20 years of world championships and countless memorable matches, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of jiu jitsu’s most prestigious event, the Mundial de Jiu Jitsu. On this article we go through a few matches that marked our sport, by beauty, by innovation, by intensity.
1996 Leverage: Roleta vs Wallid
A few weeks before the first world championship In 1996, Roberto Magalhaes was given his black belt, setting the tone for a big duel between the Carlson Gracie Academy and Gracie Barra team. Carlson Gracie had an Ace in the Meio Pesado (194lb) category by the name of Walid Ismail who had been undefeated for a few years.
Carlos Gracie planned to use his own secret weapon, Roleta. Roberto had a innovative new guard, called “roleta guard” now known as the inverted guard. This would be the first time he would put this position to use at the highest level.The result can be seen below..
1998 Zé Máquina: Mario Sperry vs Royler
Zé Mario was a super heavyweight who had never lost a competitive match (ever). Royler was the best featherweight in the history of the sport, who had never been submitted, having competed in countless open weight tournaments. The two met at the semi final of the open weight division.
2000 Simply Epic: Margarida vs Cachorrinho
Two of the most exciting grapplers of the 2000’s generation meet in one epic match. The athletic Flávio Almeida “Cachorrinho” against Fernando Margarida met in the semi final of the open weight class of the world championship. The fight would be often used to illustrate the beauty of the sport, when both competitors seek nothing but the finish.
2000 Comprido Finishes a Legend: Comprido vs Nino
Rodrigo Comprido was on fire at the 2000’s world championship, a year he won the absolute division for the second time. On the way to the top position, Rodrigo beat several legends, but none bigger than Nino Schembri. Nino was at the top of his game, being regarded as the top guard player of his generation. The match between Comprido and Nino was nothing short of exciting.
2003 The King vs The Prince: Terere vs Marcelinho
A great match between Fernando Terere and Marcelo Garcia. The two met for the first time in the final of the world championships, Marcelinho’s first attempt at black belt. Marcelo was the rising star of jiu jitsu (soon to become the king of the division) while Terere was well established and seen as the best middleweight in the world. The two would meet again the following year at the Japan Open, the result going to Terere by 4 points to 0.
2004 The Greatest Match Ever: Roger vs Jacaré
The new breed in the sport, Roger Gracie and Jacaré Souza met for the first time at black belt during the world jiu jitsu championship of 2004, absolute final. This incredible match is still regarded today as the most incredible fight ever produced by the Mundial. The pair would meet again in 3 more occasions with split results.
2006 You’ve Been Tornado’ed: Cyborg vs Braulio
In 2006 Roberto “Cyborg” was virtually unknown. An open weight finalist the previous year at brown belt, he was a talented grappler who stood little chance against the 2004 world champion (2005 runner up) Braulio Estima. The two met at the opening round of the absolute division, and the match was nothing short of spectacular. Cyborg would advance in the tournament beating another BJJ star at the time, Demian Maia, before losing in the semi final against Xande Ribeiro.
2008 You Wont Like Me When I’m Angry: Galvao vs Suarez
Andre Galvao met Martin Suarez at the first round of the open weight division at the world championship of 2008. On paper this would be an easy win for the talented Brazilian middleweight, what made this bout become one of the most talked about matches of the tournament, was the fact that Mr Suarez attempts to knee reap while trying to apply a heel hook. Mr Galvao took offence, and… well, the rest you can see on the video.
2011 History begins: Rodolfo vs Buchecha
Rodolfo Vieira took the world by storm at the 2011 Mundial. The GFTeam star went through the open weight and the heavyweight divisions like a hot knife through butter. On the semi final of the absolute Rodolfo came across another up and coming black belt, Marcus Almeida. The two would have a long story in the sport, this being their first match at black belt.
2012 Flying Xande: Ribeiro vs Tussa
One of the all time best finishes in the world championship. The veteran and former 2 time world champion Alexandre Ribeiro, shows how a flying armbar is done against an elite grappler in Tussa Alencar.
2012 It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over: Buchecha vs Nogueira
Marcus Almeida wins his first double gold in impressive fashion, this being the final match of the open weight division against Leonardo Nogueira. This incredible match would show the determination of Buchecha, a trait he has kept throughout his career.