25 Best Jiu-Jitsu Fighters of All Time (2024 Rankings)

Jiu-Jitsu is a powerful martial art and one of the fastest-growing sports of our era. There have been many great Jiu-Jitsu fighters that have won championships, but do they have what it takes to be the GOAT?

Jiu-Jitsu fighters Josh Cisneros and Ethan Crelinsten in the ring

We ranked the best Jiu-Jitsu fighters of all time based on their professional record, impact on Jiu-Jitsu fight culture, and professional ranking. This ranking includes female fighters who made their mark on the sport.

25. Robert Drysdale

Legacy FC 19 Robert Drysdale vs D.J. Linderman

Years Active 2008 to 2019
Birth Country Utah, United States
Professional Record 7 Wins (7 Submissions) / 0 Losses

Die-hard grappling fans definitely know how talented former BJJ world champion Robert Drysdale is. During the 2000s, he was the best American grappler in the world.

Becoming the first American heavyweight to win an IBJJF world title in 2005. Two years later, Drysdale would win gold at the 2007 ADCC Championship in the absolute division.

Once Robert accomplished these goals in grappling, he would make the transition to MMA. He would be dominant and show great potential as he would go 7-0 and submit all of his opponents, including UFC veteran and KO artist Ryan Spann.

Drysdale would have one victory in the UFC, but a failed drug test would overturn this result to a no-contest.

After this, Drysdale would lose his passion for competing and retire from the sport. Robert now coaches full-time and runs his BJJ school Zenith BJJ in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for fight fans, we can only speculate on just how great Drysdale could’ve been in MMA.

24. Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Nicolini Highlight

Years Active 2011 to Present
Birth Country São Paulo, Brazil
Professional Record 6 Wins (5 Submissions) / 3 Losses

What’s a GOAT list without legendary Michelle Nicolini? Michelle is arguably the greatest female BJJ athlete ever and a pioneer for women’s BJJ.

A student of black belt world champion Robert Drysdale, Nicolini did it all in grappling. After getting her black belt, she would set the Jiu-Jitsu world on fire from 2006 to 2015.

In that time, Michelle would win an astounding 8 IBJJF World titles, 4 No-Gi World titles, and an ADCC gold medal. Her legendary grappling career easily made Michelle a first-ballot inductee into the IBJJF Hall of Fame.

Nicolini would make her entry into MMA in 2011 with a first-round submission win. She would fight sporadically for the next few years until she signed with Singapore-based promotion One Championship.

Nicolini would become one of the biggest stars of the promotion’s strawweight division. Pulling off three straight submission victories before dropping a decision loss to Tiffany Teo.

But in her bounce-back fight, Nicolini would earn the biggest win of her career by beating former champion Angela Lee.

At 41, Nicolini is currently 6-3 and pursuing her first MMA world title. She’s already a BJJ legend, and earning a major MMA title would mark her as one of the greatest fighters ever.

23. Vinny Magalhaes

Every Vinny Magalhães Submission in PFL & WSOF

Years Active 2006 to Present
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professional Record 19 Wins (12 Submissions) / 12 Losses

Much to the dismay of Renato Laranja, BJJ world champ and MMA vet Vinny Magalhaes has made our list. Combat sports fans have been well acquainted with Vinny and his world-class grappling abilities.

A Royler Gracie black belt came on to the scene in 2005 after earning double gold at brown belt. After this performance, Vinny would earn his black belt and become one of the best No-Gi grapplers in the world.

Going on to win the 2007 IBJJF world title and earn gold at the 2011 ADCC. Accomplishing this all while fighting full-time in MMA.

Magalhaes has fought in nearly every major MMA promotion in the world since making his debut in 2016. This includes the UFC, M-1, Titan FC, and the PFL, where Magalhaes currently competes.

In Magalhães’ 33 professional fights, he has earned nineteen victories. Thirteen came by way of submission, which gives him a 79% submission rate.

Vinny is also among the few grapplers ever to have defeated BJJ GOAT Gordon Ryan in competition. He is certainly deserving of a spot on this list.

22. Brian Ortega

Top Finishes: Brian Ortega

Years Active 2010 To Present
Birth Country California, United States
Professional Record 15 Wins (7 Submissions) / 3 Losses

Brian “T-City” Ortega is a fan favorite in the UFC featherweight division. He has been a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner since the age of thirteen under the Gracie family in Torrance, California.

Ortega started his pro-MMA career in 2010 and has shown endless potential to be a champion. At 23, Ortega would work his record up to an undefeated 8-0.

He would have a meteoric rise as Brian displayed both world-class grappling and striking. Finishing his first seven opponents in the UFC before suffering his first loss to Max Holloway.

In Ortega’s wins, he displayed his incredible Jiu-Jitsu skills, especially in his wins against Diego Brandao, Renato Moicano, and Cub Swanson.

Also, in Brian’s second title fight against Alex Volkanovski. Synching in a flying guillotine choke that he was seconds away from finishing and earning his first UFC title.

Brian has shown that he no doubt has the ability to be one of the greatest BJJ fighters of all time. He’s still young, and if he’s able to earn a title, we could easily see his name go up the list.

21. Masakazu Imanari

Masakazu Imanari - The Specialist (Highlights / Tribute)

Years Active 2000 to Present
Birth Country Kanagawa, Japan
Professional Record 39 Wins (28 Submissions) / 22 Losses

For years, Masakazu Imanari has been a fan favorite of hardcore MMA and grappling fans. He is a goofy showman that’s known for his unorthodox style and world-class Jiu-Jitsu ability.

Imanari has been referred to for decades as one of the leg lock masters of the sport. He was never afraid to dive in on submissions and attack his opponent’s legs.

He is also the creator of the famous Imanari roll that many leg lockers love to use in MMA and grappling.

As a fighter, Imanari has fought all over the world for the last twenty years. Fighting in just about every major promotion from DEEP, Pride, Cage Rage, Dream, ONE, and Rizin.

Never turning a fight down, and always ready to put on a show. In Imanari’s 63-fight career, he has never been submitted by any opponent.

To this day, Masakazu Imanari is still remarkably active in MMA and grappling.

20. Renzo Gracie

Renzo Gracie MMA & No-Gi Jiu jitsu highlight, ' The Gracie name'

Years Active 1992 to 2018
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professional Record 14 Wins (8 Submissions) / 7 Losses

The legend Renzo Gracie is next on our list. One of the most beloved figures in the history of combat sports has done it all in the world of fighting.

Being a Gracie, Renzo grew up around martial arts; he was destined to be a great fighter. As a Gracie, it was Renzo’s duty to be a representative and defend his family’s martial art.

He began his fighting career in no-holds-barred Vale Tudo matches in the early 1990s. Having his Vale Tudo fight in 1992 and fighting without gloves in his first six fights before signing with Pride.

Renzo would go 9-0 in his first ten bouts and showcase his incredible grappling ability. During this time, Renzo was one of the best MMA fighters in the world and an elite grappler.

The son of Robson Gracie would win both the ADCC 2000 and 2001 event in back-to-back years. All while he was deep in his Pride run.

What others also know Renzo for is opening his school, the world-famous Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC. A legendary gym where countless world champions in MMA and BJJ have trained.

But when we thought Renzo was done fighting, he returned at 51 years old. Submitting MMA legend Yuki Kondo at a ONE Championship event in 2018.

When it comes to combat sports, you’ll never find something that fits the definition of a legend like Renzo Gracie.

19. Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz | Career Highlights 2021 (HD)

Years Active 2001 to Present
Birth Country California, United States
Professional Record 26 Wins (13 Submissions) / 10 Losses

No all-time great list would be complete without the original Stockton bad boy Nick Diaz. He has one of the most die-hard fan bases of any fighter, and for a good reason.

Nick has entertained fight fans with high-level boxing and world-class grappling ability for twenty years. At just 20 years old, Nick made his UFC debut with an impressive submission win against Jeremy Jackson.

He would then become a fan favorite with his classic first bout against Robbie Lawler, where he won by KO. Then there’s his epic bout with Takanori Gomi in 2007, where he pulled off the rare gogoplata submission.

But the prime and best Nick Diaz had to be in the 2010s while in Strikeforce. During that seven-fight streak, Diaz would beat big names like Frank Shamrock, Evangelista Santos, Scott Smith, and Paul Daley.

Then once Nick returned to the UFC, he would have epic wars with BJ Penn, Carlos Condit, GSP, and Anderson Silva.

Unfortunately, after the Silva bout, Nick tested positive for marijuana and was suspended. This harsh suspension robbed Nick of his prime fighting years and another chance to fight for a title.

Although the prime Nick Diaz years were a pleasure to watch, he was one of the sport’s best grapplers. If Nick didn’t have his prime years taken from him, he would be in the discussion as an all-time great.

18. Roger Gracie

Roger Gracie highlights- The best of all times.

Years Active 2006 to 2016
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professional Record 8 Wins (6 Submissions) / 2 Losses

The words legend and greatest of all time get thrown around a lot when talking about fighters and BJJ athletes. But there is nobody that will argue that Roger Gracie isn’t one the greatest Jiu-Jitsu fighters of all time.

Roger Gracie is the grandson of Carlos Gracie Sr and the son of coral belt Mauricio Gomes. From the time Roger was a young blue belt, his family knew he was destined to be a successful athlete.

He had the size, natural skill, and mind to become one of the best BJJ athletes of all time. From 2003 to 2010, Roger was, without a doubt, the best grappler in the world.

Winning 10 IBJJF world titles and 2 ADCC gold medals in this seven-year period. At one point, Gracie went over 50 matches straight without suffering a single loss.

After being on top in BJJ, Roger would then transition to MMA in the late 2000s. He had a lot of hype behind him that was nearly impossible to live up to, but Roger did his best.

The BJJ champion would win his first four fights but suffer a shocking KO loss to Muhammed Lawal. Then in his one UFC appearance, he would lose a decision to Tim Kennedy before winning his last 2 MMA fights in ONE.

Roger would retire from MMA with an 8-2 record. Some critics believe his MMA career was a disappointment, but 8-2 is nothing to bat an eye at. All but one of his eight wins were finishes, six of which were by submission.

He’s clearly one of the greatest grapplers to have ever lived and deserves a spot here.

17. Mackenzie Dern

Top Submissions: Mackenzie Dern

Years Active 2016 to Present
Birth Country Phoenix, Arizona
Professional Record 13 Wins (7 Submissions) / 3 Losses

Mackenzie Dern is currently one of the most skilled female MMA fighters competing in the sport today. But before she was fighting in the cage, she was one of the best female grapplers in the world.

Dern grew up in Arizona and is the daughter of BJJ black belt and fan favorite Wellington “Megaton” Dias. She grew up on the mat training with her dad and mother at Dias’ Arizona academy.

As a kid, Dern won nearly every major Jiu-Jitsu competition in the lower ranks before earning her black belt. Once she got her black belt, Mackenzie would become one of the top female BJJ athletes of the 2010s.

During the three years that Dern competed as a black belt, she won every major grappling title. This includes ADCC gold, an IBJJF world title, Pan Championship, and a Brazilian National title in 2015.

After this impressive run, Mackenzie set her sights on MMA and became a full-time fighter in 2016. She had a great early run winning her first 7 fights, which included her first 2 UFC bouts.

Unfortunately, Mackenzie has had some hiccups in her MMA career, where she has lost three matches. These losses were mostly due to her focusing on striking rather than using her world-class grappling ability.

But in her last match, Dern had a career performance in a decision win over UFC vet Angela Hill. Showcasing improved striking and more use of her superior grappling skills.

16. Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida

Buchecha vs. Kirill Grishenko | ONE Championship Full Fight

Years Active 2021 to Present
Birth Country São Paulo, Brazil
Professional Record 4 Wins (3 Submissions) / 0 Losses

Grappling fans are well acquainted with the next fighter, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida. Buchecha is the greatest heavyweight grappler of the last generation.

At fourteen, his father forced him to start grappling because his sister had also started training. This would turn out to be the best decision of his life, as Marcus would become a legendary grappler.

From 2012 to 2019, Buchecha was the king of double gold in the IBJJF competition. Almeida would double gold at IBJJF Worlds six times in that seven-year span.

The only reason that he didn’t get a seventh is because he forfeited to his injured friend, the late Leandro Lo. On top of this, Buchecha is also a 2x ADCC gold medalist. Winning at the 2013 and 2017 ADCC championship events.

During the end of Almeida’s run as a BJJ athlete, he was beginning to take up MMA. Once he retired from grappling in 2019, he would move to Florida to train with American Top Team.

He would sign with ONE, and so would begin his journey as an MMA fighter. Marcus would make an impressive debut in 2021 with a submission win.

Three months later, Almeida would follow his debut win with another submission win. His third and fourth fights were also finished in just three minutes of the first round.

At only 33 years old and currently 4-0, the future looks bright for Buchecha. Nobody would be surprised to see him win an MMA title.

15. Rodolfo Vieira


Years Active 2017 to Present
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Professional Record 9 Wins (8 Submissions) / 2 Losses

Rodolfo Vieira is one of the most accomplished grapplers of his generation. A powerhouse throughout the 2010s that won over 13 combined world titles.

This includes being a 7x Abu Dhabi Pro World Champion, 5x IBJJF World Champion, and an ADCC gold medalist. Most notable during this epic run was Vieira’s epic rivalry with Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.

After accomplishing everything in grappling, Rodolfo would transition to MMA, where there were big expectations for him. Vieira would make his debut in 2017 and roll through the competition over the next three years.

Finishing his first seven opponents, which included his first two matches in the UFC. But during Vieira’s UFC run, he has shown that he is still inexperienced in the sport.

Dropping two of his UFC bouts to Anthony Hernandez and Chris Curtis. Although in the UFC, Rodolfo currently has a 100% submission rate in his wins that were all by arm triangle choke.

Vieira is definitely a world-class grappler, and he is slowly developing his striking skills. If Rodolfo Vieira is able to become a well-rounded fighter, he could soon become a title contender.

14. Anderson Silva

Every Anderson Silva Finish

Years Active 1997 to 2020
Birth Country São Paulo, Brazil
Professional Record 34 Wins (3 Submissions) / 7 Losses

Some may argue that Anderson Silva doesn’t belong on this list as he was known more for striking. But if you’ve closely watched the legend’s career, you’ll know that he does deserve a spot.

In his UFC record 16-fight win streak, Silva has displayed his underrated ground game sporadically. The first time was against TUF winner Travis Lutter, who many believed had the best BJJ in the UFC.

The Spider was able to weather a world-class ground game to deliver a brutal TKO win by elbow strikes.

Another example of Anderson being a skilled grappler was in his title match against the legend Dan Henderson. In the bout, Silva was about to defend the takedowns of an Olympic wrestler and submit him with an RNC.

Then you have the toughest match of Silva’s career against Chael Sonnen. This was the first time we saw Anderson get dominated in a fight.

Chael controlled every second of that fight and won 4.5 rounds. But that wiley veteran Silva kept his composure and set up a beautiful triangle choke.

For these reasons, we must put the great Anderson Silva on the list.

13. Bibiano Fernandes

ONE Highlights | Bibiano Fernandes' Top 3 Submissions

Years Active 2004 to Present
Birth Country Amazonas, Brazil
Professional Record 24 Wins (9 Submissions) / 6 Losses

MMA veteran Bibian Fernandes has done it all and seen it all in the sports of MMA and BJJ. The former ONE champion began making a name for himself in grappling during the early 2000s.

Coming from a poor upbringing in Manaus, Fernandes believes Jiu-Jitsu gave him everything from opportunity to a sense of purpose. He would focus his mind on becoming a future world champion.

In BJJ, Bibiano would achieve his goal after receiving his black belt. Winning not one but three IBJJF world titles in 2003, 2005, and 2006. Also earning 3 straight Pan American titles from 2004 to 2005.

All while beginning his journey as an MMA fighter was a rocky start. In his 2nd and 3rd MMA fights, Fernandes would lose back-to-back fights to Urijah Faber and Kid Yamamoto.

But after these losses, Bibiano would hit his stride and have an epic career. First, landing the Japanese promotion Dream, he won most of his fights. Also, winning the Dream Bantamweight title against Antonio Banuelos before the promotion closed.

Bibiano would then sign with ONE Championship, where he has spent the majority of his career. After signing with ONE Championship, Fernandes would win the promotion’s bantamweight title.

Going on to defend the belt a promotional record seven times before losing it and then regaining it. He has since lost the title to John Lineker, but Bibiano’s title reign helped legitimize ONE as a top MMA organization.

At 43, Bibiano has done it all and become a multi-time BJJ and MMA world champion.

12. Shinya Aoki


Years Active 2003 to Present
Birth Country Shizuoka, Brazil
Professional Record 47 Wins (30 Submissions) / 11 Losses

No BJJ fighters list would not be complete without having MMA legend Shinya Aoki on it. The crazy spat-wearing Japanese grappling expert has been wowing fans with his abilities for three decades now.

Aside from the UFC, the Japanese MMA star and sometimes pro wrestler has fought every major MMA promotion. Aoki started out in DEEP and then had a brief stint in Shooto.

Many fight fans first became aware of Aoki during his Pride run before the promotion folded—especially his unbelievable mounted gogoplata win over Joachim Hansen.

Dynamic submissions like this one are how fighters came to fear Aoki. He would then have a slew of highlight reel finishes in Dream.

Most notably, breaking Mizuto Hirota’s arm before giving him the finger and then submitting Eddie Alvarez with a heel hook. At this point, Shinya had solidified himself as a hardcore fan favorite and stayed late to watch all of his matches.

After Dream folded, Aoki would bounce around all of the major Asian MMA promotions. Mostly fighting within ONE Championship, where he has found a lot of success.

In Shinya’s 10 years with ONE, he has won both the promotion’s lightweight and welterweight belts.

As of now, Aoki currently has 47 career wins and 30 coming by way of submission. For many, Shinya Aoki is a legend and one of the greatest to ever do it.

11. Frank Mir

Frank Mir Highlights - Giant Impact

Years Active 2001 to 2019
Birth Country Nevada, California
Professional Record 19 Wins (13 Submissions) / 13 Losses

At one point in history, Frank Mir was one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world. He was the very first heavyweight with world-class Jiu-Jitsu skills.

Frank actually credits former UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for getting him into MMA. Silva met a young Frank at a BJJ school and convinced him to try MMA.

Joe would convince Frank to take the leap, and in the same year, Mir would make his MMA debut. Silva’s perception would turn out to be true because Mir would show that he had potential.

Mir would win his first two fights in July and August of 2001 and would make his UFC debut in November. He would start his UFC run with two submission wins in the first round before losing to veteran Ian Freeman.

Frank would then shock the world by submitting UFC veteran Tank Abbott with a toe hold in just 45 seconds. Then after two wins over Wes Sims, Frank would earn his first UFC title shot against Tim Sylvia.

Mir would lock on an armlock in the match, which snapped Sylvia’s arm, earning him his first UFC championship. Unfortunately for Frank, he would get into a horrific motorcycle crash and was never the same fighter.

He would have some more epic submission wins in his career. The first and most notable was submitting the monster Brock Lesnar with a kneebar in Lesnar’s UFC debut. Also, breaking the arm of Minotauro Nogueira with a nasty kimura at UFC 140.

As of now, Frank Mir still holds the UFC heavyweight record with eight submissions.

10. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Ronaldo Jacaré Souza Highlights 2018 - "The Gator" @JacareMMA

Years Active 2003 to 2021
Birth Country Espirito Santo, Brazil
Professional Record 26 Wins (14 Submissions) / 10 Losses

The recently retired Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was revered as one of the most talented fighters of the last generation. Before Jacare was a top-ranked middleweight, he was one of the best BJJ athletes in the world.

In 2005, he was awarded as the best grappler on the planet. Winning double gold at the IBJJF Worlds and ADCC Championship in the same year.

In 2006, Jacare participated in a super-fight grappling match against the legendary Randy Couture. Randy was impressed with Jacare’s skills and invited him to Xtreme Couture MMA to develop his MMA skills.

Souza would accept and begin developing into one of the top middleweights in the world. Before the UFC, Ronaldo would have stents in Dream and Strikeforce. He would display his elite BJJ ability and knockout power to earn the Strikeforce middleweight title.

Once the UFC bought Strikeforce, Souza would go on a mission to win the UFC middleweight title. Souza would have many great wins, including two former champions, Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman.

Jacare would, unfortunately, come up just short of the title to mark himself as one of the all-time greats. But even though Jacare never won the UFC title, he had a spectacular career.

Earning 26 wins, with 14 coming by way of submission with numerous incredible performances.

9. Fabricio Werdum

Top Finishes: Fabricio Werdum

Years Active 2002 to Present
Birth Country Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Professional Record 24 Wins (12 Submissions) / 9 Losses

Fabricio Werdum is arguably the greatest heavyweight grappler in the history of MMA. Before he became a UFC champion, Werdum was one of the best BJJ fighters in the world.

Using his incredible guard game to win 2 IBJJF championships and two back-to-back ADCC gold medals. At the same time Fabricio was winning grappling titles, he was fighting the best MMA fighters in the world.

He first caught the attention of fight fans during his stint in Pride, where he submitted Alistair Overeem and Aleksander Emilianenko. Werdum would then go 2-2 in his first UFC run before moving to Strikeforce.

Werdum would shock the world in Strikeforce by submitting the seemingly unbeatable Fedor Emilianenko. Fabricio would then return to the UFC and go on the run of his career. Capping it off by beating Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title.

Werdum would then trade wins and losses after winning the title before leaving the UFC for more money in the PFL. At 45, Fabricio is still fighting and has made no plans to retire as of yet.

8. BJ Penn

BJ Penn Highlights

Years Active 2001 to 2019
Birth Country Hawaii, United States
Professional Record 16 Wins (6 Submissions) / 14 Losses

BJ Penn may have been the most talented Jiu-Jitsu fighter ever to live. The prodigy was an incredibly skilled grappler that never backed down from a fight.

In just four years of BJJ training, Penn earned his black belt and won an IBJJF world title. Becoming the first American to win a BJJ world title and one of the fastest to earn their black belt.

Penn would then go on to set the MMA world on fire. He is most known for his multiple runs within the UFC. The first time that BJ would shock the world was when he moved to welterweight to fight Matt Hughes.

BJ would dominate the bigger champion on the ground and finish him with an RNC. Then after returning to the UFC after a contractual dispute, Penn moved back to lightweight.

Developing incredible cardio and going on the prime run of his career. He would beat Joe Stevenson to become the second fighter to win UFC titles in two divisions.

The Prodigy would then put on epic performances against Sean Sherk, Diego Sanches, and Kenny Florian.

Unfortunately, during the 2010s, Penn held on for too long and went through a long and painful losing streak. But this doesn’t take away from the talented fighter that BJ was during the 2000s.

7. Royce Gracie

EVERY Royce Gracie UFC Finish EVER

Years Active 1993 to 2006
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professional Record 15 Wins (11 Submissions) / 2 Losses

Without Royce Gracie, the sport of MMA would not have grown into what it is today.

Going into the first UFC event, Royce Gracie went in as an unknown. The uneducated spectators watching thought that Royce was surely going to get killed in the cage.

Royce would prove all of the spectators wrong and show the true power of Jiu-Jitsu. The young Gracie fighter would easily cut through the competition and submit all his opponents to win the tournament.

In UFC 2, Royce would return to prove what had happened at the first tournament was not a fluke. Repeating as champion with another spectacular performance.

During the first 4 UFC tournaments, Royce would go a perfect 11-0. Some may argue that Royce didn’t fight skilled grapplers, but that doesn’t take away the importance of what he did.

What Royce Gracie did was demonstrate the power and effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Now, everyone that wants to be a fighter knows, you must have high-level grappling in order to succeed.

Thanks to Royce Gracie, the sport of MMA was able to grow into what it is today. All fighters and fight fans owe Royce a debt of gratitude for being an MMA pioneer.

6. Gilbert Burns

Top Finishes: Gilbert Burns

Years Active 2012 to Present
Birth Country Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professional Recordb 22 Wins (9 Submissions) / 6 Losses

Gilbert Burns is one of the top welterweights in the world. Durinho has succeeded in every form of fighting he’s participated in.

After getting his black belt in the late 2000s, Burns became one of the best BJJ athletes in the world. Winning the IBJJF World title in 2011 and then winning the IBJJF No-Gi World title in 2013.

In between these world titles, Burns would begin learning MMA with the Blackzilians. From 2012 to 2015, Gilbert would go on an impressive ten-fight unbeaten streak, where he used his world-class grappling.

He would suffer some tough losses at the beginning of his UFC run, but Gilbert would develop his striking game. Once he moved up to the welterweight division, Burns would transform into an elite-level fighter.

Beating highly touted contenders like Demian Maia, Gunnar Nelson, and former champion Tyron Woodley. He would come up just short of winning the title against Kamaru Usman, but Burns has had great performances since.

5. Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira

Minotauro Nogueira Highlight

Years Active 1999 to 2016
Birth Country Bahia, Brazil
Professional Record 34 Wins (21 Submissions) / 10 Losses

Next, we have the legend Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira. During the 2000s, Big Nog was one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world.

He made a name for himself in Pride, where Nogueira would submit a list of the world’s best fighters—going on to win the inaugural Pride Heavyweight Championship.

But one notorious fight from his Pride run that many remember is his bout against the 350 lb beast Bob Sapp. Minotauro bounced back from being spiked on his head to submit the giant Sapp with an armbar.

Antonio would later go on to submit top fighters like Josh Barnett and Cro Cop before moving to the UFC. In Big Nog’s UFC debut, he would fight Tim Sylvia for the interim title.

He would again show his incredible Jiu-Jitsu skills and heart in this fight against the former champ. After getting hurt, Big Nog was able to sweep Sylvia and lock in a beautiful guillotine choke.

Becoming one of the only champions to hold both the UFC and Pride titles. Nogueira displayed his incredible Jiu-Jitsu skills countless times during his career and submitted 21 opponents.

4. Jim Miller

Top Finishes: Jim Miller

Years Active 2005 to Present
Birth Country New Jersey, United States
Professional Record 36 Wins (19 Submissions) / 17 Losses

Jim Miller is an ironman that is the current longest-active fighter on the UFC roster. He has been part of the promotion since 2008 and has broken numerous records.

Miller has used underrated grappling skills to stay in the promotion and stay within the top ten of the lightweight division. Submitting top fighters like Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, and former champion Charles Oliveira by kneebar.

Of his nineteen career wins by submission, Miller has earned nine of them in the UFC. Giving him the second most ever within the UFC lightweight division.

Anytime a fighter goes up against Miller; they know they’re in for a hard night of work in the cage. Jim currently holds the record for most UFC wins at 25 and most bouts at 42.

Both records show that he will continue increasing because Jim shows no signs of slowing down. Miller is, without a doubt, one of the best lightweights in the world.

3. Nate Diaz

Best Nate Diaz Moments

Years Active 2004 to 2022?
Birth Country California, United States
Professional Record 21 Wins (12 Submissions) / 13 Losses

The brash and fan favorite Nate Diaz has been one of the biggest draws in MMA for the last decade. On top of being one of the biggest draws, many consider Nate to have some of the best BJJ in MMA.

It’s hard not to when 12 of his 21 wins have come by submission. Submitting everyone from Kurt Pelligrino, Melvin Guillard, and most recently, Tony Ferguson.

But without a doubt, the best performance by Diaz was in his first bout with Conor McGregor. Nate knew that Conor had never been tested on the ground.

His game plan to tire Conor out and hit him with strikes to open up the RNC attempt worked out perfectly. Showcasing why Nate is seen as having some of the best MMA Jiu-Jitsu in the world.

Performances like that one show why Nate has been a fan favorite for years. Nate has said he’s done with MMA, but fans would love to see him fight again and add to his legacy.

2. Demian Maia

Top Finishes: Demian Maia

Years Active 2001 to 2021
Birth Country São Paulo, Brazil
Professional Record 28 Wins (14 Submissions) / 11 Losses

Next, we have the highly respected Demain Maia. It has long been agreed upon by fans and fight experts that Maia was one of the best grapplers in MMA.

A multi-time champion in BJJ, Maia has always been regarded for his elite-level Jiu-Jitsu skills. Even fighters who were thought to have high levels. Demian has outclassed and submitted them.

As a fighter, Demian Maia never hid what his game plan was. He would take his opponents down, get their back, and submit them.

More times than not, this is exactly what happened in his fights. In Demian’s 28 career wins, he won 14 of them by submission for a 50% submission rate.

Demain recently retired in 2022 at 44 years old. Ending a good career, with many considering him to be one the greatest Jiu-Jitsu fighters of all time.

1. Charles Oliveira

Top Finishes: Charles Oliveira

Years Active 2008 to Present
Birth Country São Paulo, Brazil
Professional Record 34 Wins (21 Submissions) / 9 Losses

Next, we have arguably the best Jiu-Jitsu fighter of all time, former UFC champion Charles Oliveira. His stats make the argument for him.

In 34 career wins, Charles has won 21 fights by submission. Giving him numerous UFC records that he continues to add to.

  • Most Submission Wins In UFC History(16)
  • Most Submission Wins In UFC Lightweight History (10)
  • Most Finishes In UFC History(20)

The crazy thing about Charles is that nobody expected that he would accomplish all of this. In the first half of Oliveira’s UFC career, he went 10-8.

He would then evolve into an elite fighter and go 12-1 in his last thirteen fights. Showcasing that he is one of the most exciting fighters in the world that always goes for the finish.

Statistically, Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira is one of the GOATs.

Wrap Up:

Jiu Jitsu fighters graphic

That does it for this list. Let us know what you think of our rankings in the comment section below

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