What Are The Best BJJ Fights Of All Time?

What Are The Best BJJ Fights Of All Time

BJJ is one of the world-famous martial arts which has a big number of followers. BJJ is not just a game for many people, rather they apply this style to their lifestyle. BJJ fights are watched all over the world.

The fights which contain something interesting catch the attention of more viewers than other fights. Some quick chokes or tremendous submissions uplift the number of viewers and the match became one of the best matches.

IBJJF World tournaments started in 1996 while ADCC Championship started in 1998. Till now, a great number of matches have taken place. To list some of the best matches is not an easy task. From a great number of fights, here we discuss a few matches which got the attention of the world and became the best matches of BJJ history.

1. Eddie Bravo Vs. Royler Gracie 2003 ADCC

In ADCC 2003, BJJ fans saw an amazing match that was broadcasted live on the Brazilian National TV live for the first time. Brown Belt Eddie Bravo just won the ADCC trials and got a chance to fight against the most favorite lightweight champion of that time, Black Belt Royler Gracie.

Eddie Bravo tried to apply a pulling guard at the start. Consequently, he ended up with Royler on his top and strangled him by his neck. Royler Gracie hooked him so tightly that Eddie Bravo did his best to escape but failed.

Eddie Bravo tried to apply full guard but Royler Gracie passed his guard. Then suddenly Bravo swept. The best moment in the match came when Bravo applied an overhook and secured a jailbreak. He managed to control Royler’s right-hand wrist and entered in the triangle position.

This was the historic moment when Royler Gracie was submitted to Eddie Bravo. Eddie Bravo entered the list of superstars of BJJ. He launched his own BJJ academy after this match named 10 Planet Jiu-Jitsu.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2003 ADCC Eddie Bravo  Royler Gracie  Triangle  Lightweight  Quarterfinal 

2. Rodolfo Vieira Marcus Almeida “Buchecha”, 2011 IBJJF World

Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Almeida Buchecha both are top fighters in BJJ history. Both faced each other in the IBJJF World Championship 2011. Rodolfo Vieira showed up for the first time in the 2011 IBJJF World Championship when he passed both the heavyweight and absolute weight divisions very easily.

In this match, Marcus Almeida was also an uplifting new Black Belt who got World Champion Title in both Heavyweight and absolute weight divisions in 2010. Marcus Almeida is famous for his trait that he is focused on winning the fight.

At the start of the match, Buchecha went for a half-guard and tried to take him down. But Vieira ended up on the top. Vieira tried to overcome him but the quick movements of Buchecha did not let him.

Vieira tried his best to take down Buchecha but Buchecha’s fast and active movements did not allow him to. Finally, after struggling hard, Vieira mounted Buchecha and scored four points.

In the complete match, Marcus Almeida tried to escape from his mount but could not. Vieira tried to apply a triangle choke first and then submitted Buchecha with an armbar.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2011 IBJJF World Championship Rodolfo Vieira  Marcus Almeida Buchecha  Armbar   Absolute   Semifinal  

3. Roger Gracie Vs. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, 2017 Gracie Pro Jiu-Jitsu

Roger Gracie, also famous as the GOAT of BJJ, faced Buchecha in 2017. This was a famous match as Roger, who is well known for never being submitted, was defeated by Buchecha in 2012 on points. This was also the last match of Roger Gracie’s BJJ career.

Roger Gracie is considered as the Greatest Fighter of All Time and was never submitted. His high submission rate also made him distinct from other fighters. On the other hand, Buchecha is also considered the best fighter. He was 13 times World Champion before this match.

Both fighters tried to take down each other in the first seven minutes but could not. Finally, he down Buchecha and applied full guard. He succeeded in taking the back of Buchecha. Roger Gracie submitted Buchecha with RNC. This was the last and most memorable match of Roger Gracie’s BJJ career.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2017 Gracie Pro Jiu-Jitsu Roger Gracie  Marcus Almeida Buchecha  RNC   Absolute   SPF  

4. Roleta Vs. Wallid, 1996 IBJJF World

The IBJJF World championship was held in 1996 for the first time. Roberto “Roleta” Magalhaes was given his Black Belt a few weeks before the championship. While Wallid Ismail was undefeated for some previous years before the championship.

Roberto “Roleta” Magalhaes was well known for his first time's used technique, Rotela guard which is later named Inverted guard. He used this technique for the first time in this match.

At the start of the match, Roleta went for a pulling guard and ended in a position with Wallid on top. Wallid did not let him control. Rotella used his famous inverted guard to prevent some troubled positions. But Wallid succeeded in taking the back of Roleta.

Roleta pushed him away by using his left leg. He again used his inverted guard to change his position and strangle Wallid’s leg. But Wallid did not let him do so and maintained his grip on his back.

Roleta applied twice for a triangle choke but could not succeed. He actively took the back of the Wallid. Roleta used the opportunity and submitted Wallid with an RNC.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
1996 IBJJF World Championship Roberto “Roleta” Magalhaes  Wllid Ismail  RNC   88kg   Semifinal  

5. Roberto Abreu Vs. Braulio Estima, 2006 IBJJF World

Roberto ”Cyborg” Abreu and Braulio Estima faced each other in the IBJJF World Championship 2006 in the absolute weight division. Roberto was the 2005 European Champion. On the other side, Braulio Estima was the 2004 World Champion and the 2005 silver medalist.

In this match, Cyborg was taken down by Estima. Cyborg was fully mounted by Estima but did not lose hope. He completely reversed the situation by quickly lifting his legs and strangling Estima’s arm in his legs.

Within two minutes, Cyborg who was unknown to IBJJF fans made his first victory in the IBJJF World championship and became champion in the Absolute weight division.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2006 IBJJF World Championship Braulio Estima  Roberto Abreu  Armbar   Absolute   R1  

6. Gordon Ryan Vs. Marcus Buchecha Almeida, 2019 ADCC

On the mat of the ADCC 2019 Absolute weight division, two living legends, Gordon Ryan and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida faced each other. Gordon Ryan is considered a No-Gi super grappler and is also famous as the “Iron Dragon” and “The King”.

On the other hand, Marcus Buchecha Almeida did not need any recognition in the grappling world. He is one of the best grapplers who ever existed. Almeida is considered undefeatable in both weight and absolute weight division.

In this match, both fighters executed their excellent skills till time up. Buchecha executed great techniques to get the distance. While Gordon Ryan had active skills and was well-known for his technical game. Applied from his best ashi garami position. But both the fighters did not let each other score a single point.

Ten minutes of overtime was granted. Buchecha received one negative point. This negative point was the only reason for Gordon to win the match and become the ADCC Championship.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2019 ADCC Gordon Ryan  Marcus Buchecha  Points 0x0, Penality  Absolute   Final  

7. Kron Gracie Vs. Marcelo Garcia, 2011 ADCC

This match between Marcelo Garcia and Kron Gracie had almost all the interesting moments in it. Marcelo Garcia is a top grappler, world champion, and also coach of various world champions. Kron Gracie also has a big list of achievements. Both great fighters executed an eye-catching fight that drew the attention of spectators. 

The fight started with Marcelo Garcia’s pull guard. Both fighters executed a series of sweeps and guard passes in aggressive manners. After struggling for a long time, Marcelo Garcia took down Kron and succeeded to apply a side mount.

As a result of Kron’s struggle to escape, Marcel applied a guillotine. This guillotine also ended up with Marcelo on top. This top position remained for a long time and Marcelo did not give control to Kron Gracie.

In the second half of the fight, Marcelo remained on top of Kron and did not let him take control. He transitioned from the full guard into half-guard and once again took side control. At the end of the match, Marcelo submitted Kron Gracie with a Guillotine.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2011 ADCC Marcelo Garcia  Kron Gracie  Guillotine   77kg   Quarterfinal  

8. Roger Gracie Vs. Ronaldo Jacare Souza, 2005 ADCC

This was a sublime match between Roger Gracie and Jacare Souza. In the previous year 2004 IBJJF World Championship, Roger Gracie broke Jacare’s arm but didn't win the match. Both the fighters looked warmed up from the start.

A few minutes passed with their collar ties techniques to improve their position. Roger tried to upgrade his collar tie into the guillotine. But Roger did not resist his Guillotine and ended up on the ground, with Jacare on top.

After escaping from Jacare’s mount, Roger tried to take down Jacare. But Jacare took Roger’s back in a standing position. Jacare took down Roger and this was one of the beautiful takedowns of the match. To prevent a back choke, Roger transitioned into the turtle position.

Roger moved his body in a reversed manner to escape from the turtle position. After escaping, he tried to submit Jacare with a collar tie but failed. After this submission attack, Roger took Jacare’s back and applied for the RNC. Roger won the match with a submission.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2005 ADCC Roger Gracie  Ronaldo Souza  RNC   Absolute   Final  

9. Xande Ribeiro Vs. Roberto “Tussa” Alencar, 2012 IBJJF World

The Semi-final of a heavyweight in the IBJJF World Championship 2012 is the best match of the tournament. This match is listed in the category of matches having the best finishes. The submission technique is considered one of the best submissions.

This match is between Xande Ribeiro and Roberto “Tussa” Alencar. Xande Ribeiro is six times World champion before this match is against a three times world champion, Roberto “Tussa” Alencar. In this match, both fighters tried to take down each other but could not. At the end of the match, Xande Ribeiro applied a flying armbar and submitted Roberto. 

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2012 IBJJF World Championship Xande Ribeiro  Roberto Alencar  Flying Armbar   Heavyweight   Semifinal  

10. Ronaldo Jacare Vs. Roger Gracie, 2004 IBJJF World

Ronaldo Jacare, and Roger Gracie faced each other at 2004 IBJJF World. This match is considered one of the best matches ever. Both fighters engraved their names among the best fighters of BJJ history.

At the start of the match, Jacare took down Roger. Roger Gracie applied full guard. Jacare stood up but Roger had a strong grip of his legs around Jcare’s groin area. Roger tried to pull his ankle but Jacre jumped and Roger fell down on the ground. But he failed to escape Jacare from his full guard.

After some time, Jacare succeeded to escape from full guard. And quickly took back of Roger. Roger transitioned into the turtle position. Jacare was unable to take any chance for the back choke. But Jacare succeeded in applying a choke. Roger escaped by strangling his leg.

The interesting thing in the final part of the match is that Roger Gracie broke Jacare’s arm but Jacare did not leave the fight. Roger Gracie applied an armbar but Jacare refused to submit which resulted in his broken arm. He did fight until times up. Jacare Won the match with points.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2004 IBJJF World Championship Ronaldo Souza  Roger Gracie  Points 4x2   Absolute   Final  

11. Davi Ramos Vs. Lucas Lepri, 2015 ADCC

Lucas Lepri is the top grappler who owns the record of seven times World Champion and three times No-Gi champion. While Davi Ramos is well known for his toughness and high submission rate.

Both superstars faced each other on the mat of ADCC 2015. Both stars took an aggressive and energetic start. Lepri seemed conscious about his arm drags.

At the end of the match, Lepri sat down and waited for Davi’s attack. Davi surprised the audience with his quick flying armbar which secured a tap for him and he became ADCC 2015 Champion. This match took less than three minutes and ended up with a quick submission.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2015 ADCC Davi Ramos  Lucas Lepri  Flying Armbar   76kg  Final 

12. Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu Vs Keenan Cornelius, 2013 ADCC

Robert “Cyborg” Abreu faced Keenan Cornelius in the semi-final of ADCC 2013. Roberto is a superstar in No-Gi and a multiple-time world champion. He is famous for his mobility and swiftness despite having a heavy physique.

On the opposite side, Keenan Cornelius is also a big name in BJJ. He is considered as the innovator in the BJJ community. He introduced tricky guards by using lapels. Keena Cornelius is also well known for his least submission losses. In his whole BJJ career, he has been submitted only three times.

In the start, Keenan tried to apply open guard and Cyborg passed the guard with his highly agile movements. Keenan’s open guard once got him in trouble and Cyborg took his back. After struggling very hard, Keenan was able to escape.

In the final part of the match, Keenan attacked first and the Cyborg always passed his moves. After some period of defensive and aggressive game, Cyborg succeeded in taking the back of Keenan.

He was so quick in this move that he took less than a minute and surprised his audience with a back choke. But submission cannot be completed as time was up and Cyborg won the match with points.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2013 ADCC 2013 Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu  Keenan Cornelius  Points   Absolute   Semifinal 

13. Mackenzie Dern Vs. Gabi Garcia, 2015 Pro Abu Dhabi

This match was between a lightweight champion, Mackenzie Dern, and a middle-weight champion, Gabi Garcia. Mackenzie Dern who is a big legend and World Champion. She faced Gabi Garcia in Pro Abu Dhabi 2015 in the absolute division. Gabi Garcia has defeated Dern various times prior to this match.

In the whole match, both players showed a great performance. The audience enjoyed the great sportsmanship and an unprecedented upset. In this match, Mackenzie started by pulling guard but Gabi tried to overcome her. Mackenzie countered with a very effective inverted guard. Dern applied for a close guard. Garcia tried to escape and stand up.

The whole match consisted of sweeps and passes until times up. Everybody thought it was a draw because no one took notice of the scoreboard as their eyes were stuck on the interesting match. Gabi Garci took one negative mark at the beginning of the match. Due to this negative point, she lost against Mackenzie Dern.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2015 Pro Abu Dhabi Mackenzie   Gabi Garcia  Points   Absolute   Semifinal 

14. Ffion Davies Vs. Natahlie Ribeiro, 2019 IBJJF World Championship

In the 2019 IBJJF World Championship, Ffion Davies who is considered a pressure passer showed his real pressure passing skills against Open guard expert, Natahlie Ribeiro.

At the beginning of the match, Ribeiro tried to apply a pulling guard and Ffion took it seriously. But soon, this open guard converted into a triangle choke around Lion's neck. Ffion Davies survived this triangle choke for five minutes.

After surviving a strong triangle choke, Ffion escaped and transitioned in an aggressive manner, she choked Natahlie in just one minute. This was obviously an outstanding match in BJJ history.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2019 IBJJF World Championship Ffion Davies   Natahlie Ribeiro  Points   Feather   Quarterfinal  

15. Nicholas Meregali vs Felipe Andrew, 2019 IBJJF World Championship

Nicolas Meregali and Felipe Andrew faced each other in the 2019 IBJJF World final. Both executed their great fighting skills and made this match a historic one. This match contains guards, takedowns, submission techniques, and anything.

At the beginning of the match, Meregali went for a single-leg takedown. Felipe inverted his technique and took him down by pulling his leg. In an effort to escape, Felipe again took him down.

After restarting, Meregali applied De La Riva which was transitioned into a takedown by Felipe. Both fighters took down each and scored points. At the end of the match, when Meregali took down Felipe, he reverted him to the turtle position and applied a collar choke and Felipe Andrew tapped out.

Year  Event  Winner  Opponent  Method  Weight Division  Stage 
2019 IBJJF World Championship Nicholas Meregali   Felipe Andrew  Collar Choke   Super-Heavy   Final  

16. Takeaways

Everyone has their own choice and opinion about the best fighting style and best-ever matches. These matches are no doubt the best matches of BJJ history. But BJJ history has a great number of best matches. The fights in this article are like the tip of an iceberg.

Roger Gracie, Eddie Bravo, Andre Galvao, Gordon Ryan, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Marcelo Gracia, and various others are the top competitors in BJJ history who gave the best fights to their fans.

Photo Credit: @tapology & @flograppling

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