Jiu-Jitsu Positions You Want To Be In When In An MMA Match

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Nov 2, 2016 1:45:00 PM

Yuri nogi 2.jpg


If you have already been doing jiu-jitsu for a little bit of time, then these positions may be obvious to you. This will be additional knowledge for the casual MMA fan: the guy who may want to train but can’t and just enjoys watching his MMA fights on a Saturday night.



Mount is one of the preferred positions for those that like to ground and pound. Once you’re on top, you will most definitely have an amazing opportunity to land some serious strikes. Whether it’s punches or elbows, you’re at a huge advantage.

Recently it’s been harder to finish opponents in this position because fighters have become so good at escaping and transitioning into a less dangerous position such as the half-guard. Nevertheless, for the more skilled groundsman, mount is also a gateway to other advantageous positions. Classically, the two most popular transitions from here in MMA are the armbar and back control. The armbar is easy to catch especially when you’re throwing punches. Oddly enough if you’re in high mount, the top fighter is able to reach his opponent’s chin but the bottom fighter cannot do the same. In the past, many fighters would reach their hands out in desperation to block the punches and would get caught in an armbar very easily. Some of the more clever fighters would straighten their arms to bait the top fighter into attempting the armbar and would properly time an escape. So, nowadays, fighters that are on the top prefer to continue to Ground and Pound to avoid losing their advantageous position. Of course, this is all dependent on the fighter’s confidence in his jiu-jitsu.


Back Control

The last top transition from mount is back control. This position is even more dangerous than mount and will give a fighter a very high chance of winning. A lot of fighters on the bottom, that are more confident with their ground game, will give up the back to avoid the stronger punches in the face and would rather take the chance of escaping back control. The horrible thing is, escaping back control is very difficult as well and usually the fight will go into a dangerous cycle - from mount to back control to mount and so forth.

This position is generally worse than being mounted, even if you’re an experienced jiu-jitsu guy. Sure, you won’t be taking full punches in the face like you would in mount, but you’re one easy transition away from getting mounted again. You’ll also be eating hooks on the side of your head along with elbows. There are a bunch of nasty submissions from there, most commonly an armbar and the rear naked choke.

Even if you do escape, your only realistic position is, once again, ending up on the bottom of a half-guard position. Even though you will have more options offensively, and you can defend yourself better from strikes, you will still be in danger of receiving a lot of heavy punches and elbows.





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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, BJJ in Everyday Life

The 3 BJJ Association Leaders You Should Always Know

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Aug 20, 2015 4:30:00 PM


Gracie Barra – Carlos Gracie Jr. 

Carlos Gracie is seemingly the kingpin of jiu-jitsu. With founding ties to Gracie Magazine, Gracie Barra, and the IBJJF, “Carlinhos” is not only one of the top association leaders, but one of the most important figures in BJJ history (along with his uncle and father, Helio and Carlos Gracie). 

Gracie Barra is the largest jiu-jitsu team in the entire world. They are not only a team, but an organization and a serious business. They have been a successful franchise for many years and provide opportunities for their black belts to open businesses across the globe. They provide support and guidelines for all their branches and really strive to achieve success. 

Carlos Gracie Jr. has some of the most famous students in the world, including Roger Gracie, Jean Jacques Machado, Renzo Gracie, Roleta, Kyra Gracie, and many more. He is very much a behind the scenes kind of guy so many beginners don’t tend to know much about him, but he should be known to every serious practitioner. 

Alliance – Fabio Gurgel

Fabio is one of the most technical jiu-jitsu practitioners of all time. Not only is he responsible for building and growing the Alliance jiu-jitsu team, along with Romero Jacare and Alexandre Paiva, but he is also a four-time world champion and a three-time European Open champion. He even won the adults European Open once at the age of forty. 

His collection of knowledge prepared Alliance world champions such as Marcelo Garcia, Lucas Lepri, Bruno Malfacine, Gabi Garcia, Michael Langhi, Bernardo Faria, Leonardo Nogueira, Cobrinha, Mario Reis, and many others. It’s the combination of being a great teacher, a pious leader, and a seasoned competitor that allowed him to be so successful. 

Nova Uniao – Andre Pederneiras

Nova Uniao is one of the more unique legendary teams because it has a strong balance between jiu-jitsu and MMA. In recent years, the team has put a greater focus on preparing their top athletes for MMA rather than pushing into BJJ. This is most likely because of the quicker payout that MMA provides – many of the athletes at Nova Uniao are from a less fortunate financial background, and there is one man that makes the effort to give these guys an opportunity to do what they love - Andre Pederneiras. 

Pederneiras himself is a student of the legendary Carlson Gracie and had a few major old school MMA fights himself in Japan. Andre, together with co-founder Wendell Alexander, created a team that supports many athletes – both MMA and BJJ. The team did have its BJJ glory days with top athletes like BJ Penn, Leo Santos, Vitor Shaolin and many others. But since then, these athletes, and the newer generation have both changed their focus to MMA with the addition of champions like Jose Aldo and Renan Barao.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Provided here is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of top talent and gym leaders. There are many more chamipionship caliber BJJ associations and leaders, both past and present. 






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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, BJJ in Everyday Life

Is It A Good Idea for BJJ Athletes To Switch To MMA? (Part 1)

Posted by admin

Jul 16, 2015 5:30:00 PM


This has been an age-old question. We’ve seen it happen so many times, both successfully and unsuccessfully. So what is it that makes the difference? What is it that motivates someone to leave BJJ and is it usually a good idea? Let us look over some prime examples try to understand what it really takes.


Example 1: Marcelo Garcia 

No one needs to sit and discuss the achievements of Marcelo Garcia. As one of the household names in jiu-jitsu, Garcia is a five-time world champion, pan-am champion, and a four-time ADCC champion. 

Being a multi-time ADCC champion is a very prestigious achievement, and more importantly, it shows a type of specific grappling proficiency that would presumably make you more adept at picking up MMA. Undoubtedly, this is something that crossed Garcia’s mind, because in 2007, he had his one and only MMA fight in Korea with the K-1 Hero’s organization. 

For the jiu-jitsu community, this was a big deal because Marcelo was easily, pound-for-pound, the best grappler in the world at the time. There was little doubt in most minds that he would have any difficulty against his opponent, Dae Won Kim, a local that no one had ever heard of before. 

The fight had gone as expected with Marcelo taking Kim’s back and maintaining it up until the second round. Although things seemed to be going according to plan, the fight resulted in Marcelo taking strikes to the face that opened up an extremely large and deep wound on his forehead. The one moment where he didn’t have back control - he got seriously beaten. 

It’s not like Marcelo took the fight on short notice and couldn’t prepare for any striking - he had time. It seemed that even after all the top level grappling he did, basic defending, and probably some discomfort from the MMA gloves, stopped the best in the world from submitting his opponent after more than one round of back control. The grappling community was indeed shocked, even if it was his first MMA fight. 

After this fight, it was clear to Marcelo that MMA was not for him. Perhaps it was far too gruesome and a continued career in jiu-jitsu would be a far better option. But what was it that stopped Marcelo from translating his supreme jiu-jitsu to MMA, especially against an unknown opponent? The most obvious thing that people say is that he just didn’t have “it”. And what is “it”? As many already know, MMA requires a mix of skills – grappling is only a fraction of what you need to know. Marcelo just didn’t have a knack for feeling the striking, even if it was his first match ever. Would he have improved if he continued training? Of course. But would he have been a top competitor? That’s the big question. 

The body type and level of athleticism Marcelo had seemed to be exclusive to jiu-jitsu and he managed to use it perfectly for that. But as we will see with other examples in the next few blog entries, the level of athleticism and natural animalistic drive for striking is one of the major forces to make the transition from BJJ to MMA a good idea.




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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Tournament/Competition Tips

2 Things Jiu-Jitsu Needs To Speed Up Growth

Posted by admin

Apr 10, 2015 5:00:00 PM



Brazilian jiu-jitsu has a problem: it’s not becoming as popular as it should be. This is because of two reasons: firstly, it lacks a proper single and central governing body, and secondly, it’s not being spread publicly on the proper platforms. Today, we’ll focus on jiu-jitsu’s current position in media. 

Internally, jiu-jitsu is doing well. YouTube is packed with all sorts of instructional videos, documentaries, and interviews. There are several magazines available for practitioners to buy to enhance their knowledge of the sport. This is all great and dandy, but guess what? All these things are for people whom already train jiu-jitsu – they are already part of the community. The goal for a fledgling sport like this is for growth and expansion into every nook and cranny in the world. Although it has done this to a certain degree, the scale is still very small in relation to almost every other major sport in the world. Jiu-jitsu is not expanding as quickly as it should as it has not been able to penetrate properly into the mainstream media, specifically TV and film. 

Before some of you declare the UFC and Red Belt counter arguments, here is why these are irrelevant for this case. MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are two totally different sports. This is both on a physiological and marketing level. Sure, UFC fighters train jiu-jitsu as part of their preparation. However, the jiu-jitsu you see in the UFC is specialized for MMA. 

When spectators view this, they still have no clue what BJJ really is. They just think it’s the ‘ground game’ or wrestling – it doesn’t attract most of them to start training. Of course, there are those that got hooked on BJJ from the early UFCs when Royce Gracie represented pure BJJ. But now, new spectators do not get the same exposure. 

What needs to happen is for some sort of show to really break out to the mainstream and demonstrate to people what the sport is about. It shouldn’t just be about training and submitting, but also the lifestyle and camaraderie that is developed. Perhaps an adventure show with one of the more charismatic jiu-jitsu champions could have a lasting effect on a fresh audience. Traveling and training could be the strongest aspects to attract newcomers outside of the physical benefits of BJJ. 

Film is another very powerful media outlet that could help catapult BJJ around the world. Red Belt was an attempt at this, but unfortunately it wasn’t commercially or critically successful enough to do that. The fact that it was made does deserve a lot of credit and respect. In order for something like BJJ to appear strongly in movies, there has to be more quality films made that feature the sport and art. One good example is what Rocky did for boxing. The movie was about Rocky, not boxing, but it got people motivated. More than a few people have probably started boxing because of the Rocky movies.




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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, BJJ in Everyday Life

5 Dangerous Techniques in BJJ - Part 1

Posted by admin

May 22, 2014 12:43:00 PM


Before you think it, I will mention it - yes, most techniques in BJJ are dangerous because it involves joint manipulation and other awkward positions. However, in this list I will talk about the moves that lack so little control that either combatant could get hurt. This means, that perhaps tapping in time won’t save you. Oh, and one more thing, this list only include legal techniques.


  1. Wrist Locks

We’ve all been caught by this at some point in our jiu-jitsu experience – except for maybe white belts since it’s only legal starting at blue belt. The wrist is one of the weaker joints in your body since it does not have the same support as your elbows and shoulders. Wristlocks also only really work well if they are put on very quickly. If you try to wristlock someone slowly they will more than likely escape. It can also be considered a type of surprise attack because of the speed required, which means that the damage done will be even worse if your wrist is relaxed. Wrist locks can be used from many different positions - almost any time your wrist is bent. This is another reason why it is so dangerous because it can be used on you anywhere and any time. It is a favorite of many black belts to earn an easy victory. That’s why so many people think wrist locks are considered “cheap” or “cowardly”. But the truth is, this is jiu-jitsu and if it’s legal in competition, you better be conscious of it. And if you’re a black belt, you have to be street ready, so you should definitely protect your wrists.


  1. Jumping Triangle

Anything “jump” related will have its problems. The jumping triangle can be done from either when both opponents are standing, or if one opponent is seated in open guard and a standing opponent jumps to catch the triangle with his legs. The reason this is dangerous is because many practitioners miss their target and the results can be quite ugly. If it fails when both opponents are standing, then the person trying the technique could easily land on his back, winding himself, or landing on his head, which can damage the spine. The bigger you are, the harder you fall. So that’s why you will always see more lightweights doing this technique. The same thing applies for this technique against a seated guard opponent. If you miss your target, you could easily kick them in the face or land on top of their head. It is definitely suggested to proceed with caution.


  1. Flying Armbar

This is even a step up in danger than the jumping triangle. Why? Well because for this technique you have to be on an angle where your head points more towards the ground, unlike the jumping triangle where it’s more likely that your back will hit. There are many videos out there on Youtube that show the consequences of a failed flying armbar. Many attempts lead to a practitioner knocking themselves out and having serious spine damage. So if you’re feeling light on your feet, maybe think twice before trying it out.


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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

How To Improve Your Speed and Endurance In Mixed Martial Arts

Posted by admin

Nov 22, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts is a highly competitive form of combat training that incorporates a wide variety of different techniques together. As the name suggests, MMA brings several different styles of combat together to offer competitors more freedom in the ring. Perhaps this is why it's one of the fastest growing combat sports in the nation. If you are interested in learning MMA, keep reading to find out how you improve your speed and endurance in MMA through some simple exercises.

The reason why most beginners slow down and lose pace in MMA is because they aren't conditioned to fight for long periods of time; it's just that simple. The human body is designed to only go for so long before it must slow down. The good news, however, is that you can train and condition your body to perform intense physical activities, such as participating in MMA, for longer periods of time. So, how are you supposed to accomplish this? Start by incorporating more cardiovascular workouts into your daily exercise regime. A 3-5 mile jog/run around the neighborhood will prove to be incredibly helpful in conditioning your body.

Cardiovascular exercises will not only improve your physical endurance, but they will also improve your lung capacity as well. Ever feel yourself getting winded during a training session? If you aren't performing enough cardiovascular exercise, your lungs won't have the capacity to keep up. This is why it's essential to run, jog, jump rope or shadowbox to improve your lung capacity. And if you're a smoker, you should kick this bad habit to improve your endurance and stamina.

Plyometrics refers to a technique where the individual exerts the maximum amount of force on specific muscles in the shortest amount of time. Box jumping is one such plyometric exercise that's performed by dropping to the ground from a raised platform, hopping back up, and repeating the sequence again. Plyometrics are incredibly simple, but they are also highly effective for MMA conditioning. Since they exert a great amount of force on your muscles in a short amount of time, you will naturally build more muscle mass. If you need help with plyometric exercises, don't be afraid to ask your trainer for help.

A set of good kettlebells is an investment that every serious MMA athlete needs to invest in. They are easy to use and help to workout dozens of different muscles throughout the body. Once such exercise that's particularly helpful for improving speed and endurance in MMA are kettlebell swings. You hold a single kettlebell using both hands and swing it from between your legs to eye level. As long as you keep your back and your arms straight, it will lead to a great full-body workout.

These are just a few of the many different workouts that will improve your speed and endurance in MMA. Most importantly, though, keep practicing and participating in sparring matches. Like most things in life, the more you practice MMA, the better you'll become at it.

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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA

4 Best Suited BJJ Fighters for MMA

Posted by admin

Jun 13, 2013 9:23:00 AM


This is a list of current BJJ fighters who have not yet had any professional fights in MMA. So this eliminates guys like Xande Ribeiro, Roger Gracie, Jacare, Marcelo Garcia, Andre Galvao and many others. Below are the four guys that would be best suited for mixed martial arts. The main criteria used to compile this small list; athleticism, strength, build and interest that they may have already show in the past to compete. One more important piece of criteria is to consider how their grappling styles will convert to nogi in MMA. BJJ is moving into a direction where the techniques are becoming more complex, fancy and less practical for an actual fight. Imagine someone trying a berimbolo in the UFC, they would get KO’d before they would even have a chance to invert. So let’s see who of the bunch can make it happen in MMA.

Rodolfo Vieira

Rodolfo has shown the world that he is easily one of the most naturally gifted athletes in all of BJJ. Ironically enough, he started jiu-jitsu because he was overweight as a child. But now, jiu-jitsu has taken him to the other side of the spectrum. Very few people can train at the intensity and amount that he does, so picking up the extra skills to compete in MMA will not be particularly difficult for this GF Team elite. He has already started training some light boxing to keep MMA as an option for the future.

Marcus Almeida ‘Buchecha’

What makes Buchecha unique is his ability to be so agile at such a heavy weight. Buchecha competes in the ultra heavyweight division, the heaviest division available in the IBJJF. If he were to fight MMA, he would have to cut a little weight, but there is no doubt that he would be one of the biggest, fittest and fastest heavyweights around. These physical attributes, along with his athleticism, will easily help him adapt and do very well.

Bruno Malfacine

Although Bruno is in the lighter category, he has displayed a level of technique and athleticism that would translate well into the lighter categories in MMA. For his size, Malfacine is both unbelievably strong, compact and agile – all traits that will be useful for wrestling and striking. Although most of the Alliance athletes do not continue into MMA, hopefully Bruno can follow in the steps of his teammate Sergio Moraes and gives it a chance.

Claudio Calasans

The Atos team is growing to be one of the more popular BJJ teams, not only for their accomplishments in competition, but also for their assistance to MMA athletes. Ramon Lemos coaches Anderson Silva, and Durinho coaches Vitor Belfort. Additionally, Andre Galvao has had his few fights in MMA, as well as Bruno Frazatto that is now preparing more aggressively for his future fights. Claudio Calasans is someone on the team that really should look into MMA. He is very powerful for his size and has demonstrated the athletic ability required to successfully adapt to MMA.

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Topics: Pro BJJ Players and Superfights, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

The Top 5 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Competitors of All Time

Posted by admin

Feb 22, 2013 10:00:00 PM

The following is a list of the top Gracies that have competed in history and is based on a mixture of results and impact on the BJJ scene.


Rolles Gracie
Rolles Gracie

5. Rolls Gracie

Another Gracie legend from the golden days of jiu-jitsu – Rolls was known as one of the best Gracie competitors and he was responsible for influencing many other important figures such as Carlos Gracie Jr., Royce Gracie, Romero Cavalcante and Rickson Gracie. Rolls had a monstrous and dangerous open guard and had contributed to its development. Rolls was also one of the first Gracies to really put effort into training other combat sports and diversifying his game. Rolls competed in sambo, judo and wrestling tournaments successfully and this only added to his ability as a competitor.

4. Rickson Gracie

Although most of Rickson’s better-known accomplishments are in MMA, the impact he has had in jiu-jitsu is unparalleled and he is still considered to be undefeated in jiu-jitsu competition. Just because he is part of an older generation does not mean that someone of his caliber should be disregarded as one of the best ever. His son Kron is of notable mention, however, he has yet to obtain a world title at the black belt level which bumps him off the top 5 list.

3. Kyra Gracie

The name Kyra Gracie has become synonymous with women’s jiu-jitsu. Having won the world title at black belt 5 times, and the ADCC titles 4 times – there is little left for this young legend to prove. In addition to her competitive accomplishments, she also works hard to promote women’s jiu-jitsu and helps organize programs in Brazil to help less fortunate kids in Brazil build their future.

2. Royler Gracie

Royler is still seen by many as the greatest Gracie competitor even though he was unable to really achieve as much because of his lighter weight – the absolute title was out of his reach. But Royler had demonstrated his dominance in the early mundials, having conquered the title four years in a row, defeating other legends like Leo Vieira, Shaolin Ribeiro, Draculino and Marcos Aurelio. Even before the organization of the IBJJF, Royler was undefeated in jiu-jitsu in other competitions until he lost on points to the unbelievably crafty Ricardo De La Riva.

1. Roger Gracie

Roger is not only viewed as one of the top Gracie competitors of all time, but he is viewed as one of the best BJJ competitors ever. Standing at six feet and four inches tall, Roger had the technique and the size to conquer all the titles, including the absolute. Now turning his attention to MMA, Roger leaves BJJ as seven-time world champion and three-time absolute world champion. Part of Roger’s allure is that although he is a large guy, he was not viewed as particularly athletic but yet was able to defeat technical, large and athletic opponents – a true example of the Gracie jiu-jitsu his family promotes. In the 2005 ADCC, he had also won his division and the absolute, submitting all 8 of his opponents – something that has never been done before.



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Topics: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

10 Best Grapplers in MMA

Posted by admin

Feb 19, 2013 10:45:00 PM

Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts that are practiced both as combat sports and for self-defense. Grappling can be a mixture of or just one specific area including jiu-jitsu and judo or a series of different realms of wrestling to include Greco-Roman, Shoot or Catch.

So how do you determine who has the best grappling in mixed martial arts? One might want to break it down into different categories. For example who has the best grappling as far as jiu-jitsu in MMA or who has the best wrestling based grappling?

But if you want to dig down real deep you need to combine all areas into one list. This is a list of our picks of the 10 best all-around grapplers in MMA today.

10) Ben Askren – A member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team and brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Askren is currently the Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight champion. Askren is currently undefeated at 11-0 dominating all of his opponents with his wrestling prowess. He was also a 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championship quarterfinalist.

9) Ronda Rousey –Rousey is the first and current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, as well as the former Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion. She has finished all of her opponents by armbar in the first round. Rousey became the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in Judo at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008. She is the pound for pound number one female fighter on the planet. At just 17, Rousey qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the youngest judo competitor in the entire Games. Also in 2004, Rousey won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

8) Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza –Souza is a Brazilian mixed martial artist, submission grappler and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Souza is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion. He also holds the distinction of submitting Marcelo Garcia (a man considered by many to be the greatest pound-for-pound grappler of all time) in submission grappling competition.

7) Jake Shields – An NCAA Division II level wrestler and accomplished black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie, Shields is best known for his 15-fight win streak where he finished eight straight opponents. Shields held the Strikeforce middleweight title and the Elite XC and Shoot welterweight titles. He is also the 2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships bronze medalist, 2005 Pan American Championships gold medalist, the 2007 Gracie Open Superfight Champion and a three time Grapplers Quest Advanced Division champion.

6) Johny Hendricks – Hendricks is an accomplished former collegiate wrestler. While competing for Oklahoma State University, Hendricks won the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Division I wrestling title at 165-pounds, and he finished second in 2007. Hendricks is considered the #2 welterweight in the UFC right now with a professional record of 14-1.

5) Frank Mir - Mir is a two time UFC Heavyweight Champion. He currently holds the record for most victories and submissions in the history of the UFC heavyweight division. He is also the only man in UFC history to win a bout by toe hold. He holds the distinction of being the first and only man to both knock out and submit MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Mir holds black belts in both Kenpo Karate and BJJ and has had more fights in the UFC than anyone else who has competed in the heavyweight division.

4) Joe Warren – Warren is a Greco-Roman wrestler that won the 2006 Pan American and World Championship and was a favorite for the 2008 Olympics, but was given a two-year suspension after testing positive for THC while trying to qualify for the 2007 World Championship. He later participated in and won the 2007 World Cup. During the end of 2008 Warren started transitioning to MMA and in just a few short years he claimed a world championship.

3) Georges St. Pierre – The current UFC welterweight champion and #2 pound for pound fighter on the planet, Georges St. Pierre is a BJJ black belt and also hold black belts in Kyokushin Kaikan, Gaidojutsu, and Shidokan. He currently holds a professional record of 23-2. When starting professional mixed martial arts this Canadian fighter had little to no wrestling training. He has improved so much that he is now considered one of the best wrestlers in the organization and has shown interest in competing for his country in the Olympic trials.

2) Shinya Aoki - Japanese mixed martial artist and grappler noted for being the DREAM Lightweight Champion, WAMMA Lightweight Champion and former Shooto Welterweight Champion. Aoki holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as a black belt in judo. He is best known for his excellent flexibility, and submission skills often taking opponents by surprise and earning him the nickname Tōbikan Jūdan meaning ‘Grandmaster of flying submissions.’ As well as his MMA credentials, Aoki has garnered several submission grappling accolades including two All Japan Jiu-Jitsu championships, a Japan Open Jiu-Jitsu championship, a Budo Open championship, and an ADCC Japan championship.

1) Demain Maia – Maia, a 4th degree black belt in BJJ has beaten some of the world’s best wrestlers, strikers and BJJ practitioners with his ability to outmaneuver his opponents. Maia is widely considered the best grappler in the UFC and all of mixed martial arts. He is three-time World Cup champion, two-time World Champion, Pan American champion 2006, ADCC champion 2007, ADCC 2nd place in 2005, Brazilian champion, 7x state champion, 4x Brazilian team champion.

Maia’s grappling prowess is so highly regarded among MMA fighters that noted heavyweight submission artist and fellow BJJ black belt Frank Mir hired him as his head jiu-jitsu coach prior to his UFC 100 title fight with Brock Lesnar. Mir credits Maia with bringing Mir's jiu-jitsu skills to different levels, saying "I thought I was actually good at it until I started rolling with him."

Other Notable mentions: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira , Chris Weidman, Fabricio Werdum, Jon Fitch, Gilbert Melendez, Roger Gracie and Daniel Cormier.

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Topics: Pro BJJ Players and Superfights, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu "Top 10" Lists

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