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25 Best BJJ Nicknames

25 Best BJJ Nicknames

Name Nickname Reason Behind the Nickname
Willington Leal Dias Santos Megaton Due to his forceful throws like a megaton bomb.
Carlos Gracie Jr. Carlinhos Meaning “little Carlos” due to being the son of Carlos Gracie Senior
Marcos Vinícius Oliveira de Almeida Buchecha Meaning “chubby cheeks” due to Almeida being a chubby kid
Jeffrey Dean Glover Pipelayer Due to working as a plumber before becoming a BJJ fighter
Fabricio Andrey Batista Jr. Hokage Based on in-universe title used in popular anime Naruto
Kron Gracie Ice Cream Calm attitude
Mikey Musumeci Jr. Darth Rigatoni “Darth” is an in-universe title used in Star Wars
“Rigatoni” for his love of pasta
Felipe Carsalade Araujo Pena Preguiça Meaning “sloth” due to being chubby and lazy before becoming a BJJ fighter
Rubens Charles Maciel Cobrinha Meaning “little snake” due to flexibility and agility
Jacob Couch The Hillbilly Hammer No Reason
Diogo Reis Baby Shark Given by friends during a championship
Paul Jacob Barch The Butter Panther Due to his smooth fighting style
André Luiz Leite Galvão Deco Abbreviation of name in Portuguese
Gordon Ryan The King
The Iron Dragon
Self-declared title
Given by friends and fans after the EBI Championship
Adam Wardziński Megatron Acted like Megatron from Transformers on a bus trip
Vítor de Souza Ribeiro Shaolin Would stand like Buddhist monks during training
Rousimar Christian Palhares Toquinho Meaning “little tree stump” due to his short height and heavy body
Haisam Rida Giraffe Due to his tall height
Jeffrey William Monson The Snowman Due to his skin complexion
Augusto Mendes Tanquinho Meaning “Little Tank.” Given due to affiliaion with older brother nicknamed “Tank.”
Edward Cummings Wolverine Due to his small, fury, and intimidating appearance
Braulio de Oliveira Estima Carcará Used to live in a region inhabited by birds called carcará
Wore a gi that used the carcará as part of its brand name
Bruno Malfacine Bad Boy Given by his training partners during childhood
Lucas Daniel Silva Barbosa Hulk Given by his training partners due to his incredible strength, especially when throwing or pressure passing
Mattheus Oliveira Diniz Gorilla
King Kong
Jokingly given due to ape-life posture when walking

In Brazilian culture, first names are often associated with nicknames. Used by friends and family, these nicknames are abbreviations of their names or highlight a noticeable aspect of a person’s personality.

In the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, many fighters are given nicknames in a similar manner to Brazilian culture. Many fans often identify fighters by their nicknames rather than their real names. Nicknames can also contribute to the fame of BJJ competitors.. In this article, you will learn about the origins of many notable BJJ fighters’ nicknames.

1. How to Get a BJJ Nickname?

BJJ nicknames can be given to fighters for the following reasons:

  • Appearance
  • Fighting style
  • Given by instructors during training
  • Given by training partners or friends
  • Using a signature technique
  • Character

Do not ask for a nickname from your instructor. When you have built a unique BJJ identity, your nickname will be given when the time is right. Another important thing is that having no nickname is better than having a boring nickname. Exciting and cool nicknames are liked by BJJ fans and can help spread the reputation of a competitor.

Listed below is a list of famous BJJ fighters, their nicknames, and how they got their nicknames.

2. Nicknames of Famous Grapplers

2.1. Willington Leal Dias Santos - Megaton

Willington Leal Dias Santos - Megaton

Photo Credit: @megatondias

Wellington “Megaton” Dias has one of the most famous nicknames in the BJJ world. He has a long BJJ career with a long list of accomplishments, including being the first coral belt to participate in the IBJJF World Championship.

Dias was given his nickname during his time learning judo due to often throwing his opponent with great force like a megaton bomb.

2.2. Carlos Gracie Jr. - Carlinhos

Carlos Gracie Jr. - Carlinhos

Photo Credit: @graciebarra.com

Carlos Gracie Jr. is the son of Carlos Gracie Sr., one of the pioneers of BJJ. He is the founder and co-owner of the CBJJ and IBJJF. Carlos Gracie Jr. is also included in the IBJJF Hall of Fame. He founded Gracie Barra, a famous academy in the grappling world, and GracieMag, a famous BJJ magazine.

Carlos Gracie Jr. is often called “Carlinhos,” which is the Portuguese word for “Little Carlos.” Carlos Gracie Jr. was named in honor of his father and the Gracie family legacy.

2.3. Marcos Vinícius Oliveira de Almeida - Buchecha

Marcos Vinícius Oliveira de Almeida - Buchecha

Photo Credit: @marcusbuchecha

Marcus Vinícus Oliveira de Almeida is a 13-time Gi World Champion and four-time No-Gi World Champion. He is also an IBJJF Hall of Fame inductee.

Almeida’s nickname “Buchecha” is a Portuguese word meaning "big or chubby cheeks.” When he started BJJ training as a kid, Almeida was a chubby kid with big cheeks which his training partners playfully pointed out.

2.4. Jeffrey Dean Glover - The Pipelayer

Jeffrey Dean Glover - The Pipelayer

Photo Credit: @jeffgloverbjj

Jeffrey Dean Glover is a IBJJF World No-Gi Champion and ADCC bronze medalist. His fighting style is innovative and exciting.

Glover’s nickname “the Pipelayer” was due to his time working as a plumber before becoming a BJJ fighter.

2.5. Fabricio Andrey Batista Jr. - Hokage

Fabricio Andrey Batista Jr. - Hokage

Photo Credit: @fabricio_andreyjj

Fabricio Andrey Batistsa Jr. is a BJJ black belt under Melqui Galváo. He received his black belt in August 2020. After receiving his black belt, Andrey won several major BJJ championships, including the World, Pans, CBJJ, and European Open.

Andrey is a big fan of the anime series, Naruto, and often wears a gi with the word “Hokage” stitched on it. As many of his friends started calling Andrey by this name, he soon became known by this nickname.

2.6. Kron Gracie - Ice Cream Kron

Kron Gracie - Ice Cream Kron

Photo Credit: @riokid

Kron Gracie is one of the most accomplished members of the Gracie family who has kept the family legacy with his outstanding performance. He became famous after his achievement in ADCC 2013. He also debuted in MMA and appeared in UFC fights. Kron Gracie was named ‘Ice Cream Kron’ because of his calm attitude during fights. This is the most unusual nickname in BJJ history.

2.7. Mikey Musumeci Jr. - Darth Rigatoni

Mikey Musumeci Jr. - Darth Rigatoni

Photo Credit: @mikeymusumeci

Mikey Musumeci Jr. is a multiple-time World, Pan, European Open, American Nationals, and AJP Grand Slam Champion.

Musumeci Jr.’s nickname is “Darth Rigatoni.” “Darth” is a fictional title used for villains in Star Wars. Meanwhile, “Rigatoni” is a type of Italian pasta. The nickname was not given by friends or an instructor; rather, it was given by one of Musumeci Jr.’s fans during a superfight. According to Musumeci Jr.,

“And it does represent me… because I’m like this nice smiley guy. But then when I go out to compete, I become like a different person. So that’s like the dark part of me comes out, you know? And then five seconds later, I’m smiling at Mikey again, talking about pasta and pizza. So it really does symbolize me well, right?”

2.8. Felipe Carsalade Araujo Pena - Preguiça

Felipe Carsalade Araujo Pena - Preguiça

Photo Credit: @felipepenabjj

Felipe Carsalade Araujo Pena is one of the best grapplers of his generation in his weight division and earned a big name by winning various world and ADCC championships.

The nickname “Preguiça” was a funny name given by Pena’s instructor. Preguiça is the Portuguese word for “sloth.” When he joined BJJ as a kid, Pena was a slightly chubby kid. Pena’s desire to get in shape motivated him and helped became one of the most famous BJJ fighters worldwide.

2.9. Rubens Charles Maciel - Cobrinha

Rubens Charles Maciel - Cobrinha

Photo Credit: @cobrinhacharles

Rubens Charles Maciel is a lightweight competitor.

Charles was given the nickname “Cobrinha” by his Capoeira coach before he started his jiu-jitsu training. Cobrinha means “little snake,” which best describes Charles’s flexible body and agility.

2.10. Jacob Couch - The Hillbilly Hammer

Jacob Couch - The Hillbilly Hammer

Photo Credit: @thehillbillyhammer

Jacob Couch became famous in the BJJ circuit due to his performances as a colored belt. He often dominated his opponents using his heavy and powerful body.

Couch’s nickname, ”the Hillbilly Hammer” is not a traditional Brazilian or Portuguese nickname. This nickname was not given by friends or family, not inspired by a notable characteric, and has no real backstory behind it.

2.11. Diogo Reis - Baby Shark

Diogo Reis - Baby Shark

Photo Credit: @diogoreisbjj

Diogo Reis is a rising competitor under Melqui Galváo. He won the ADCC Championship in the 66 kg weight division.

Reis’s nickname is not Portuguese in origin, instead originating from English. His nickname did not have any specific inspiration behind it. Reis’s friends simply started calling him “Baby Shark” during a championship and it stuck.

2.12. Paul Jacob Barch - The Butter Panther

Paul Jacob Barch - The Butter Panther

Photo Credit: @pbarch10p

Paul Jacob Barch is an elite grappler from 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu under Richie Martinez and Eddie Bravo. Barch previously fought in All-American wrestling before joining BJJ. He quickly grew in reputation due to his performance in No-Gi tournaments like the Onnit Invitational, Sapateiro Invitational, and Quintet Grappling Team Survival Match.

Barch is often referred to as “PJ”’ or “the Butter Panther.” There is no specific background behind the latter. Due to his smooth fighting style being amusing to his fans, Barch was given the nickname based on his skills.

2.13. André Luis Leite Galvão - Deco

André Luis Leite Galvão - Deco

Photo Credit: @galvaobjj

André Luis Leite Galvão is part of the ADCC and IBJJF Hall of Fame. He is a five-time World Champion, two-time ADCC Champion, and three-time ADCC Superfight Champion. Galvão is also the owner of the famous BJJ gym, Atos Jiu-Jitsu.

Galvão’s nickname, Deco, is an abbreviation of his name in Portuguese.

2.14. Gordon Ryan - The King, The Iron Dragon

Gordon Ryan - The King, The Iron Dragon

Photo Credit: @gordonlovesjiujitsu

Gordon Ryan has won the World No-Gi Championship twice, and the Pan No-Gi Championship twice, winning all of his matches via submission.

Ryan was named “the Iron Dragon” after winning the EBI Championship. He started calling himself “the King,” wearing a robe and a crown. Now,Ryan is known by both nicknames.

2.15. Adam Wardziński - Megatron

Adam Wardziński - Megatron

Photo Credit: @wardziak_bjj

Adam Wardziński is a grappler from Checkmate under Alan Finfou. He has won in multiple championships like the Pan, Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, European Open, and ADCC Trials.

During his black belt career, Wardziński was known as “Megatron.” This nickname was given by his friends during a bus trip where Wardziński was pretended to act like Megatron from Transformers.

2.16. Vítor de Souza Ribeiro - Shaolin

Vítor de Souza Ribeiro - Shaolin

Photo Credit: @vshaolin

Vítor de Souza Ribeiro competed in and won the first IBJJF World Championship. He is a four-time World Champion.

Ribeiro’s nickname, “Shaolin,” was due to him standing in lotus flowers in the position of a Buddhist monk when resting when he started BJJ training.

2.17. Rousimar Christian Palhares - Toquinho

Rousimar Christian Palhares - Toquinho

Photo Credit: @toquinhomma

Rousimar Christian Palhares was one of the top MMA fighters and grapplers. He was the 2005 ADCC Trials Champion and a silver medalist in the 2011 ADCC. Palhares was fired from the UFC because he refused to let go after his opponent tapped out.

Palhares got the nickname, “Toquinho” or “little tree stump,” due to his short height and heavy weight.

2.18. Haisam Rida - Giraffe

Haisam Rida - Giraffe

Photo Credit: @haisam1jj

Haisam Rida is a top BJJ competitor who won in various major tournaments and earned fame for his performance in the ADCC 2022 when he submitted Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu.

Rida got his nickname, “Giraffe,” from his friends due to his tall height of 6 '3'’ feet.

2.19. Jeffrey William Monson - The Snowman

Jeffrey William Monson - The Snowman

Photo Credit: @jeff_monson_official

Jeffrey William Monson was a great grappler, wrestler, and MMA fighter. He has an MMA record of 61-26-2. Monson fought for the first time in the 1999 ADCC, showcasing his wrestling and grappling, and winning the gold medal.

At the 1999 ADCC, Monson received his nickname, “he Snowman” because of his light skin color. People also compared him to a snowball that became bigger, stronger, and more compact.

2.20. Augusto Mendes - Tanquinho

Augusto Mendes - Tanquinho

Photo Credit: @tanquinhojj

Augusto Mendes is a Gi and No-Gi World Champion. Debuting in MMA and also appearing in UFC, Mendes would eventually announce his retirement from MMA and return to BJJ. Upon returning to BJJ, he won the 2019 ADCC Championship.

Mendes started learning BJJ alongside his brother, affectionally nicknamed “Tank.” Due to his affiliation with his brother, Mendes was named “Tanquinho” or little tank.”

2.21. Edward Cummings - Wolverine

Edward Cummings - Wolverine

Photo Credit: @eddiewolverinebjj

Edward Cumming trained under John Danaher and became one of the best leg lockers in the grappling world. Most of his wins were via heel hooks. Cumming is also the EBI 145-lb division winner and a ADCC Trials Champion.

Cumming explained on his Instagram account that he was given the nickname “Wolverine” due to his furry, small, and intimidating appearance.

2.22. Braulio de Oliveira Estima - Carcará

Braulio de Oliveira Estima - Carcará

Photo Credit: @braulioestima

Braulio de Oliveira Estima is a three-time World Champion, UAEJJF Champion, two-tme ADCC Champion, and three-time European Open Champion. He received his black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr.

Estima was called “Carcará” Due to living in an area habited by a type of bird called the carcará. Another reason for the nickname is that Estima used to wear a gi that used the carcará as its brand name. Estima’s friends started calling him by this nickname until it stuck.

2.23. Bruno Malfacine - Bad Boy

Bruno Malfacine - Bad Boy

Photo Credit: @bmalfacine

Bruno Malfacine is a 10-time World Champion as a black belt and a two-time World Champion as a colored belt. Malfacine received his black belt under Vinicius Amaral at Gama Filho Team. Later, he joined the Alliance and started training under Fabio Gurgel.

Malfacine’s nickname, “Bad Boy” was given by his friends during his childhood.

2.24. Lucas Daniel Silva Barbosa - Hulk

Lucas Daniel Silva Barbosa - Hulk

Photo Credit: @lucasbarbosajj

Lucas Daniel Silva Barbosa is a multiple-time World Champion, IBJJF tournament winner, and ADCC World Championship silver medalist.

Barbosa’s nickname, “Hulk” was given to him when visiting Rio de Janeiro for BJJ training. His friends called Barbosa “Hulk” because of his heavy weight, large body, and incredible physical prowess.

2.25. Matheus Oliveira Diniz - Gorilla, King Kong

Matheus Oliveira Diniz - Gorilla, King Kong

Photo Credit: @matheusdinizjj

Matheus Oliveira Diniz is an ADCC and Pan Champion who received his black belt under ADCC Hall of Famer, Marcelo Garcia. He has a long list of achievements and competed in several major BJJ championships. Diniz has a couple of nicknames: “Gorilla” and “King Kong.” These nicknames were inspired by the funny way that Diniz would walk, resembling that of an ape.

3. Conclusion

In the BJJ community, it is a common tradition for fighters to be given nicknames. Nicknames can become so popular among BJJ fans that they become the primary way to identify famous fighters. If the nicknames are cool and reflect competitors’ personalities, they can help improve reputation and fame.

Various BJJ athletes have such iconic nicknames that they use them on their social media accounts. It is becoming more common for nicknames are becoming official parts of fighters’ original names. For example, Rubens Charles includes his nickname, “Cobrinha” as part of his middle name.

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