Do you know that training BJJ with your partner can add tons of excitement to your relationship and game? If both partners belong to the same profession, this can be advantageous for them. They take a deeper interest in that field and find it easier to better understand all the underlying techniques. BJJ has become a way of life. If the couples are professionally linked with BJJ then they can get various benefits as they support each other and make training even more fun. There is also a greater possibility of rapidly learning advanced BJJ techniques. This article is going to reveal the top 10 most captivating BJJ couples. After reading this article, you will get familiar with the top 10 most accomplished BJJ couples who have achieved tremendous success in the BJJ competitions.
Table of Contents
- 1. Eve Torres Gracie and Rener Gracie
- 2. Andre Galvao and Angelica Galvao
- 3. Santeri Lilius and Emilia Tuukkanen
- 4. Monique Ricardo and Eddie Ricardo
- 5. Tyler Bishop and Jena Bishop
- 6. Luanna Alzuguir and Ana Carolina Vieira
- 7. Gezary Matuda and Katel Kubis
- 8. Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne
- 9. Miesha Tate and Johnny Nunez
1. Eve Torres Gracie and Rener Gracie
Photo Credit: @EveTorresGracieOfficial
Eve Torres Gracie and Rener Gracie are renowned for their jiu-jitsu expertise. Undoubtedly, both Eve and Rener are considered one of the most celebrated BJJ couples.
In 2007, this couple started dating and for 5 years they were in a relationship. Then on 13 April 2014, this duo got married. They had a strong compatibility with each other. After their marriage, both Eve and Rener became the parents of two sons, Renson and Raeven Gracie.
Eve Torres is a highly skilled jiu-jitsu practitioner and former WWE Diva. She is also renowned for her Women Empowered self-defense program which is offered by the Gracie University Headquarters. Eve is the head instructor of this program. Along with Eve, some other certified and highly professional experts in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu taught this program. Based on her skills and experience in martial arts, Eve is considered a main source of inspiration for all females, who have a keen interest in learning as well as enhancing their martial arts and jiu-jitsu skills.
The main motive of this program is to develop confidence in females. Regardless of age, all the females can learn self-defense strategies and varied aspects of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Basic to advanced-level submissions techniques can also be learned through this program.
Eve’s husband Rener Gracie is a black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. From his early life, he has been practicing jiu-jitsu. Not only has he achieved success in his BJJ career, but he also found success in his personal life through his marriage to Eve Torres.
When he was a child, he started learning jiu-jitsu from his father, grandfather, and his uncles Royce and Rickson Gracie. At the age of 13, he took charge as the head instructor and contributed to jiu-jitsu teaching programs.
Rener Grace was the head coach at the Gracie University of Jiu-jitsu. He initiated various programs there as he provided training programs to police officers in jiu-jitsu. He taught various self-defense techniques to them, which resulted in a nationwide police reform.
2. Andre Galvao and Angelica Galvao
Angelica first started her jiu-jitsu training in 2003. As a blue belt, she won a couple of small tournaments. In 2004, she met Andre, and a year later they found out they were expecting a baby. Angelica gave birth to a daughter whose name was Sarah. Angelica took a break from BJJ and tried to come back to the sport but couldn’t give 100% so ended up taking a longer break.
Andre Galvao is the top black belt jiu-jitsu competitor. He is also known as Deco. He has won various titles such as the IBJJF World Champion. About 8 times, he became the winner in the IBJJF Pan American Championship. At the 2015 ADCC super fight, he got a submission victory over Roberto Abreu. In the present era, one of the strongest and most remarkable BJJ teams was developed by Andre Galvao. Currently in Diego California, he is working as a head instructor of the ATOS team.
The couple moved to the US in 2010, where they opened a new ATOS school. Angelica took a break for some time but eventually returned to the mats, as her main goal was to teach jiu-jitsu to females. Being a mother, she faced various difficulties but she worked hard and became a champion by striking a perfect balance between her personal and professional life.
Angelica was always inspired by his husband. Once, she said,
"My husband is with no doubt my inspiration and the reason to keep my training, the way he gives himself to BJJ, and teaching is amazing. yes, I really look up to my husband (Andre Galvao) he is a great leader, teacher, coach, and competitor, his mindset is something that really amazes me every day."
3. Santeri Lilius and Emilia Tuukkanen
Photo Credit: @EmiliaTuukkanenBJJ
This famous BJJ couple has a strong foundation in jiu-jitsu as both have performed exceptionally well in multiple BJJ competitions. Santeri Lilius is a great jiu-jitsu practitioner who achieved his black belt in 2015 under Roger Gracie. He is also the co-founder of Lilius Barnatt Martial Arts Academy, which is located in Spain. Through a broken rib, Santeri initially started grappling in mixed martial arts. In Finland, he was one of the few martial artists who achieved their brown belt in their teenage years. He won various championships including the IBJJF International Opens. He is presently providing jiu-jitsu classes at Roger Gracie Malaga.
Emilia is a brown belt jiu-jitsu competitor. Emilia won the IBJJF European Championship twice. She also belongs to Finland. In 2011, she started her career in jiu-jitsu through a Muay Thai program. In 2013 and 2014, Emilia achieved multiple European titles. She is serving as an instructor in Malaga Spain under Pablo Cabo. Both Emilia and Santeri got jobs in Costa del Sol, Spain, and started working there. They also own a gym, which is named Lilius Barnatt Martial Arts. This gym works in collaboration with UFC veteran, Luke Barnatt.
4. Monique Ricardo and Eddie Ricardo
Photo Credit: @eddiericardo7
Eddie Ricardo is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Super Heavyweight World Champion. He got married to a lady, Monique Ricardo, who is also a top jiu-jitsu competitor. Both Eddie Ricardo and Monique Ricardo are the proud parents of two little Jiu-Jitsu Fighters, Michael and Maxwell.
At the age of four, Eddie started his journey in martial arts. He first practiced karate and capoeira (Dance Fighting). During his growing age, he had more interest in martial arts as he had a firm belief that by learning martial arts, he would acquire supreme confidence for every competition. He moved to America at the age of 15 where he started his training under Carlos Machado. He trained for about 10 years and due to his skills and expertise, he won many tournaments. In 1997, Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira awarded him the black belt. Throughout his BJJ learning phase, he developed an idea in his mind that jiu-jitsu remarkably improves life standards. He now serves as an instructor at Cobra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Plano, Texas.
Monique Ricardo started her career as a fitness model and gained popularity as her name appeared in the Flex Magazine list of the top 10 hottest fitness girls. However, she switched her profession to jiu-jitsu after meeting her husband. She is a black belt jiu-jitsu competitor. With her interest and passion, she won several tournaments. After two years of receiving her purple belt, she won the prestigious IBJJF World Championship in 2010.
5. Tyler Bishop and Jena Bishop
Photo Credit: @tylerbishopbjj
Both Tyler and Jena Bishop are the top jiu-jitsu black belts. Both have been married for 11 years. They are also famous as grappling instructors at Alliance in San Diego, California. Both Tyler and Jena Bishop received their black belts under the association of Gracie Humaita. In 2014, Tyler earned the title of black belt. He is also an eight-time state champion and was rewarded with super-fight jiu-jitsu and IBJJF-winning titles. For top jiu-jitsu events that are held across the globe, Tyler plays his role as an on-air broadcaster. He is also serving as a marketing executive for a leading AI provider, specifically for digital publishers. Tyler feels his strong connection with jiu-jitsu and says,
“Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a sport, it’s our ministry. Jiu Jitsu has been a positive thing for our lives, marriage, and health. We want to use jiu-jitsu as a platform to positively affect the lives of others. Hopefully, we can share our experiences and make the lives of other people better.”
Jena Bishop is also a competitive athlete as she won a large number of championships in her career. In 2013, she won the Jitsu Gi World Championship. Then in 2017, she won the IBJJF Master World Championship. In the same year, she won the title of Black Belt IBJJF No Gi World Champion. She is a 10-time IBJJF World gold medalist and 8-time IBJJF Pan American gold medalist.
6. Luanna Alzuguir and Ana Carolina Vieira
Photo Credit: @luannaalzuguir
If you explore the history of women’s jiu-jitsu, you will find various top personalities. Among them, Luanna Alzuguir is a prominent lightweight female jiu-jitsu competitor. Luanna Alzuguir and Ana Carolina Vieira are the first openly married gay couple in BJJ. In 2018, they married each other and started their journey of personal life. Their marriage ceremony was held in Las Vegas among the close friends and relatives. Luanna got the black belt when she was under the supervision of Marco Barbosa, a former Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu (B9) team member. She has also won ADCC gold medals and five IBJJF Gi World titles. She is considered the most decorated athlete in women’s jiu-jitsu.
Although she achieved a lot in different BJJ competitions, her major fame is linked with her victory under the Alliance Academy shield. Instead of just getting achievements, she has also contributed to the effective development of jiu-jitsu, especially for females. She opened her new school in Southern Florida, AVIV where she is performing her main duties as the SEO and head coach. While working in her school, she developed new concepts in her mind regarding the importance of self-defense. She believes that every woman should learn self-defense techniques. Luanna considers this as her mission to spread this awareness among females across the globe. Luanna’s main goal is to teach self-defense techniques to women via seminars around the U.S. She desires to build a strong network that will comprise the network of all empowered females.
After becoming the coach, she believes that her goals are now modified as she said,
‘‘I always train hard and look for results as part of my routine. I’ve dedicated many years to training, learning from different people to learn multiple styles of jiu-jitsu, and have developed a strong and consistent competitive game for myself.
Now, as a coach, I realize the mindset stays the same! I need to keep learning and keep improving for my students. The difference now is that it’s not just about me anymore. It’s about the group, with different people, ranks, bodies, and styles.
My goal is to build a strong and unique group. Not just for competitors, but for everyday people. I am working to build a place where people feel welcome, and safe and can develop their skills.’’
Ana Carolina is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Her nickname is “Baby” Vieira. She is a five-time black belt World champion. She was born in 1993 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As a professional grappler, her overall record is 34-8. She is the younger sister of a legendary grappler, Rodolfo Vieira, who is also famous as a top jiu-jitsu competitor. She got the black belt under Master Julio Cesar Pereira. Both in gi and no-gi, she was successful in winning world championships multiple times. In her list of 34 victories, 11 of them were submission wins. Over her 10-year career, she did not lose even a single battle in the IBJJF World Championship.
7. Gezary Matuda and Katel Kubis
Gezary Matuda is the American Top Team’s submission grappler. She is also famous as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. From her childhood days, she was often called ‘Ge’. She got the black belt under Ricardo Libório. In the colored belts division, she is a two-time Pan Champion and World Champion. Gezary is also the three-time winner of the IBJJF World Championship. She started her BJJ training in 2004. Carlos ‘Penão’ Alexandre Conceição was her first BJJ instructor. Gezary had an entire focus on training as she once said,
‘’I'm a professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter who loves training! No crazy diets or killer workouts. Here you will have fun! After the exercises, you will be ready to start your day with great energy. I made my daily work out my lifestyle. I would love to share my favorite workouts. These are designed to make you LOVE training and enjoy the sweating process!
Take your fitness to the next level! Get ready to sweat, sculpt, and tone your body’’.
In 2009, both Gezary and her husband moved to the U.S. There she started her training in the American Top Team under Ricardo Libório. After remarkable victories in the World Championships, she won her brown and black belts. When she was asked some questions in an interview regarding her success she said,
“Always believe in your dreams and never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do! Believe it and it will happen! Osu”
Katel Kubis is a former MMA fighter. He was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Presently, he is working as a striking coach at the MMA camp of the American Top Team located in Florida. He worked with various competitors but the most famous ones include Adriano Moraes and Anderson Silva. The 2000s was the main era when Katel Kubis started his journey of competition. He participated in various Muay Thai fights and Kickboxing in Brazil. With his splendid performance, his Muay Thai record includes 61 wins and 4 losses. In 17 official MMA matches, Katel Kubis had 9 wins, 5 losses, and 1 draw. So overall the victory rate of Katel Kubis in MMA is 52 percent.
8. Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne
Photo Credit: @rondarousey
Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne are the top-renowned BJJ couple. Initially, both Rousey and Browne hid their relationship for about six months. In January 2016, rumors of their engagement were also in the news when Rousey was spotted wearing a diamond ring on SNL. But they both denied this by saying that the ring was just a part of their outfit. Then in October 2015, they publicly announced their relationship. Then in September 2021, Ronda gave birth to their daughter whose name was La'akea Makalapuaokalanipō. Browne is also a father of two sons from his first marital relationship.
Ronda Rousey is a promising fighter in the rising world of women’s mixed martial arts. She has excellent fighting skills that made her famous in mixed martial arts. Ronda is the first and only UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Due to her countless achievements, she is considered a role model among all women fighters and also becoming an inspiration for all females around the world.
She is also known for her bold statements as she had the confidence to accept that she could lose to anyone in the battle. She made a bold claim about BJJ competitors when she was asked some questions on ‘The Great MMA Debate‘ podcast. She said,
“One thing I couldn’t stand when I was only watching MMA coming from judo, is all these people saying that all of these jiu-jitsu people would beat any judo fighter on the ground. It was such a stereotype. I still think that I can beat any BJJ girl in the world, any weight division, gi or no gi, black belt all the way, in any rule set that they want.”
“To be able to pull off being someone in Judo that can submit on the ground, it takes so much more skill because we have so little time to do it. Like Flavio Canto, Olympic bronze medalist from Brazil, who was known to be one of the best ground fighters in judo. He could win a world championship in jiu-jitsu. I feel that the Judoka who excel with their groundwork, have never really gotten enough respect.”
“This fight against Alexis, who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, the kind of person that should be the type to tap me on the ground with no problems, it would be nice to prove a point.”
Travis Browne, the husband of Ronda Rousey, is a UFC heavyweight fighter; however, his popularity is mostly due to his relationship.
Before UFC signing in March 2010, Browne initiated his MMA career. In 2013, he was awarded the Breakout Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards. As a supremely professional MMA fighter, his MMA record is 18-6-1.
Jackson-Wink MMA Academy was the long-term gym for Travis Browne, but he left that and joined Glendale Fight Club for his girlfriend Ronda Rousey trained in this gym under Edmond Tarverdyan. Once Travis mentioned that his respect and love increased for her by starting training in the same gym. He said,
“I’ve gotten to know her through the gym, through all that kind of stuff. I see her for who she is. I know her as one of the hardest working athletes that I’ve ever seen in this gym, busting her butt daily.”
9. Miesha Tate and Johnny Nunez
Photo Credit: @johnnyboymma
Miesha Tate and Johnny Nunez make a best-power couple. In January 2018, Meisha officially announced her marriage to Johnny Nunez. On June 4, 2018, this duo announced the birth of their daughter, Amaia Nevaeh Nuñez. Then after a year on 25 December, Meisha shared the news of her second pregnancy.
Previously, Meisha Tate had been in a relationship with Caraway since they attended Central Washington University.
Miesha Tate is a former Women’s Bantamweight Champion in the UFC. She is one of the most beautiful MMA fighters. She is an extremely passionate and strong fighter who can easily defeat her multiple opponents. Once, she was challenged by the Janoskians group in grappling competitions when she was in her training gym. Meisha Tate accepted their challenge and handled them with ease.
In 2016, a loss streak occurred between Meisha, Amanda Nunes, and Raquel Pennington in the UFC cage. After this incident, Meisha retired. With the 1:1 winning and loss ratio against Marion Reneau and Ketien Vieira, she returned to the UFC.
Johnny Nunez is also a professional fighter and known as Johnny Boy. He spent his early childhood days in Idaho. He gained fame at the time of UFC and Bellator MMA. Nunez won various tournaments including the ONE championship. Out of nine fights, he secured the victory in seven bouts.