Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ, is one of the fastest-growing martial arts in the world. Today, BJJ is available in dojos and gyms across the world, and fans rely on its fighters for getting the best sports betting odds. It is especially popular in the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene, with many top fighters utilizing a combination of takedowns and submission holds to win their fights.
Those who practice BJJ are often highly competitive. While the sport is still relatively new, several notable players have proved their skill. These BJJ top players have set themselves apart with their dedication, athleticism, and technical know-how.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best BJJ players in the world and learn about their achievements.
For the past decade, Charles Oliveira has established himself as the leading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter in mixed martial arts (MMA). Given his remarkable achievements, it is difficult to overlook him as the top contender in his field. Oliveira holds the record for the most submission wins in the history of the UFC, with sixteen.
Among his signature moves are the guillotine and rear naked choke, which he has employed to great effect against notable fighters such as Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. Oliveira’s relentless offensive strategy, involving a combination of strikes and submission attempts, sets him apart from other fighters, making him one of the greatest.
Gilbert Burns is widely recognized as one of the most talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters in the world, having won the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship four times, including twice in No-Gi. He has effectively adapted his grappling skills to MMA, demonstrating exceptional takedown abilities and control in the Octagon.
Two of his most impressive grappling performances were against BJJ legend Demian Maia and striker Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Against Maia, Gilbert effectively countered his opponent’s game, utilizing his top-notch takedown defense and winning via TKO.
Similarly, in his fight against Wonderboy, he timed his takedowns perfectly to disrupt Thompson’s striking game, securing a win without suffering damage.
Although Gilbert has been showcasing his striking abilities in recent bouts, he cannot afford to neglect his world-class grappling skills, particularly after his controversial loss to Khamzat Chimaev, which many believe he deserved to win.
Aljamain Sterling has long been a top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter in the UFC’s bantamweight division. However, it took some time for fans to recognize him as an all-around talent in MMA. Many questioned the legitimacy of his championship win by disqualification.
But Sterling silenced his critics by convincingly defeating Petr Yan in a rematch and proving himself as the division’s true champion. Following his victory over former champion TJ Dillashaw, Sterling has established himself as one of the world’s top pound-for-pound MMA fighters. There are now no doubts about his abilities.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida
Marcus may have only competed in four MMA fights, but he is widely regarded as one of the greatest grapplers ever. With fourteen world Jiu-Jitsu championship titles, Buchecha is undoubtedly one of the best BJJ fighters in the world.
He dominates heavyweight MMA fighters on the ground and can make elite-level grapplers look like beginners. Indeed, Buchecha’s opponents in ONE Championship may not be at his skill level, but very few fighters in the world can match his abilities.
Almeida has secured three submission wins out of his four total wins, which will likely increase as he continues his MMA career.
Glover has been a popular fighter in the UFC for a decade, mainly due to his ability to knock out some of the sport’s greatest fighters. However, in the latter part of his career, Teixeira experienced a revival and has shown he is also a top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter.
Teixeira went on a six-fight winning streak before losing his title, demonstrating world-class grappling skills by defeating four of his opponents via submission. At 42, he even won the light heavyweight title by beating Jan Blachowicz.
Teixeira has stated that he will retire soon, but if he can reclaim the title before then, he will be one of the best fighters in history.
Whether a beginner or a seasoned veteran, you can learn much from the top BJJ players. These top athletes provide a great example of the dedication, technique, and tactical knowledge required to reach the highest levels of the sport.
Any aspiring BJJ athlete can benefit from their example by studying their successes, failures, and strategies. These athletes have significantly contributed to the sport of BJJ and continue to inspire and teach generations of new practitioners.