Roberto Magalhães, commonly known by jiu-jitsu practitioners and fans as “Roleta”, is regarded as one of the All-Time Greatest BJJ competitors of the sport and one of the greatest innovators of the modern grappling game, particularly through his inverted guard, a position that revolutionized the sport in the 1990s. A 4x World Champion, Roleta earned his black belt training under Carlinhos Gracie in the Gracie Barra academy of Rio de Janeiro, later opening his own academy, Roleta BJJ.
Roberto Roleta Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Roberto Magalhães
Nickname: Roleta translates to Roulette from Portuguese. There is no data regarding the origin of this nickname.
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
- 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (1996)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (1998*, 1999**)
Weight Division: Meio-Pesado (88kg/194.5lbs)
Favorite Position: Inverted Guard
Team/Association: Roleta Jiu-Jitsu
Roberto Roleta Magalhães Biography
Roberto Magalhaes was born in Aracajú, in the Brazilian northern state of Sergipe.
During his pre-teens Magalhães became invested in karate, spending the following 5 dedicating his after school time to the Japanese martial, even though his older brothers practiced jiu-jitsu. Roberto’s resilience to grappling was based on the assumption that karate was the superior art for self-defense, but at the age of 17, while watching over a jiu-jitsu class Roleta noticed the instructor showing a move that could have saved him a while back in a street brawl. This led him to add jiu-jitsu to his weekly activities with coach Joe Moreira.
Moreira remained Roleta’s coach up until the student’s purple belt, a time in which Roberto won a few local tournaments while maintaining his contact with karate, however, after this rank Magalhães opted to relinquish the striking aspect of his life to pursue grappling greatness. With that in mind Roleta moved to Rio de Janeiro to train at the Gracie Barra team, with Carlos Gracie Junior, one of the most famous academies in Brazil.
During this period he also found that trusting on what he was being shown technique-wise would not be enough. He wasn’t an explosive guy and if everyone was learning the same techniques, the feeling was the most athletic guy would always have the advantage. Trusting his creativity, and being an engineering student, he started thinking of new positions, this became his obsession developing them 24/7. He stated on his website back in 2010 that he would often think of a position in the middle of the night and grab a piece of paper to write it down so he wouldn’t forget. This perseverance ended in Roberto creating many positions and being referenced by many as one of the revolutionary creators of the Inverted Guard.
In 1996 Roleta was given his black belt with the intent of fighting in the World Championships that year. The big duel between the Carlson Gracie Academy and Gracie Barra was on the horizon and Carlson Gracie had an Ace in the Meio Pesado category by the name of Walid Ismail who had been undefeated for a few years. Carlos Gracie planned to use his own “secret weapon” in Roleta Magalhaes, and it worked. Walid was surprised by Roleta’s “strange” new position and ended swept by Roleta which was enough to win the bout between the two. Roleta would go on to win the tournament which was the very first World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, a deed Roberto would savor 3 more times in his career.
Roberto Magalhaes continued his rampant career through the late 1990s and the early 2000s getting the reputation of the best guard in Jiu-Jitsu during that period, a very impressive title as the guard has been arguably BJJ’s greatest contribution to Martial Arts. During this period, Roberto Magalhaes also reached academic prowess by finishing his masters in Industrial Engineering. He retired after his glorious competitive period dedicating himself to teaching BJJ in both Brazil and the United States.
Roberto Roleta Grappling Record
- BY DQ
8 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
1 SUBMISSION LOSSES
Roberto Roleta Fight History
|81||Rigan MachadoRigan Machado||L||Pts: 3x0||Pan American||ABS||4F||1996|
|90||Fabio GurgelFabio Gurgel||L||Pts: 3x0||Team Nationals||O88KG||RDS||1996|
|245||Mario SperryMario Sperry||L||Adv||World Champ.||ABS||F||1998|
|261||Leo DallaLeo Dalla||L||Points||Brasileiro||88KG||4F||1999|
|293||Saulo RibeiroSaulo Ribeiro||L||Adv||World Champ.||88KG||F||1999|
|302||Rodrigo CompridoRodrigo Comprido||L||Toe hold||World Champ.||ABS||F||1999|
|434||Ricardo LiborioRicardo Liborio||L||Pts: 9x0||ADCC||88KG||4F||2000|
|460||Rodrigo CompridoRodrigo Comprido||L||Pts: 10x0||ADCC||ABS||R1||2000|
|77||Ricardo MillerRicardo Miller||W||Inverted armbar||Pan American||88KG||SF||1996|
|78||Saulo RibeiroSaulo Ribeiro||W||Referee Decision||Pan American||88KG||F||1996|
|89||Saulo RibeiroSaulo Ribeiro||W||Armbar||Brasileiro||88KG||F||1996|
|91||Wallid IsmailWallid Ismail||W||Pts: 4x0||World Champ.||88KG||SF||1996|
|92||Luiz DuarteLuiz Duarte||W||Triangle||World Champ.||88KG||F||1996|
|120||Anderson Xavier||W||Pts: 10x0||World Champ.||88KG||SF||1997|
|234||Mario SperryMario Sperry||W||Points||World Champ.||100KG||4F||1998|
|235||Leo DallaLeo Dalla||W||Adv||World Champ.||100KG||SF||1998|
|241||Vinicius Cruz||W||Submission||World Champ.||ABS||4F||1998|
|243||Murilo BustamanteMurilo Bustamante||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||World Champ.||ABS||SF||1998|
|279||Mario EsfihaMario Esfiha||W||Armbar||Pan American||O100KG||SF||1999|
|292||Amaury BitettiAmaury Bitetti||W||Pts: 2x0||World Champ.||88KG||SF||1999|
|300||Minotauro NogueiraMinotauro Nogueira||W||Referee Decision||World Champ.||ABS||SF||1999|
|392||Jorge PatinoJorge Patino||W||Pts: 6x0||World Champ.||88KG||4F||2000|
|394||Eduardo JamelaoEduardo Jamelao||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||World Champ.||88KG||SF||2000|
|395||Fernando MargaridaFernando Margarida||W||Pts: 4x0||World Champ.||88KG||F||2000|
|428||Manu Garcia||W||Pts: 9x2||ADCC||88KG||R1||2000|
|482||Eduardo JamelaoEduardo Jamelao||W||Katagatame||Rio x Sao Paulo||ABS||SPF||2000|