Following up on our mid season rankings earlier this year (July), we present you the final list for the year of 2015, gathering the results of all the top tournaments in our sport, in order to define who were the most successful competitors from around the globe. Much has happened in the past few months, including the sport’s two main no-gi tournaments, the ADCC and the No-Gi Worlds. As the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship has started to gain some momentum and acceptance among our sport’s mainstream athletes, we have now added it to the ranking defining tournaments.
As per usual, below you will find the explanation for the scoring system applied by the BJJ Heroes ranking, fully based on the competition results and not personal preferences of any sort.
Who are the Best in Jiu Jitsu Today?
This list gathers data from the top competitions on the Brazilian jiu jitsu calendar and adds up all the medallists to create an unbiased list of the actual top BJJ competitors out there today. The BJJ Heroes ranking collects information from the following tournaments:
|Points||European||Pan Am.||Brasileiro||WPJJC||Worlds||ADCC||NoGi World|
This year we are also testing a new feature to the ranking, one that (we hope) will help us achieve the fairest figures possible. This new component concerns any direct matches between two ranked competitors. Meaning that if two BJJ Heroes ranked grapplers meet in any of the above tournaments, who ever wins will receive an extra point. If the winner is lower ranked than the loser, he will receive 3 points.
GALO: 57kg / 126lbs
The most accomplished rooster-weight of all time in the sport shows no signs of slowing down, having had in 2015 one of his best years by winning both the Pan American Championship and the World Championships. This “same year double gold” was one of the few feats that were missing from Malfacine’s long and prosperous career.
TOP RANKED 2015 ROOSTERWEIGHTS
#1 Bruno Malfacine (14pts)
#2 Caio Terra (10pts)
#3 Ivaniel Oliveira (5pts)
#4 Jorge Nakamura (3pts)
#5 Koji Shibamoto & Nicholas Gailard (2pts)
PLUMA: 64kg / 141lbs
The Miyao Brothers went toe-to-toe until the end of the season, dominating the division while interchanging as the number one ranked jiu jitsu competitor among the light featherweights. In the end Joao took the honour and surpassed Paulo with his brilliant performance at the No-Gi World Championship.
TOP RANKED 2015 LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHTS
#1 Joao Miyao (25pts)
#2 Paulo Miyao (22pts)
#3 Thomas Lisboa (5pts)
#4 Daniel Beleza (4pts)
#5 Tiago Barros (3pts)
PENA: 70kg / 154lbs
The top featherweight this year was none other than Gianni Grippo. In one of the most talent dense weight classes in the sport, it was the New Yorker who came out with the number one spot, through consistently reaching the podiums of the top grappling tournaments in the world.
Having missed the two top titles on offer this year (ADCC and World Championship), Grippo kept active winning other relevant trophies such as the Pan American Championship and the Abu Dhabi World Pro. Though “Cobrinha” had a direct win over Grippo this year (which with the new ranking system granted him 3 extra points), his score still fell short of Gianni’s excellent 2015 campaign.
TOP RANKED 2015 LIGHT-FEATHERWEIGHTS
#1 Gianni Grippo (14pts)
#2 Rubens Charles (13pts)
#3 Rafael Mendes (12pts)
#4 Augusto Mendes (7pts)
#5 Márcio André (6pts)
LEVE: 76kg / 167lbs
Alliance’s legendary guard player keeps improving on previous performances. This year we witnessed a complete Langhi, showing that he can put on the heat from passing as well as playing guard. His solid performances allowed for Langhi’s best competitive year on record: 1 European title and two world trophies (gi and no-gi).
TOP RANKED 2015 LIGHTWEIGHTS
#1 Michael Langhi (15pts)
#2 Lucas Lepri (11pts)
#3 JT Torres (8pts)
#4 Luan Carvalho (7pts)
#5 Gabriel Rollo (6pts)
This was an important year for Leandro Lo, who won another world title in (yet) another weight class, getting closer to Saulo Ribeiro‘s record of 4 titles in 4 different weigtht classes. Leandro is now also the head coach of his own camp (New Brotherhood), a big change in the life of this legendary competitor.
TOP RANKED 2015 MIDDLE WEIGHTS
#1 Leandro Lo (22pts)
#2 Claudio Calasans (12pts)
#3 Davi Ramos (8pts)
#4 Vitor Oliveira & Vitor Estima (7pts)
#5 Otavio Sousa (6pts)
MEIO PESADO: 88kg/194lbs
This was a very even weight class, with Renato Cardoso’s assiduity, placing him slightly ahead on the tournament scores. Keenan had the advantage in 1-on-1 matches, having defeated the Brazilian (5×2) at the Pan American Championship earlier this year. This placed the Atos star ahead of the ranks as the number 1 meio-pesado grappler of the year.
TOP RANKED 2015 MEDIUM-HEAVYWEIGHTS
#1 Keenan Cornelius (11pts)
#2 Renato Cardoso (10pts)
#3 André Galvao (9pts)
#4 Taris Humphreys (5pts)
#5 Gustavo Campos (4pts)
PESADO: 94kg / 207lbs
Although Pena served an IBJJF ban for most of the year, he made the most of the tournaments he was allowed to compete in achieving two world titles (World Pro and World No-Gi) and placing second at the ADCC. The future is very bright for this young competitor, who (with the announced exit of Rodolfo and Buchecha) may become the sport’s biggest name in the foreseeable future.
TOP RANKED 2015 HEAVYWEIGHTS
#1 Felipe Pena (15pts)
#2 Alexandre Ribeiro (11pts)
#3 Lucas Leite (8pts)
#4 Jackson Sousa (5pts)
#5 Cássio Francis (4pts)
SUPER PESADO: 100kg / 221lbs
When you win double gold medals at the Pan American and World Championships not much needs to be said to validate your claim to number 1 ranked jiu jitsu competitor. This applies to Bernardo Faira, who not only won both these aforementioned tournaments, but did it in emphatic fashion by submitting most of his opponents with ease. Since 2014 Faria seems re-energized and has become one of the most exciting grapplers to watch compete in the sport.
TOP RANKED 2015 SUPER-HEAVYWEIGHTS
#1 Bernardo Faria (24pts)
#2 Joao Gabriel Rocha (15pts)
#3 Erberth Santos (12pts)
#4 Igor Silva (8pts)
#5 Rodolfo Vieira (7pts)
PESADÍSSIMO: + 100kg / 221lbs
A very unusual year in the ultra-heavyweight division, with a continuous stream of bad luck, taking some of jiu jitsu’s top athletes out of the main tournaments, one by one. Alexander Tráns, Roberto “Cyborg”, Marcus “Buchecha”, and more, all had tough injuries to overcome.
Although Buchecha’s attempt to overthrown Roger Gracie’s open weight world title record was unsuccessful, due to a knee injury that stopped Marcus on his tracks at the World Championship, Almeida’s double gold at the Abu Dhabi World Pro and his 1-on-1 wins over his direct opposition helped him keep his spot as the #1 ranked athlete in the world.
TOP RANKED 2015 ULTRA-HEAVYWEIGHTS
#1 Marcus Almeida (15pts)
#2 Alexander Tráns (14pts)
#3 Gabriel Lucas (11pts)
#4 Ricardo Evangelista (9pts)
#5 Orlando Sanchez (5pts)
Big thanks to BJJ Pix, Jiu Jitsu Style and FloGrappling for the image use
Rafa Mendes did not beat Grippo in 2015.
Thank you, that was a typo. His points are correct as this match was not accounted for.
Why aren't the women represented in the top ten lists? Is there a link to them that I am missing?
Female divisions are very small, more often than not, there aren't more than 2 black belts in each divisions, particularly from medium heavy and above. It didn't make sense to do a top 5 of a handful of competitors.
In the future, when all divisions have grown in numbers, they will be added to the page.