Deco” has many titles next to his name and now lives in San Diego as co-founder of Atos Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Born in Brazil, Galvão began training when he was 16. He moved from his purple belt to brown belt in just nine months. In 2011, Deco won gold in both his weight and the absolute division at ADCC, further proving why he is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters in the world.

Stats: 

Wins: 157 Wins | Meio Pesado

Losses: 27 losses

Achievements:

  • ADCC Superfight Winner (2013 / 2015 / 2017)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2011**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2005 / 2008 / 2014*** / 2016 / 2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2005 / 2008** / 2006 / 2011 / 2013 / 2014** 2016)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2012 / 2013 / 2014)
  • 1st Place CBJJO World Cup (2006)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2015**)
  • 1st Place CBJJE World Championship (2008)
  • 1st Place Ultimate Absolute NYC (2011)
  • 2nd Place ADCC World Championship (2009)
  • 2nd Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2012* / 2016)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan American Championship (2016*)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2008* / 2013)
  • 3rd Place ADCC World Championship (2007**)

Bruno Malfacine

Malfacine is commonly believed to be the best rooster weight fighter of all time. He is the only person to win ten world championships in the same weight class. 40 of his 63 victories have come by submission. He was called a “bad boy” by all of his training partners when he was still a child and it just stuck with him. 9 world titles later, there is no stopping Malfacine.

Stats: 

Wins: 65 Wins | Peso Galo

Losses: 11 Losses 

Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2007 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2007 / 2008 / 2015 / 2017
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2010)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Rio International Open (2008 / 2009)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2008 / 2009 / 2010)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian No-Gi Nationals (2009)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan American Championship (2011)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2011)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2019)

Saulo Ribeiro

Ribeiro is a black belt under Royler Gracie and older brother of yet another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend, Alexandre Ribeiro. Saulo holds the record for the most world titles in different weight classes. He was awarded his first black belt when he was just 19 years old. Just to put his talent and hard work into perspective, Ribeiro started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he was 15 years old. Ribeiro is also known for his immense dedication towards teaching the sport and being a beloved coach.

Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2000 / 2003)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (1997 / 1998 / 1999 / 2000 / 2002)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2008)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Masters Championship (2014 Master 2, 2015/2016** Master 3)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Masters & Seniors Championship (2012**/2013** Senior 1)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (1998**)

Ready to hit the mats?

At The Boxing Club, we pride ourselves on bringing the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes in San Diego. We have crafted full programming based on power / stamina, flexibility, grappling, and advancing our mental strength. Our classes are designed to give newer belts a place to learn and those who are already invested, a place to keep on the learning. Learn from the best with our award-winning coaches who are intentional with the instruction they bring on and off the mats. Seasoned student or new student eager to learn, try a class with the best! 

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