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Ronaldo Souza “Jacare”

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John Danaher Instructionals

Ronaldo Souza, who is also known in the fighting industry as “Jacaré” (alligator in Portuguese) is one of the best grappling competitors of his generation, as well as in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). Souza reached legendary in jiu jitsu after his wins over some of the best grapplers to have graced the sport, including Roger Gracie, Fernando Tererê, Robert Drysdale, and more.

Ronaldo Jacaré Souza Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Ronaldo Souza dos Santos

Nickname: “Jacaré” means alligator which is the symbol of the ASLE jiu-jitsu and judo team, a team where Ronaldo first started competing in combat sports. Souza was ASLE’s most prolific competitor, living inside the gym for a big part of his life while also helping the coaching of others. Due to his strong ties with the academy, some started calling him Jacaré. Many also call him “Jaca” which is short for Jacaré.

Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Reyson Gracie > Osvaldo Alves > Henrique Machado > Ronaldo Souza

Main Achievements:

  • ADCC Superfight Winner (2009 against Robert Drysdale)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Champion (2004*/2005**)
  • 1st Place CBJJO World Cup Champion (2004**)
  • 1st Place ADCC champion (2005)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian National Champion (2004)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open Champion (2005)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2005*)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Champion (2003/2002 brown belt, 2001** purple belt)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian National Champion (2002** brown belt)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship Runner-up (2002* brown belt)
  • 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian National Championship 3rd Place (2001 purple belt)

* Absolute
** Weight and absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Guard Passing

Weight Division: Meio Pesado 88kg/194lbs

Association/Team: ASLE (BJJ)

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Biography

Ronaldo Souza dos Santos aka “Jacare” was born on the 7th of December, 1979 and contrary to common belief, he was born in Vila Velha, not Manaus, and lived in Cariacica until he was 15 in the Brazilian State of Espirito Santo. As a child, like most Brazilian kids, Ronaldo was a big football/Soccer fan and played competitively in the Goalkeeper position.

Souza did not have an easy upbringing living a less than righteous life in his teens. On the day of his 15th birthday, he witnessed one of his best friends get shot and die in front of him. After this terrible event Jacare’s mom moved him to Manaus in the Amazon to go and live with his brother. It was there, around two years after the shooting incident, that Ronaldo would meet his master Henrique Machado. Machado, a BJJ black belt under Osvaldo Alves and also a 5th dan in Judo immediately saw potential in this young 50kg kid and decided to take him under his wing. As Jacare had a precarious lifestyle Master Machado took him under his wing and into his home, teaching him every day and giving Souza the right nutrition while preparing him mentally for competition.

The relationship between the two started when Henrique invited Ronaldo to train Jiu-Jitsu after seeing him playing soccer on the streets. Ronaldo accepted the challenge even though he complained that he didn’t like the sport – “too much man hugging” – he said jokingly. After getting a true beating in his first class, Souza’s competitive mindset came alight and he returned to try better. With time little Ronaldo was hooked to the sport.

Soon after, the ASLE academy was formed with Henrique Machado at the helm and Ronaldo Souza as one of their prodigal athletes. A.S.L.E stands for “Associação Sensei de Lutas Esportivas” (Sensei Fighting Sports Association). The ASLE team eventually joined Master Team (which became Brasa at a later stage), this merge meant that the ASLE fighters had stronger logistics when competing internationally. Brasa was a well known and structured team that offered a lot to a small up and coming gym such as ASLE, such as a place to stay when competing in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as well as extra training partners with international experience.

After winning several state championships in the lower belts, Jacare’s rise to fame came with the 2003 World Championships Brown Belt Division, in which Jacaré won his weight division and the absolute, submitting all but one fighter. In that same year, Jacare Souza was awarded his Black Belt by the hands of Master Machado. Jacare also has a Black belt in Judo, although it is unclear in what year he received it.

In 2003 he tried his luck in MMA for the first time against the very experienced Jorge Patino, he lost the fight by TKO but learned from the experience. He wasn’t ready for the main event in MMA just yet, so he waited another year to prepare before returning to the rings.

In 2004 Jacare went to the World Championships as a black belt, and although he was still a newbie as a Black Belt the show he had provided the previous year gave him already a certain star status and some of the media classified him as one of the favorites to win. Ronaldo Souza put on another good performance placing 2nd on his weight class and winning the most prestigious gold medal in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Mundial Absolute (Open Weight) Division, taking the final bout against his nemesis Roger Gracie despite an injured arm due to an armbar from roger halfway through the fight. In an interview given to Portal do Vale Tudo in 2007, Jacare discussed the injury stating that the armbar caused all of his ligaments to hyperextend, it also dislocated his elbow and ruptured his muscle detaching it from the bone… But that it had all been more than worth it!

2005 Came with another fantastic year for Ronaldo Jacare, winning the ADCC in his weight division (87kg) and placing second in the absolute losing to Roger Gracie. Later that year he also managed to match his prowess of 2003 at the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships with double gold in his weight class (medium heavy) and the absolute black belt division.

Jacaré changed his focus to MMA following a professional mixed martial arts career. He took a little break to make one incursion in the super fight of ADCC (2009) against Robert Drysdale, a match he won on points, but returned to his MMA training straight after. In 2010 he finally achieved his first MMA belt after defeating Tim Kennedy for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title.

Ronaldo Jacare Souza also has a brother who fights in Both BJJ and MMA, his name is Renato Souza.

Ronaldo Souza Grappling Record

    19 (40%)
    0 (0%)
    27 (57%)
    0 (0%)
    1 (2%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Flying triangle
Choke from back
Cross choke
Clock choke
    4 (67%)
    1 (17%)
    1 (17%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)



Ronaldo Souza Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
797Saulo RibeiroSaulo RibeiroLPts: 3x0ADCC88KGF2003
1131Roger GracieRoger GracieLPts: 2x0European OpenABSF2005
1235Roger GracieRoger GracieLRNCADCCABSF2005
1255Demian MaiaDemian MaiaLAdvWorld Cup88KGF2005
1271Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 2x0World CupO75KGF2005
3321Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaLPts: 3x0ADCCABSSPF2011
755UnknownWPointsADCC Trials88KGNA2003
757Fernando MargaridaFernando MargaridaWPointsADCC Trials88KGNA2003
787Ryan GracieRyan GracieWPts: 5x0ADCC88KGR12003
792Matt LindlandWArmbarADCC88KG4F2003
795Ricardo AlmeidaRicardo AlmeidaWPts: 6x0ADCC88KGSF2003
976Delson HelenoDelson HelenoWPts: 6x0BB Challenge 388KGSPF2004
982Gustavo GuimaraesWTriangleGolden Cup82KGSF2004
983Thales LeitesWPts: 4x0Golden Cup82KGF2004
1004Fabio NascimentoFabio NascimentoWChoke from backPan American88KGSF2004
1005Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaWFlying trianglePan American88KGF2004
1011Pascoal CastroWArmbarPan AmericanABS8F2004
1012Fernando PieroFernando PieroWWristlockPan AmericanABS4F2004
1016Todd MargolisWFlying trianglePan AmericanABSSF2004
1017Fernando TerereFernando TerereWPts: 6x0Pan AmericanABSF2004
1019Marcelo GarciaMarcelo GarciaWPts: 3x2Best FightersABSSPF2004
1028Robert FonsecaWKneebarTeam Nationals88KGSF2004
1029Givanildo SantanaGivanildo SantanaWArmbarTeam Nationals88KGF2004
1041Givanildo SantanaGivanildo SantanaWArmbarBrasileiro88KGSF2004
1070Roger GracieRoger GracieWPts: 4x2World Champ.ABSF2004
1072Erik WanderleiWChokeWorld CupABS4F2004
1074Fabricio WerdumFabricio WerdumWPts: 10x0World CupABSSF2004
1076Fernando MargaridaFernando MargaridaWPts: 7x0World CupABSF2004
1086Jackson MouraWTriangleWorld Cup88KGR12004
1087Marco MatosWArmbarWorld Cup88KG4F2004
1089Bruno BastosBruno BastosWWristlockWorld Cup88KGSF2004
1125Vitor NobregaWCross chokeEuropean Open88KGF2005
1129Lucio RodriguesLucio RodriguesWPts: 6x0European OpenABSSF2005
1139Mike WeaverWArmbarBudo Challenge98KGSF2005
1140Karl AmasoWTriangleBudo Challenge98KGF2005
1188David BielkhedenWKimuraADCC88KGR12005
1191Robert SulskiWTriangleADCC88KG4F2005
1193Dennis HallmanWArmbarADCC88KGSF2005
1195Demian MaiaDemian MaiaWPts: 0x0, PenADCC88KGF2005
1227David AvellanWPts: 6x0ADCCABSR12005
1231A. CacarecoWKneebarADCCABS4F2005
1232Marcelo GarciaMarcelo GarciaWKimuraADCCABSSF2005
1253Saulo RibeiroSaulo RibeiroWPts: 8x0World Cup88KGSF2005
1267Eduardo TellesEduardo TellesWClock chokeWorld CupO75KG4F2005
1270Gabriel NapaoWPts: 2x0World CupO75KGSF2005
1295Alexandre SouzaAlexandre SouzaWChokeWorld Champ.88KGR12005
1300Delson HelenoDelson HelenoWArmbarWorld Champ.88KG4F2005
1302Antonio SergioWKimuraWorld Champ.88KGSF2005
1303Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaWPts: 6x0World Champ.88KGF2005
1324Braulio EstimaBraulio EstimaWPts: 9x0World Champ.ABSSF2005
1326Roger GracieRoger GracieWPts: 2x0World Champ.ABSF2005
2308Robert DrysdaleRobert DrysdaleWPts: 8x0ADCCABSSPF2009

Jacare’s Highlight

Jacaré vs Erick Wanderlei


John Danaher BJJ Escapes


  • Rollo says:

    Jacare is one of the most savage BJJ competitors I have ever seen. I wrote a blog post about him, and included a highlight video.

  • AH says:


  • Jonathan says:

    My idol.

  • Dipesh Halai says:

    ok im confused here it says that jacare and Henrique Machado come from the gracie side of bjj but i've been lookin at this and it shows jacare and machado come from the luis franco > oswaldo fadda lineage of bjj, which is it?

    • bjjheroes says:

      BJJ Tree must have confused the "Osvaldos", Master Henrique Machado was graded by Osvaldo Alves although he didnt train with him that much, it was more like an honorary thing as he was clearly of BB level. Check out Henrique's bio, its also here on the website.

      Keep in mind that Jacare trained with many different people, including Terere, but his Master was Henrique.

  • Dalton says:

    Jacare was fighting in super fight against Braulio Estima in ADCC Notthingham 2011 where he lost on points 0-3

  • regie Toussaint says:

    Jacare I own a bjj school in the panhandle (florida) and would like to know if you would be intrested in doing a seminar my info is 1 850 623 0065 Gym Cell 850 398 0779. please let me know if you are intrested.


  • regie Toussaint says:

    if you really wan't to take your game to a different level that you need to attend the seminar that we will be hosting with JACARE

  • Martin says:

    Why is there not listed any favorite techniques/positions for jacare?

  • Anthony RobustWarrior says:

    Jacare is an absolute beast and an extremely technical fighter. I recently started learning BJJ and i have been watching his old competition videos on Youtube, it has helped me tremendously with my own technique.

  • Gustavo says:

    Um dos maiores monstros da história do Jiu-Jitsu, pena que em seus tempos de competidor, ou ia pro MMA ou passava fome. Ele lutou apenas 2 anos na faixa preta e parece que foram uns 7, uma lenda.

    Obs: Jacare x Drysdale foi 2×0 e nao 8×0.

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