Luiz Panza is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Marco Barbosa who is one of the top heavyweight competitors of his generation. A former professional model, Luiz Panza traded the catwalk for Jiu Jitsu, turning professional in 2013. On his first year as a black belt competitor, Luiz immediately made a name for himself piling up medals at the highest level of BJJ.
Male Jiu Jitsu Competitors
A list of all male competitors on the BJJ heroes website, Jiu Jitsu legends and other recognizable figures in the sport’s history.
Bruno Mendes, more commonly known in the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu world by his nickname “Tank”, is one of the leaders and founding members of the BJJ team: Soul Fighters. A black belt under Alvaro Mansor, Tank spent several years working behind the scenes of IBJJF competitions before fouding his own team with his brother, the world champion Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes, Leandro Escobar and Rafael Barbosa.
Marcio Corleta is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Mauricio and Sylvio Behring, who was considered one of the top ultra heavyweights of his generation in the sport. Through his excellent sporting career, Corleta brought awareness to the quality of Jiu Jitsu practiced in the south of Brazil
Marcio Stambowsky, also known as Macarrão, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coral belt, who is one of the 10 men to have been graded as a black belt by the legendary Rolls Gracie, often mentioned as the “Famous Five”. Stambowsky, who was one of the top grappling competitors in the 1980s.
Abraham Marte is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Abraham Tabar from team Basico BJJ of the Dominican Republic. Marte was the first high end competitor to come out of the Dominic Republic and the first to medal at the World Championships in a black belt division.
Leandro Escobar, also known as ‘Tatu’, is qualified instructor in Muay Thai and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under “Dedeco” Almeida, being also one of the leaders of the Soul Fighters BJJ academy and the head coach of its competition team in Rio de Janeiro.
Paulo Mauricio Strauch is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Master (9th degree red belt) who trained under Master Reylson Gracie before founding his own academy in 1984. From his academy in Copacabana Master Paulo Mauricio Strauch has taught numerous champions such as the world famous Caio Terra, Alexandre Vieira and many others.
Keenan Cornelius is a Hawaiian and a famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor with a tremendous fan base in the United States. The talented fighter received his black belt from André Galvão in September 2013 though he started his career as a grappler training under BJ Penn and Lloyd Irvin’s tuition where he won all the top tournaments in the purple and brown belt levels, being considered the most accomplished brown belt of all time.
Paulo Miyao and his brother João are known as the Miyao Brothers, two very well known Jiu Jitsu competitors under the Cícero Costha academy banner. João and Paulo are known for their flamboyant guards and the use of the berimbolo sweep/back take.
João Miyao and his brother Paulo are known as the Miyao Brothers, two very well known Jiu Jitsu competitors under the Cícero Costha academy banner. João and Paulo are known for their flamboyant guards and the use of the berimbolo sweep/back take.
Cristiano Lazzarini, commonly known in the fight world as “Titi” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Vinicius Draculino, who has had a tremendous career in BJJ with medals at the World Jiu Jitsu Championships, the Pan American and Brazilian Nationals.
Alberto Crane is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Vinicius Magalhães being also the first American citizen to become a black belt under the Gracie Barra Academy banner. Alberto Crane stacked a series of accolades as a BJJ and MMA competitor as well as from a coaching stance.
Guto Monteiro is the founder of the Associação Monteiro, a prime Jiu Jitsu academy in Manaus, Amazonas. Having earned his black belt from Royler and Rolker Gracie, Guto (a 4th degree black belt) and his brothers helped raise the technical level of BJJ in Manaus.
Francisco Fernandes Júnior, commonly known by his nickname: “Chiquinho de Cuiaba”, is a former Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion of the famed Gracie Barra academy. Being from a family with strong connections to Jiu Jitsu (his father trained with Rolls Gracie and his sister is the also world champion Luzia Fernandes) Chiquinho de Cuiaba became one of the top grapplers of his generation.
Alan Moraes is a one of the coaches at the world famous Carlson Gracie Academy in Rio de Janeiro, from where he has produced several high quality black belts, including world medallist Samir Chantre. Alan Moraes, who was graded as black belt by Carlson Gracie Junior, is also one of the main referees in the IBJJF.
Master Wilson Mattos, also known as Mestre “Shihan”, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 9th degree red belt who trained with Oswaldo Fadda, Master Wilson formed his own academy in the 1970’s, Equipe Mestre Wilson, a team with affiliates all over the world, in countries like Brazil, the USA and Japan.
Master Cezar Guimarães, also known by his nickname “Casquinha”, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt founder of the famous Rio de Janeiro academy, Top Brother, a team that has brought forward some highly talented competitors in both BJJ and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Cezar Guimarães also has a black belt in Judo where excelled as a competitor earning a spot in the Brazilian national junior squad.
Kurt Osiander is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor and black belt from the Ralph Gracie Academy in San Francisco. Osiander is one of the cult heroes in BJJ’s community due to his video blog “Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week” where is personality and technical habilities captured the interest of 1000’s of BJJ fans.
Carlos Elias, commonly known as “Caique”, is one of only 8 non Gracie men to have received the degree of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by the late Great Master Helio Gracie. A former member of the Gracie Academy, Carlos Henrique “Caique” reached the degree of coral belt (red and black) in 2009 from Rickson Gracie, he is also one of the first men to bring BJJ to Southern California, where he has been located since the 1990’s.
Rafael de Lima is one of the Correa brothers which are among the most important siblings in BJJ. Rafael Gordinho is a Jiu Jitsu black belt world champion and one of the main figures in competitive BJJ at the turn of the 20th century, he has also been involved in the development of the sport and other teams such as his brother’s academy, Gordo Jiu Jitsu and Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.