With the number of high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts in MMA, there’s no doubt that there are going to be many more in the years to come. With the growing popularity of MMA organizations such as the UFC and ONE Championship, it’s not hard to see why more and more BJJ black belts are transitioning to MMA. With notable BJJ black belts such as UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos, ONE Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki and the legendary Roger Gracie fighting in the cage, it’s definitely a career move many black belts would love to make.
Although there are many talented BJJ black belts, there are some whose aggressive and explosive BJJ styles would transfer well into MMA. Without further ado, Evolve Daily presents the 5 Best MMA Prospects In BJJ Today:
1) Bruno Malfacine
With 7 world titles under his belt, Bruno Malfacine is certainly the best roosterweight in the history of IBJJF. His aggressive passing style and crazy takedowns have made him one of the most exciting BJJ practitioners to watch. Incredibly agile, Malfacine can pull off flying submissions with ease, as seen in the video above.
2) Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida
Weighing over 200 lbs, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is one of the scariest competitors in the IBJJF scene today. With 6 IBJJF Mundials World Championship wins, Buchecha is also one of the few heavyweights who has come the closest to submitting the legendary Roger Gracie. After announcing his interest in switching careers to MMA last year, there’s no doubt that Buchecha’s athleticism and explosiveness would transfer well into the cage.
3) Claudio Calasans
After winning this year’s Mundials, Calasans has proven once again that he is the ultimate grappler. His impressive takedowns and lightning fast submissions are homage to his Judo and Wrestling background. Reported to have been practicing Judo since the age of 3, it only natural that he would do so, being the son of Brazilian Judo coral belt, Claudio Calasans Camargo.
4) Rodolfo Viera
One of the best heavyweights in BJJ today, Rodolfo Vieira is known for his dominating guard passing game. His incredible cardio allows him to constantly threaten takedowns and throws, strategically giving himself the opportunity to force his unstoppable top game. Once Vieira passes your guard, you definitely know it’s over.
5) Leandro Lo
Possibly the best pound for pound fighter in IBJJF today, Leandro Lo won this year’s Mundials Medium Heavyweight gold medal. After successfully competing in the lightweight, middleweight and open weight divisions, it seems like there is no stopping Leandro Lo. To this day, his crazy guard passing and resilient open guard are still forces to be reckoned with and could possibly prove to be a threat in the cage.
Anyone who steps into the MMA cage knows that you must be a complete fighter in order to do well. It doesn’t matter if you have a black belt in BJJ, a Muay Thai world title or if you’re a Division 1 Wrestler. All your skills must be on point as soon as you touch gloves with your opponent. However, once the fight hits the ground, it’s a different story. There’s no doubt that these BJJ black belts would definitely have the upper hand, using their tried and tested submission skills with ease.