10 Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fighters In MMA History

12 Aug , 2022,
A. J. Riot

MMA fighting, such as the UFC, allows multiple different fighting styles to battle against each other. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been taught how to wrestle, box, or fight using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you have a place in the ring.

However, over the years, it’s become clear that BJJ is a king in the ring. The UFC spreads are more likely to favor a BJJ fighter than someone who specializes in wrestling alone. Here are 10 of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters of all time.

1. Royce Gracie

How can we mention BJJ without putting Royce Gracie in the top position? This fighter is credited with giving UFC its fame and glory. When the Ultimate Fighting Championship first started, Gracie entered the Octagon and became the first star of the fledgling sport.

In his career, Gracie has only lost twice out of his 20 total matches. The majority of his wins came through submissions, which is a sign of a talented BJJ fighter.

2. Anderson Silva

Although Silva’s most recent display of fighting has put him on a losing streak, that doesn’t mean his talents should be dismissed. In his 49 fight history, Silva has won 34 matches, 23 of which through knockouts.

Knockouts aren’t the expected outcome for a BJJ fighter, but Silva’s power and accuracy are unlike anyone else.

Anderson is a 3rd-degree black belt and was trained under Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira.

3. Wanderlei Silva

Wanderlei Silva (no relation to Anderson Silva), has a scary persona. In his 51 matches, he won 27 of them through knockouts. With 35 wins under his belt, you can see that Silva destroyed his opponents through pure power.

That doesn’t mean that Silva hasn’t lost though. His 14 losses can be easily split into knockouts and decisions – 7 each. Wanderlei is not the type to submit to anyone and would rather black out than admit defeat. Though he didn’t utilize grappling often in his MMA career, Wanderlei is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

4. Jose Aldo

Aldo is a featherweight fighter and is considered the best featherweight fighter of all time. Between 2004 and 2019, Aldo was constantly battling for the UFC Championship and his rival Conor McGregor. Aldo has held the title for longer than any other Featherweight UFC Champion, claiming 1,848 days under a total reign and 2,037 in his whole career.

After dominating this division, Also moved onto Bantamweight and although he hasn’t taken the title yet, Aldo has been in the running multiple times.

5. Lyoto Machida

Machida is a former Light Heavyweight Champion and held the title for 350 days in 2009. Throughout his career, Machida has won 36 matches and lost just 12 times.

The majority of his wins come from decisions and knockouts, showing that Machida has both the skill and power to take someone out.

6. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira

Rodrigo Nogueira is a world-class fighter who has often performed for his country. He was the main fighter in the Brazilian Top Team between 1999 and 2006, as well as the Black House between 2006 and 2015.

Rodrigo Nogueira is a 5th-degree black belt and had been fighting in MMA between 1999 and 2015. In that time he won 34 matches, 21 of which were through submission and 10 through the decision.

7. Junior Dos Santos

Santos is a Heavyweight Champion and reigned for 413 days in 2011. He received his black belt under Yuri Carlton, helping him achieve 21 wins, most of which were through knockouts.

Of his 10 losses, 8 of them were through knockouts too, which shows that Santos is a fight-till-you-drop kind of fighter.

8. Vitor Belfort

Belfort has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and trained under Carlson Gracie, that’s right a real Gracie. He also has a black belt in Judo and a purple belt in Shotokan Karate.

Although Belfort no longer fights in MMA (having moved on to boxing), he had a great 22-year-old career, where he won 26 matches, most of which to knockouts.

In his UFC career, Belfort became a Light Heavyweight Champion which he kept for 203 days.

9. Renan Barão

Barão dances between Bantamweight and Featherweight, but he is most dominant in the Bantamweight division of UFC. Here has been a Champion, with a total reign of 138 days.

Throughout his whole mixed martial arts career, Barão has had 34 wines and just 9 losses. The majority of his wins were through submission and decision, which shows that skill and dominance are his forte.

10. Fabricio Werdum

Last but not least, we have Werdum. Werdum is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. In his MMA career so far, he has won 24 matches and lost just 9. Of the 24 wins, 12 of them were from submission which is a sign of a great BJJ fighter.

Werdum is a 2nd degree black belt for BJJ and studied under Octávio “Ratinho” Couto. He also has a black belt in Judo and Muay Thai.

Summary

All of these fighters have amazing skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They have each dominated in their division or league, and have used submission as their most common form of win. This shows the amount of skill they have to play with when it comes to winning.