Orlando Sanchez, also known as “The Cuban Tree Stump”, is an American born Jiu Jitsu black belt under Jose Olimpio (AKA Ze Radiola) who competes at ultra heavyweight for Gracie Barra in BJJ competitions. Orlando Sanchez is also known for his drug dependence which he overcame through practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, becoming in the process one of the fastest Americans to have reached the degree of black belt in the sport (4 years).
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.
Deoclecio Paulo, also known as “Mestre Deo” (Master Deo) is a red belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who started practicing the sport in the 1940’s, being a direct descendant of the Oswaldo Fadda lineage. A highly regarded instructor, Deoclecio Paulo has taught in different areas of Brazil, having also brought Jiu Jitsu to Chile in the 1970’s. Master Deo’s also founded the Associação Deo Jiu-Jitsu one of the top academies in Brasilia.
Thibaut Olivier is one of three French brothers (Maxime, Rodolphe and Thibaut) who are amongst the top Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors in Europe. Thibaut Olivier has represented France all around the world, medaling in many important tournaments. The Olivier brothers have also founded The Gokudo academy, a leading BJJ academy in France.
Eduardo Santoro, also known as Eduardo “Português” (Portuguese), is one of the top medium heavyweight jiu jitsu competitors of his generation. A black belt under Max Trombini from Cia Paulista, Eduardo Santoro won some of the most important Brazilian jiu jitsu tournaments in the world, such as the Brazilian National, the Pan American and the World Championships (on two separate organizations).
Felipe “Preguiça” Pena is a BJJ black belt from the famous Gracie Barra academy affiliate in Belo Horizonte, a camp that has brought us fighters such as Romulo Barral, Marcelo Azevedo, Pablo Silva and many others. Felipe Pena was regarded as one of the biggest prospects in the jiu jitsu world while he was still a brown belt, after his amazing performances in tournaments such as the World Championships and the Copa Podio.
Christian Graugart is a famous BJJ blogger who has become a successful published author through his BJJ Globetrotter book, which tells the story of how in 2011 Christian traveled the world with the purpose of training in as many Jiu Jitsu academies as possible meeting different cultures and personalities, all of which shared one thing in common, Jiu Jitsu.
Joao Gabriel Rocha is a BJJ black belt under Master “Tatu” Escobar and Rafael “Formiga” from the Soul Fighters Academy. Having trained since he was 2 years old, Joao Gabriel became one of the top prospects of sporting Jiu Jitsu through his consecutive wins as a brown belt.
Luiz Ribeiro, also known as “Manxinha” or “Manxa” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Ricardo Vieira from the Checkmat academy. Luiz Ribeiro is also the founder and owner of London Fight Factory, one of the main Jiu Jitsu academies in London, England, where he has helped the development of the sport in the country.
Gabrielzinho Moraes is a historical figure in BJJ having won the world jiu jitsu championship in the blue belt division in 2003 and in the black belt division in 2004, being the only competitor ever to have won the world championship in blue and black belt consecutively.
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the legendary Andre Pederneiras, Marcos Galvao, also known by his nickname “Loro”, has become one of the top MMA fighters in the world after winning the Bellator Bantamweight tournament in 2012. Marcos Galvao also trains with another legend of the sport, Vitor Ribeiro.
Ryan Beauregard is an American born jiu jitsu and judo black belt, being also one of the top competitors of his generation in the USA. A former world Brazilian jiu jitsu champion (brown belt 2008), Ryan Beauregard started his own team together with his brothers (Colin and Ian), this “Team Beauregard” has quickly become one of the strongest BJJ academies in the Arizona region.
Rodolphe Olivier is a French grappler who holds the rank of black belt in jiu jitsu, a belt awarded by Ricardo Vieira. Rodolphe and his three brothers (all BJJ black belts) have represented France all around the world, conquering important medals. They have also founded one of the top academies in France, the Gokudo.
Brandon Mullins, is one of the most accomplished American born BJJ black belts, being the second American to win two world titles in the adult black belt division of the sport. Brandon Mullins made a name for himself as one of the top jiu jitsu competitors in the rooster weight division after he won his first Pan American title in 2009 (no gi). He has since become one of the most successful American born BJJ black belts in the world through his recurring success at the world no gi championships.
Ricardo Diogo, also known as “Rey” Diogo was one of the first Carlson Gracie jiu jitsu team representatives to come to the United States where he established his own academy based on his master’s teachings.
Marc Laimon is a renowned grappling coach who holds the rank of black belt in Brazillian jiu jitsu, being also the founder of the Cobra Kai academy. Marc Laimon has worked on the ground games of several MMA fighters, including Bas Rutten, Oleg Tatakrov, Mark Kerr, Johny Hendricks and many others, while producing well known jiu jitsu black belts such as Sim Go and Chris Holdsworth. Marc Laimon was also an instructor on the famous MMA reality show TUF (The Ultimate Fighter).
Fernando Vieira is a jiu jitsu world champion as well as world pro cup champion from the city of Manaus. A black belt under Cristiano Carioca, Vieira has defeated several important figures of the sport including Bibiano Fernandes. He has also spent time fighting in MMA.
Nicolas Gregoriades is a South African grappler who was the first jiu jitsu practitioner to have received a black belt from the renowned Roger Gracie. Gregoriades is also an accomplished competitor and one of the founders of the “Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood”, a BJJ community with affiliates all over the world.
Marcos Torregrosa, also known as Marcos “Yemaso” in the fighting world, is a jiu jitsu black belt under Cassio Werneck. Originally from Puerto Rico, Marcos Torregrosa made a name for himself in the grappling world competing mainly in the United States where he conquered several important tournaments such as the American National, Grapplers Quest, the US Open an many other trophies. Yamaso is also part of the Lloyd Irvin association, which he joined in 2011.
Fabio Clemente is an historical figure for jiu jitsu in New York (Manhattan), having opened one of the very first BJJ academies in the region, a team that has run successfully since the mid 1990’s. Fabio Clemente earned his black belt under Rigan Machado, and was a member of the Machado Association before he joined the Alliance team in the late 1990’s; He was also responsible for bringing Marcelo Garcia to the US.
Ryron Gracie is the grandson of Helio Gracie and the oldest son of Rorion Gracie, being part of the third generation of jiu jitsu’s most illustrious family. A recognizable figure within the jiu jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face amongst MMA fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” Where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.