Rigan Machado - 8th Degree Red and White BJJ Coral Belt

Rigan Machado - 8th Degree Red and White BJJ Coral Belt

1. Rigan Machado’s Details

Rigan Machado’s Details


Rigan Machado



Birth Place

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Date of Birth

July 2, 1966

Weight Division

Ultra Heavyweight/ Over 100kg/ 221lbs

Last Weight in



5ft 8 inches/173cm

Disclosed Career Earnings





Coral Belt

Last Fight


Favorite Position


Head Coach

Carlos Gracie Jr.


Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Rigan Machado

Fighting out of


Team Association

Machado Jiu-Jitsu

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2. Rigan Machado’s Biography

Rigan Machado is one of the most legendary personalities in history and the Jiu-Jitsu World. He is an 8th-degree Red and White BJJ Coral Belt holder, tone of the highest rank in Jiu-Jitsu, under Coach Carlos Gracie Jr . Rigan Machado is the nephew of Grand Master Carlos Gracie Sr. and one of the toughest grapplers of the 1980s. He won the IBJJF Pan American Championship of 1996 and 1997 both in his weight division and absolute weight. Moreover, he won the Brazilian National Championship and ADCC. He created a lot of records in his periods of Jiu-Jitsu, such as winning continuously 365 matches with zero losses. Once, he won 19 matches in a row by submissions in one day.

After moving to the USA he also won many medals in Judo , Sambo, and wrestling tournaments.

2.1. Rigan Machado’s Childhood

Rigan Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 2nd of July 1966.

From the age of 5, he started practicing Jiu-Jitsu with his cousins and brothers. He grew up in a family full of BJJ minds and environments. He was born with inborn talent and skills for this game. From a very early age, he started rolling on the mats with his family members.

2.2. Rigan Machado’s Relation to Carlos Gracie

Rigan Machado was the nephew of the founder of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie. During an interview, he said that my aunt Layr married Carlos Gracie Sr, and me and my four brothers became the first cousins to Carlos Gracie Jr and his other siblings.

2.3. Rigan Machado’s Dyslexia Disorder

Rigan Machado suffered from dyslexia disorder in childhood. He had issues with speaking and coordination at an early age. Fortunately, his mother had good terms with Carlos Gracie and she asked him to help his child with this disorder. So, during his early years till the age of 14, Rigan Machado trained with Carlos Gracie. Carlos paid a lot of attention to Rigan and helped him overcome his dyslexia.

2.4. Rigan Machado’s Brothers

There are a total of 5 Machado brothers, the elder one being Carlos , Roger, Rigan, Jean Jacques , and the younger one John Machado. All of the Machado brothers had been practicing jiu-jitsu from a very young age and secured several gold medals at the international level.

  • Carlos Machado is an 8th-degree coral belt under Rolls Gracie .
  • Roger Machado is a 7th-degree coral belt and runs his Roger Machado Jiu-Jitsu in California.
  • Rigan Machado is an 8th-degree Red and white coral belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. and now teaching Jiu-Jitsu at the Beverly Hills.
  • Jean Jacques Machado is the fourth one and is a 7th-degree coral belt Champion.
  • John Machado is the youngest of all brothers and is a 7th-degree coral belt who runs his school in Texas and is also a part-time actor.

2.5. Rigan Machado’s Jiu-Jitsu Training

Riogan Machado started training at the age of 5. He trained with Carlos Gracie till the age of 14. After 14, he decided to move to Carlos Gracie Jr.’s house to focus on his training properly. So, he moved to his cousin's house in Ipanema Beach.

There he saw another world of Jiu-Jitsu. This house was full of like-minded people whose only goal in life was to become a Jiu-Jitsu Champion. The students at that house had a proper routine and everyone had a separate mattress. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing is the training before breakfast. Rigan trained hard at Carlos’s house for the next 10 years. He used to say,

“Any place; small, big I didn’t care. I wanted to compete!”

2.6. Rigan Machado’s Black Belt Journey

Rigan Machado started participating in the Jiu-Jitsu Competition at 14 and continued till the age of 21. He won several gold medals in the IBJJF Worlds Championship every year. He is one of the best grapplers in history in his weight division. He competed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for more than 13 years and gave his best. He was awarded his first black belt at the hands of his coach, Carlos Gracie Jr.

2.7. Rigan Machado Setting Roots In the USA

Rigan Machado’s cousin Cesar Gracie , who lived in the same house for a year, asked Rigan to move to the USA with him. Rigan was the only one of the Machado brothers who took this decision and moved to the USA for opportunities and to expand Jiu-Jitsu in the USA. It was the late 1980s, and there was no Jiu-Jitsu in the USA, so Rigan started participating in other games for a while.

2.8. Rigan Machado’s Coaching at Rorion Gracie’s Academy

Rigan Machado’s cousins were already in the USA and running their Gracie Academy in Torrance. Rorion and Royce Gracie were two brothers who were running this academy at their garage and trying to expand Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the USA. They offered Rigan to come and teach at their Academy, which was readily accepted by the Rigan.

Rigan taught Jiu-Jitsu at this academy for a year. However, after that, they were having issues regarding the class schedule and structure. That’s why Rigan left this academy and started his academy. During an interview, he explained why he came to the USA in the first place,

“I always wanted to live in the US, I love this country. In my 20s I was already an established Jiu-Jitsu athlete and when I got the opportunity to come to Los Angeles to train and teach I did not hesitate. There was no Jiu-Jitsu in LA when I got here. I am very proud to have played a part in spreading this beautiful sport and I am glad to see how fast it is growing and gaining popularity in the US.”

2.9. Rigan Machado’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Rigan Machado was having trouble with his cousins in running the academy, that’s why he left that academy and wanted to open his academy. He wanted to name that academy The Gracie Academy but legally that name would go to Rorion Gracie that’s why he named it Machado Jiu-jitsu. Rigan got a lot of help from his Hollywood friend Chuck Norris in the advertisement for his academy.

After opening his Jiu-Jitsu academy in the USA, Rigan went back to Brazil to meet his family. He returned from the brazil with his four brothers. At that time, all of the Machado brothers achieved excellence in the BJJ world and there was nothing left there to achieve. That’s why he asked his brothers that he would need their help to run this academy in the USA. In this way, all Machado brothers moved to California, USA, and started training Jiu-Jitsu at their new house Redonda Beach.

2.10. Rigan Machado’s Achievements in Sambo

When Rigan first moved to the USA, there was no Jiu-Jitsu Championship to participate in. That’s why Rigan started participating in other games such as Judo, Wrestling, and Sambo to improve his skills and to utilize his time more productively. He won four National Championships, and three Pan Championships in Sambo and earned his anime in this game too.

2.11. Rigan Machado’s Training to Hollywood Celebrities at Beverly Hills

After successfully establishing Machado Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Rigan opened a new academy at Beverly Hills for teaching Jiu-Jitsu to celebrities. Rigan had trained a lot of celebrities in this martial art. The most important name is Chuck Norris, who was an old friend of Rigan and practiced Jiu-Jitsu with him. Other names are Scarlet Johansson, Keanu Reeves, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Vin Diesel, and many more. Rigan first motive for training was to prepare warriors, but later on, he changed his mind and structured his Jiu-Jitsu to help everyone.

He explained his training to celebrities in an interview by saying,

“When I opened my studio in Beverly Hills 6 years ago, lots of celebrities joined my training sessions – Mel Gibson, Chuck Norris, Keanu Reeves, Ashton Kutcher, and Scarlett Johansson to mention just a few of my students. We are a big family. Jiu Jitsu is not just a sport but a lifestyle. Apart from learning self-defense, you learn how to get in shape and live healthily as you become part of an amazing family and environment. Jiu-Jitsu makes you a better person. It teaches you to become a better person by helping others. Celebrities are treated exactly like any other students. When we’re training, I’m not their friend and they are not celebrities. I am their coach and they are my students. It is as simple as that”.

2.12. Rigan Machado’s Flow Jiu-Jitsu

Flow Jiu-Jitsu is Rigan Machado’s new teaching method for celebrities. When Rigan started his Academy at Beverly Hills, several celebrities came to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from him. But at the same time, they did not want to risk their body in learning this martial art. They all wanted to learn self-defense without getting hurt and injured. That’s why Rigan established his new method of training, Flow Jiu-jitsu which ensured complete and proper training and it is all safe. It took Rigan nine years to prepare this new method that is all safe with no injury.

“I created a new Jiu-Jitsu system for people who can’t get hurt. It’s technical training. They learn Jiu-Jitsu and train hard, but it’s all safe. I created a type of Jiu-Jitsu for the Beverly Hills clients. Competition, sparring, these guys can’t do that. I can’t even take a 1% chance of them getting hurt. I have 18 celebrities doing the program, some guys have to sign disclosure agreements and other guys like Ashton Kutcher and Mikey Rourke come in regularly.”

2.13. Rigan Machado’s Acting Career

Because of Rigan Machado’s friendship with Chuck Norris, he got many offers from Hollywood. He worked in a lot of films and television and did different roles from Cameo to a military guy in a film.

During an interview, he talked about his acting career, 

“I just finished a movie called American Sicario. I play a military guy in it. It is coming out soon. Acting is fun and thanks to my agent I started to get really good roles. I started with cameos but now it is becoming more serious. It is a lot of work. I have an acting coach and I do speech training. I’m learning how to study a character and show emotion. Let’s see how far I can get.”

While asking about his future acting career, Rigan said that he was getting more good offers, all because of his agent. Moreover, he got a part in which he will be doing the role of a zombie which he loved.

“Rigan Machado: And TV shows, but now I started getting bigger jobs. My biggest job was with Nicolas Cage and Tony Jaa [in Jiu Jitsu]. I played a warrior — it was pretty cool. I also did a comedy with Russell Peters and Michael Jai White: [The Outlaw Johnny Black], a Western. Now I got an offer to do a movie in Bollywood. I play a zombie. They killed me and my wife, and I came back for revenge and I know martial arts. How am I going to say no to being a zombie?”

2.14. Rigan Machado’s Balck Belt Students

Rigan Machado is one of the best and original Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaches in history. He had awarded several Black belts to many famous grapplers such as Bob Bass, Rick William, Jeff Kunza, John Will, Mark Massey, Rick Minter, Bart Smith, David Meyer, Chris Haueter, Larry Shealy, and many more. This is almost a never-ending list of certified Black belts under Rigan Machado. It was all because of Rigan passion and enthusiasm for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that he never stopped coaching, and will coach as long as he can. During an interview, upon asking about leaving Jiu-Jitsu one day, he said,

“I could never give up Jiu-Jitsu. It's a lifestyle for me. It’s like someone asking you to stop walking. You can’t. I will train others and train myself as long as I can move.”

2.15. Rigan Machado Vs Rickson Gracie-Top Fight in History

Rigan Machado fought many great matches during his time, but one of his greatest matches was with his cousin, Rickson Gracie . The reason is that, along with Carlos Gracie Jr. Rickson Gracie also gave Jiu-Jitsu training to all Machado brothers, especially Rigan. To Rigan, Rickson was his ideal master. Rigan Machado and Rickson Gracie fought against each other in the III Copa Company 1986 Championship for absolute weight division.

At that time, Rigan was almost 20 years old and Rickson was 28 years old. Both the fighters are in their peak years of life. As the match started, Rigan did not have the intention to win the match. But it was the best match in Jiu-Jitsu history and they did not want to disappoint the audience. The fight started, and both Rigan and Rickson gave their best performance throughout the match. The fight ended when Rigan got so exhausted that he could not fight anymore. 

2.16. Rigan Machado’s Book on Jiu-Jitsu

Besides being a perfect coach, an actor, and a businessman, Rigan Machado is also an author who wrote books on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In his books, he explained different techniques and tactics for this martial art. Some of his books are The Encyclopedia of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Vol 1 and 2, Encyclopedia of Leglocks, and The Essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. All these books are available on Amazon at very low prices.

2.17. Rigan Machado’s Business Adventures

Currently, Rigan Machado is working on a clothing brand both in Europe and the USA. This is a brand of normal streetwear, and the name of this clothing brand is Machado Living Legend.

Moreover, Rigan invested in a cryptocurrency named Educacoin. This cryptocurrency is already available in almost 18 countries of the world. Rigan is planning to introduce this currency in the USA as well.

When Rigan is asked about a future in business leaving behind the Jiu-Jitsu he says,

“BJJ is not a sport, it’s a lifestyle”

3. Rigan Machado’s Top Fighting History

3.1. Rigan Machado Vs Eduardo Jamelao

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
1996 BJJ Pan American National Eduardo Jamelao Win Pts:7x0 SF Absolute weight

3.2. Rigan Machado Vs Roberto Roleta

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
1996 BJJ Pan American National Roberta Roleta Win Pts:3x0 4F Absolute weight

3.3. Rigan Machado Vs Jerry Bohlander

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
1999 ADCC World Championship Jerry Bohlander Win Pts:2x0 4F Ultra Heavyweight

4. Rigan Machado’s National and International Achievements

Year Event Medal/Position Weight Division
1996 Pan American Championship Gold Gold Medal Icon Middleweight
1997 Pan American Championship Gold Gold Medal Icon Absolute weight
2000 ADCC Trials Bronze Bronze Medal Icon Ultra Heavyweight

5. Rigan Machado’s Main Achievements

Year Event Belt Position
1996 Pan American Championship Black 1st
1997 Pan American Championship Black 1st
2000 ADCC Trials Black 3rd

6. Rigan Machado Top Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Event Weight Stage Year
Cassio Cardoso L Points LINJJI ABS F 1984
Rickson Gracie L Exhaustion III Copa Company ABS F 1986
Rickson Gracie L Choke NA ABS SPF 1995
Roberto Roleta W Pts: 3x0 Pan American ABS 4F 1996
Eduardo Jamelao W Pts: 7x0 Pan American ABS SF 1996
Sanae Kikuta W Points ADCC 99KG R1 1999
Jerry Bolander W Pts: 2x0 ADCC 99KG 4F 1999
Jeff Monson L Adv ADCC 99KG SF 1999
Ricardo Almeida L Choke ADCC 99KG 3PLC 1999
Mario Esfiha W Pts: 3x0 ADCC O99KG R1 2000
Pete Williams W Pts: 7x0 ADCC O99KG 4F 2000
Mark Kerr L Pts: 2x0 ADCC O99KG SF 2000
Olav Einemo L Injury ADCC 99KG R1 2001
Yuki Ozawa W Points ADCC 99KG R1 2003
Roger Gracie L Points ADCC 99KG 4F 2003

7. Rigan Machado Top Fights

Rigan Machado vs Jamelao 1996 BJJ Pan Am

Rigan Machado VS Roleta PAN -1996

Rigan Machado vs Jerry Bohlander 1999 ADCC World Championship

Rigan Machado vs Mario Esfiha Queiroga 2000 ADCC World Championship

Rigan Machado vs Pete Williams 2000 ADCC World Championship

Photo Credit: @nocojiujitsu 

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