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Top 10 BJJ No-Gi Fighters of All Time

Top 10 BJJ No-Gi Fighters of All Time

Naming all of the best No-Gi BJJ fighters is not an easy task. No-Gi BJJ fighters can control their opponents’ movements, maintain good posture, and hold down a larger opponent. The best No-Gi fighters are determined by their win-loss ratio and overall performance in different weight divisions. All of this information is compiled in an attempt to pinpoint the most successful No-Gi BJJ fighters.

10. Dean Lister

Dean Lister

Dean Lister, or “the Boogeyman,” is a professional grappler with a previous wrestling background. Born in California, in 1976, Lister read articles about jiu-jitsu at the age of 10. He spent the next eight years training in Gi BJJ first before transitioning to No-Gi BJJ. Lister is a BJJ black belt who participated in the ADCC Submission Fighting Championship.

Lister has won multiple ADCC tournaments throughout his career, winning gold medals in both 2003 and 2011. The leg lock was his specialty as it allowed him to conquer the UFC 79 in 2007.

Details

Name Dean Richard Lister
Age 46 years
MMA Record American MMA fighter
Weight 185 lbs / 84 kg
Rank 4th Degree Black Best
Best Technique Guard / Foot Locks
Total Wins/Losses 25/15

Lifetime Achievement

In 2022, Dean Lister was the first American to be inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame.

Main Achievements

Events Year Position Medal
1sy Place ADCC World Championship 2011 1st Gold
ADCC North American 2002 1st N/A
PRIDE Fighting Champion 2005 N/A N/A
UFC 79 2007 1st N/A

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
 25 5 19 1 0

9. Nick Rodriguez

Nick Rodriguez

Nick Rodriguez, or the Black Belt Slayer, is a professional No-Gi BJJ specialist. He was born in New Jersey, in 1996. At the age of 12, Rodriguez started his BJJ training, competing in high school and qualifying for the senior championship. Rodriguez earned his blue belt and won the 2018 IBJJF World Championship. In 2019, Rodriguez fought in the ADCC World Championship and achieved a silver medal which led to him being promoted to the purple belt.

Details

Name Nicholas Pete Rodriguez
Age 25 years
MMA Record MMA Fighter
Weight 220 lbs. / 100 kg
Rank Brown Belt
Best Technique Blitz Pass
Total wins/Losses 21/9

Lifetime Achievement

Nick Rodriguez has achieved a notable career already at such a young age. He still has time to work towards his lifetime achievement.

Main Achievements

Events Years Position Medal
ADCC US West Coast Trials 2019 1st Gold
ADCC World Championships 2019 2st N/A
Kasai 7 HW Grand Prix 2020 3rd N/A
ADCC US East Coast Trials 2018 3rd N/A

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
 21 5 9 5 1

8. Jose Mario Sperry

Jose Mario Sperry

Jose Mario, or “Zé Mario,” participated in both jiu-jitsu and MMA in 1990. He was a popular contender in the Pride Fighting Championships. He received his black belt and later founded his own academy named Brazilian Top Team (BTT). BTT became one of the most famous MMA gyms in the world thanks to Sperry’s reputation. Sperry first learned how to do judo. When he received his brown belt, Sperry transitioned to BJJ and eventually earned his blue belt. He received a degree in economics after finishing college and started coaching in BJJ.

Sperry grew into a remarkable BJJ fighter and submission wrestler, managing to win gold medals in both sports. He finally retired from fighting in 2000.

Details

Name Jose Maio Sperry
Age 55 years
MMA Record MMA Fighter
Weight 220 lbs. / 100 kg
Rank Black Best
Best Technique Guard Pass/Choke
Total Wins/Losses 17/5

Lifetime Achievement

In 2022, Jose Mario Sperry was inducted into the ADCC Hall Of Fame.

Main Achievements

Events Year Position
World BJJ Champion 1998 1st
ADCC World Champion 1998 1st
ADCC Superfight Champion 2011 N/A
IBJJF Championships N/A 1st

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
 17 7 8 1 0

7. Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia was born in Brazil, 1983. He decided to pursue MMA after learning about karate by watching movies. Garcia enjoyed learning an aggressive style of judo before deciding to join MMA. In 2011, Marcelo Garcia earned his black belt after a match against Alexandra Meadows. He went on to participate in the state tournament. Here, Garcia met with Paulo, who invited him to train full time at his academy. He worked on improving his guard at Paulo’s academy. Although he never won in the ADCC World Championship Absolute Division, Garcia still managed to attain silver and bronze medals. He won the weight division four times and amassed 24 medals in total.

Details

Name Marcelo Garcia
Age 39 years
MMA Record American MMA Fighter
Weight 181 lbs. / 82 kg
Rank Black Belt
Best Technique X-Guard/ Guillotine
Total Wins/Losses 86/17

Lifetime Achievement

In 2021, Marcelo Garcia was inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame after becoming a four-time ADCC champion.

Main Achievements

Events Year Position Medal
IBJJF World Champion 2004-06-09-10-11 1st Gold
IBJJF Pan Championship 2007 1st N/A
ADCC 2011 1st Gold
CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 2004-06 1st N/A

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
 86 25 56 0 0

6. Rubens Charles

Rubens Charles

Rubens Charles was born in Londrina, Brazil in 1979. At the age of 21, Charles discovered his interest in BJJ. After getting his purple belt in high school, he decided to devote his life to BJJ. Eventually, he would earn his black belt and the nickname “Cobrinha.” Charles won the featherweight title after a back-and-forth rivalry. In the 2013 ADCC World Championship, he defeated Rafael Mendes and claimed his first gold medal. After beating several opponents in the ADCC championships, Charles won three gold and two silver medals in the 66 kg division. He was also awarded four gold medals at the World No-Gi IBJJF Championship.

Details

Name Rubens Charles
Age 42 years
MMA Record MMA Fighter
Weight 154.5 lbs. / 70 kg
Rank Black Belt
Best Technique De La Riva Guard
Total Wins/Losses 118/21

Lifetime Achievement

In 2021, Rubens Charles was inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame after becoming a three-time ADCC champion.

Main Achievements

Events Year Position Medal
IBJJF World Champion 2017 1st N/A
IBJJF Pan Championship 2017 1st N/A
ADCC 2013-15-17 1st N/A
IBJJF World No-Gi Championship 2007-08-11-12 1st Gold

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
 118 41 63 6 0

5. Royler Gracie

Royler Gracie

Royler Gracie was born in Brazil, 1965. He was taught BJJ at a young age by his father, Helio Gracie. When Royler Gracie decided to compete in MMA, he improved his skillset by learning how to grapple while standing up. Throughout his career, Royler secured nine victories in No-Gi competitions and earned three ADCC titles. Royler only lost one No-Gi match in his entire career.

Details

Name Royler Gracie
Age 56 years
MMA Record IBJJF World No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Weight 154 lbs. / 70 kg
Rank Black Belt
Best Technique N/A
Total Wins/Losses 34/6

Lifetime Achievement

In 2003, Royler Gracie was inaugurated into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Main Achievements

Events Year Position Medal
Worlds No-Gi Championship 1999 N/A Gold
ADCC Champion 2001 1st N/A
Pan American Champion 1999 N/A N/A
CBJJE World Championship 2008 1st Gold

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
34 19 10 1 0

4. Andre Galvao

Andre Galvao

Andre Galvao was born in Brazil, 1982 and devoted himself to BJJ when he became a teenager. Within a short time, Galvao proved himself as an exceptional grappler. Andre Galvao won the IBJJF Championship, Pan American Championship, and CBJJE World Championship throughout his career. Galvao retired with an honorable BJJ career. Despite retiring from BJJ competitions, he continued being involved with BJJ as a coach and trainer at Atos Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Throughout his BJJ journey, Galvao conducted BJJ seminars, offering his services to teach BJJ philosophies, motivational skills, and techniques to inspire BJJ students. He is also the President of the Atos Jiu-Jitsu Association.

Details

Name Andre Galvao
Age 39 Years
MMA Record 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship
Weight 170 lbs. / 77 kg
Rank 4th Degree Black Belt
Best Technique Guard Passing
Total Wins/Losses 161/29

Lifetime Achievement

In 2022, Galvao was inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame.

Main Achievement

Events Years Position Medal
IBJJF Worlds No-Gi Championship 2017 N/A Gold
ADCC SuperFight Winner 2017 1st N/A
UAEJJF Abu Dhabi 2016 2nd N/A 
IBJJF Pan American Champion 2016/2017 N/A  N/A 
CBJJE World Championship 2008 1st Gold

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
157 59 73 9 3

3. Gabrielle Garcia

Gabrielle Garcia

Gabrielle Garcia was born in Brazil, 1985l. When she was 13 years old, Garcia learned jiu-jitsu from her uncle. Naturally talented in BJJ, she proved to be an amazing competitor right from the start of her training. Garcia won the Pan American Championship and received a black belt for her devotion to BJJ. She was notable for participating in the ADCC World Championship multiple times in the 60 kg division.

In 2021, after losing the IBJJF World Championship, Garcia decided to retire from fighting. She officially announced her retirement.

Details

Name Gabrielle Lemos Garcia
Age 36 Years
MMA Record 1st Place IBJJF World Championship
Weight 15 lbs / 69 kg
Rank Black Belt
Best Technique Americana / Kimura lock
Total Wins/Losses 71/9

Lifetime Achievement

Being a heavyweight MMA fighter, Gabrielle Garcia was eventually inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame.

Main Achievement

Events Year Position Medal
ADCC World Championship 2011/2013/2017/2019 1st Gold
IBJJF World Championship 2010/2011/2012 1st N/A
IBJJF Pans Championship 2010/2011/2019 1st N/A 
IBJJF World Championship 2021 3rd N/A 
CBJJ Brazilian Nationals 2010 1st Gold
UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Champion 2010/2011 1st N/A 

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
71 25 37 3 1

2. Ricardo Arona

Ricardo Arona

Ricardo Arona is a well-rounded fighter due to being skilled in BJJ, submission wrestling, and MMA. Arona is a three-time, ADCC champion He earned his nickname, “the Brazilian Tiger,” during his time-fighting at the Pride Fighting Championships. In 1994, Arona was crowned Brazilian National Champion after receiving his purple belt.

Details

Name Ricardo Arona
Age 44 Years
MMA Record PRIDE Fighting Championship
Weight 200 lbs / 91 kg
Rank 4th Degree Black Belt
Best Technique Double Leg Takedowns
Total Wins/Losses 14/5

Lifetime Achievement

RicardoArona was inducted into the ADCC Hall of Fame.

Main Achievement

Events Year Position Medal
ADCC Championship 2000/2001 1st Gold
World Championship 1998/1999 1st N/A
World Championship Runner-Up 1999/2000 1st N/A 

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
14 9 2 1 2

1. Gordon Ryan

Gordon Ryan

Gordon Ryan was born in the United States, 1995. In 2010, Gordon Ryan first learned about BJJ when he was 15 years old. After one year of practicing BJJ, Ryan participated in professional grappling in 2011 as a brown belt. He is best known for defeating fighters twice his size in No-Gi BJJ competitions. Gordon Ryan is also an accomplished member of the DDS (Danaher Death Squad).

Details

Name Gordon Ryan
Age 27
MMA Record IBJJF World No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Weight 218 lbs. / 99 kg
Rank Black Belt
Best Technique Heel Hook / Triangle
Total wins/Losses 90/5

Lifetime Achievement

Gordon Ryan has achieved a notable career already at such a young age. He still has time to work towards his lifetime achievement

Main Achievements

Events Years Position Medal
Super Fight: Two Times Who Number One 2021 N/A Gold
ADCC World Champion 2019 1st N/A
IBJJF Pans No-Gi Championship 2018 1st Gold
IBJJF Worlds No-Gi Championship 2018 1st Gold
NAGA World Champion 2015 1st Gold
United Grappling Association 2015 1st Gold

Grappling Record

Wins BY POINTS BY SUB BY DECISION PENALTIES
90 3 74 4 1

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