Top 5 BJJ Fighters in 2022

Top 5 BJJ Fighters in 2022

BJJ is a combat sport of great effectiveness and grace. It’s a martial art that is second to no other in the world.

Being recognized as a great BJJ athlete is the biggest dream of every BJJ fighter. But this title could be achieved only by a handful of people in their lifetime.

If you are an avid fan of BJJ, then you would be interested to read about the lives of BJJ professionals. And, to know what were the elements that made them stand out of the crowd.

Here, we will be looking at the achievements and lives of the top 5 BJJ fighters in 2022:

1. Marcus Buchecha Almeida

Wins: 138

Losses: 4

Weight Category: Super Heavy, Over 100kg

1.1. Major Achievements

  • 1st place IBJJF World championship (2012-2019)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship No-GI (2010-2011)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2013-2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pro League Grand Prix (2016)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2012 - 2015)
  • 2nd Place ADCC World Championship (2019)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2011)
  • 6 times Pan American Champion (2010-2013)
  • 2 times Pan American champion No GI (2010)

1.2. Early Life

Marcus Almedia was born in the town Sao Vicente, in the state of Sao Paulo on the 8th of January 1990. He is commonly known as ‘Bochecha’, meaning cheeks.

When he started training in jiu-jitsu, he was overweight. His coach gave him this nickname back then when Marcus had chubby cheeks.

In childhood, Marcus used to play football and surf. When he was a teenager, his sister started training BJJ. That was the time jiu-jitsu was introduced into Bochechas life.

1.3. Career

He loved to practice BJJ, under the guidance of his instructor BJJ world champion Rodrigo Cavaca, Buchecha turned into the most feared BJJ fighter in the lower belt division.

After he got the taste for BJJ, he started to put his blood and sweat into training. He began to participate in local tournaments.

And, after the successive wins at Pan America, Scandinavian Open, São Paulo, and Mundial, Buchemia was awarded the black belt.

Due to rigorous training and competitions, Marcus has acquired world-class expertise in BJJ. But success was not served to Marcus on a plate.

According to Marcus, he had lost his first 8 tournaments but didn’t give up.

The most interesting aspect of the practice of BJJ was Buchecha’s grappling style.

Most people think that for being good at grappling substantial amounts of strength and power are required.

But, Buchecha never relied on his strength for grappling. He developed and worked on getting in control of the situation.

This proved to be more dangerous than relying merely on strength.

Looking at the career of Buchecha and the ratio of victories to defeats, there is no doubt that he deserves to stand on the list of best BJJ fighters in 2022.

2. Marcelo Garcia

Wins: 86

Losses: 17

Weight Category: Middle, 82kg

2.1. Major Achievements

  • 1st Pan American Championship (2007)
  • 1st place ADCC World Championship (2003,2007,2011)
  • World Champion (2004,2006,2009,2010,2011)
  • IBJJF World Champion (2004,2006)

2.2. Early Life

Marcelo Garcia was born in a town known by the name ‘Formiga’ in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As a kid, he used to watch martial arts movies which developed his passion.

Marcelo started to practice karate just at the age of 8. He was obsessed with Japanese Martial Arts.

He practiced karate for more than 4 years and put in a lot of effort. But, soon lost interest and started to train for Judo.

Although he loved striking punches and throwing kicks more than grappling, he developed some love for grappling.

Seeing his abilities, his coach ‘Fabiano de Souza’ motivated him to give BJJ a try.

Soon, Marcelo realized that he is enthusiastic about jiu-jitsu.

He started to train BJJ 3 times a week. Then he started to take jiu-jitsu classes in an academy in Iran.

2.3. Career

Marcelo started to compete in the state championships by the age of 16. At one state tournament, he met Paulo Rezende who offered him free training at his academy.

In his new academy, Marcelo started to train 4 times a day. He even used to sleep at the academy. 

This intense training program proved to be fruitful for him. He competed in the state championship and got the victory.

Then he won his first Mundial championship.

Marcelo trained under Gurgel's guidance, one of the top BJJ instructors of the time. He then competed in Brazilian ADCC but lost the final with just 1 point.

Marcelo is also known for his fancy Gi, during any BJJ competition he stands out from competitors because of his Gi.

Luckily, he was again called in at the last-minute replacement. He won the championship by defeating Gracie and Vitor Riberio.

Later he also won the Submission de Campos and ADCC championships once again. After huge success in BJJ and winning almost every big championship, he decided to come forward in the world of MMA.

In 2010 he again won the world championship in BJJ. He also has an academy in New York, where he trains MMA to his students.

3. Rubens Charles Corbrinha

Wins: 118

Losses: 21

Weight Category: Feather, 70kg

3.1. Major Achievements

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2006-2009)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2007,2008,2011,2012)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2007-2009)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Championship (2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2013, 2017)

3.2. Early Life

Rubens Charles was born in Londrina, Brazil in 1979. In his childhood, he played football, it was soon that he developed a passion for martial arts.

He begins to practice martial arts at a club run by Master Antonio Zacaria. He used to train martial arts 2 times a day for over 15 years, He becomes a professional in Capoeira.

Surprisingly, Cobrinha was first time introduced to jiu-jitsu when he was 21 years old. He was excited about this sport and decided to dedicate his skills to BJJ.

3.3. Career

So, he started to train for BJJ in an academy led by Mauro Pacifico. A BJJ state championship was held in Sao Paulo in which Cobrinha participated.

He made his way up to the finals but was defeated. He was defeated by a student of Fernando Terere, he was impressed by Cobrinha. Tenere invited Cobrinha to train with him in his academy.

Cobrinha used to train 2 times a day with Tenere. Through proper guidance, He developed his skills effectively.

The Mundial World Championship came in 2005, where he stepped out as a champion. Later he won a jiu-jitsu tournament in Japan. And, again won the 2006 Mundial.

Cobrinha started to work in a BJJ academy in the US.

With his training, he didn’t stop competing and eventually won three world championships from 2007-2009. 

It was clear that whether it’s a gi or no gi BJJ match, Rubens Charles wasn’t going to lose.

In the same year of 2007, he also won the No-Gi World Championship.

Even though he came to know about BJJ at the age of 21, Cobrinha is known as one of the best BJJ fighters in 2022.

4. Roger Gracie

Wins: 76

Losses: 7

Weight Category: Super Heavy, Over 100kg

4.1. Major Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC Championship (2005)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2004-2010)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2005)
  • Runner Up IBJJF World Championship (2003-2008)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan championship (2006)

4.2. Early Life:

Roger Gracie has BJJ running in his blood as he is the grandson of jiu-jitsu founder Helio Gracie. But he didn’t start to practice jiu-jitsu until his teenage years.

Later on, he started to train with his uncle Rilion Gracie which helped Roger in developing his passion for BJJ.

We can conclude that Roger was destined for being a great BJJ fighter. He didn’t need to work extra hard in mastering his skills at BJJ.

4.3. Career

Roger started to compete in international championships as a blue belt. He won the Pan American Championship in 2000 and Mundials in the same year.

After receiving his black belt in 2004 from his uncle, Roger competed in ADCC. It was the first time a competitor achieved such victory of winning in all 8 matches in heavyweight and absolute weight.

This achievement was something that had never happened before.

Over time, Roger becomes interested in the sport of MMA. he had a total of 7 seven fights out of which he lost 2.

Roger defeated some legends in MMA, such as Ron Waterman, Kevin Randleman, and Yuki Kondo. Roger’s victory in MMA by defeating such legends is proof that he has exceptional skills in BJJ and MMA.

5. Beatriz Mesquita

Wins: 35

Losses: 13

Weight Category: Medium Heavy, 64kg

5.1. Major Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2014 - 2019)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2014 - 2016)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2018)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2019)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, Abu Dhabi, Rio de Janeiro (2017)
  • Runner Up IBJJF World Championship (2016 - 2017)
  • Runner Up IBJJF Pan Championship (2017)

5.2. Early Life

Beatriz Mesquita, mostly known by the name Bea Mesquita was born in Brazil in 1991. She started to train jiu-jitsu just by the age of 5.

Bea’s mother put her in BJJ academy along with her brother because, There were no other sports opportunities near their house.

She used to play other sports like Judo and swimming but somehow she never found any better than jiu-jitsu.

5.3. Career

She was eager to learn and practice BJJ from a very young age.

She started competing when she was 6 years old and won the Brazilian National Junior Championship when she was 10. Bea used to fight in all the local tournaments in Brazil during her early teenage.

In an interview, she said that her parents used to take her to BJJ tournaments every weekend. Seeing the immense potential in Bea, her coach advised her to train with Mrs. Leticia Riberio.

Under the guidance of Mrs. Leticia, Bea got the chance to flourish her skills.

With over 23 titles at black belt level, 9 times of which include world championships, 7 times Pan American champion, 3 times Brazilian National Champion.

Aside from this, she has also won 3 Brazilian and 5 World No-Gi championships.

After receiving every BJJ title in the world, she has achieved her dream of being a black belt world champion.

Now, she aims to open a BJJ academy and make champions.

6. Takeaway

Great champions are made by putting in endless hours of training and being patient.

For those who’re looking to start, make sure that you’re prepared.

You will need to search for credible BJJ resources to learn what to do and how to do it.

From the lives of champions, we can realize that anything can be achieved if we are determined for it.

To stand on the list of top BJJ fighters in the 21st century, you need to put in a lot of effort to pursue your passion.

Photo credit: mallorcabjjyogafest , eksisozluk , bazeh

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