The Best of the Rest: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Biggest Names

There are many martial arts disciplines in the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu stands out among the rest. Since Royce Gracie used it in his cage matches, fighters have made use of it effectively en route to their own title reigns.

Looking to become the next Gracie or Ribeiro to rule the cage? Here are a few champions who’ve effectively used jiu-jitsu inside the octagon.

Roger Gracie: Middleweight

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The Gracie family name carries a lot of weight inside the cage so, obviously, Roger had a lot of it on his shoulders. He has made a name for himself as he defeated Trevor Prangley, Kevin Randleman, and Yuki Kondo—all fighters with a name. He did lose to “King Mo” Lawall. Time will tell if he’ll make a return to the ring.

Fabricio Werdum: Heavyweight

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He made the rounds of the fight games, making appearances in the now-defunct Pride FC, UFC, and Strikeforce. Despite the lack of a good fist and a weak grappling game, he made use of his jiu-jitsu skills. In the process, he managed to score winds against fighters like Alistair Overeem, Antonio Minotauro, Antonio Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko.

Leonardo Santos: Lightweight

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A 4-time Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world champion, Santos has experienced a sort of discrimination in the MMA world. He took matters into his own hands and signed up and competed with Ultimate Fighter Brazil II. Santos showed his fighting skill and managed to go all the way to the finals.

Bibiano Fernandes: Featherweight

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If there was any fighter dubbed as a destroyer, Fernandes would be it. He is a 5-time BJJ world champion who ploughed through the featherweight division of MMA with relative ease. While he fights mainly in Japan, he is often featured in the main event of that region.

These are just four names that are currently fighting or have fought using jiu-jitsu. That most of them have been champions in the past speaks very highly about the efficiency of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a good sport to learn as well as a good discipline to keep up.