For any BJJ fanatic, nothing is more thrilling than watching it triumph in the cage. It simply justifies the effectiveness of the art, proving that it works even with striking in the mix.
There’s no doubt that BJJ is a highly technical martial art that takes years to master and use effectively in a fight against a knowledgeable opponent. Some of the greatest fighters in MMA who have won using BJJ have achieved the black belt level and have even won in prestigious sport BJJ competitions. Today, Evolve Daily shares some of the greatest fights in MMA that truly exemplify the gentle art, nullifying the game plans of some of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport.
1) Roger Gracie vs. Michal Pasternak
This fight is one of the best examples of BJJ at its purest. A Judo trip from Gracie landing in mount, everyone knew that Pasternak was done for in this position. Known for submitting many of his opponents in the mount position, the most dominant position in BJJ, Gracie did what he does best and submitted him with an arm triangle in the mount.
2) Miesha Tate vs. Holly Holm
Coming off of her win where she dethroned former UFC Women’s Bantamweight World Champion Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm was set to defend her title for the first time against Strikeforce veteran and grappling specialist Miesha Tate. Holm was in the lead all the way till the fourth round, with Tate only winning the second round. In the final round, Tate was able to finish what she started in the second round and land the rear naked choke.
3) Tony Ferguson vs Edson Barboza
Currently on a 9 fight winning streak, Tony Ferguson is certainly one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today. And this fight certainly exemplifies that. An action packed fight from the minute both fighters touched gloves, Ferguson immediately started throwing strikes with Barboza eagerly countering them.
Perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring parts of the fight (for the BJJ fans especially) was when Ferguson side rolled into a kneebar attempt. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish the kneebar but was able to finish the fight with a nasty d’arce choke in the second round.
4) Demian Maia vs Carlos Condit
There’s no doubt that Demian Maia is one of the most decorated practitioners in MMA today. In this fight against Carlos Condit, Maia put on a BJJ clinic, proving his dominance in both the cage and on the ground. In less than a minute, Maia was able to score his first takedown.
While Condit attempted to hold him in half guard, Maia threw punches and quickly transitioned to mount. Instead of escaping the mount, Condit gave Maia his back. Maia quickly took advantage and sunk in a devastating body triangle, ending the fight in 1:52 of the first round.
5) Minotauro Noguiera vs Bob Sapp
The fight between Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera against Bob Sapp in PRIDE FC will go down as one of the best fights in MMA history. Although Bob Sapp was never known for his technique, he was certainly a monster of a man, built of 375 pounds of muscle. Nogueira looked miniscule compared to Sapp, and it seemed as if Sapp was just throwing Noguiera around.
Although Nogueira managed to catch Sapp in several triangles, Sapp powered through them easily, landing devastating punches. After the first round, the fight seemed bleak for Nogueria. When the bell rang for the second round, it was clear to see that Sapp was out of breath. Nogueira quickly capitalized on that and managed to secure an armbar at 4:03 of the second round.
6) Nate Diaz vs Conor Mc Gregor
UFC 196 was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated fights of 2016. McGregor, brash and loud about his skills as one of the best fighters in the organization, was eager to continue his winning streak as he moved into the Lightweight division of the UFC. The odds were against Diaz as he had only come into the fight with just eleven days notice.
As soon as the fighters bumped fists, McGregor quickly launched his attack, landing kicks to the body of Diaz. His famous straight left landed perfectly, cutting Diaz and causing him to bleed profusely. In the second round, it seemed as if McGregor was going to finish the fight but Diaz managed to take McGregor down to the ground. From there, he was able to take McGregor’s back and sink in a rear naked choke, breaking McGregor’s winning streak.
7) Shinya Aoki vs. Katsuhiko Nagata
This fight will forever be remembered in history as the first gogoplata in professional MMA. Shinya went on to become known as one of the few MMA fighters to prefer fighting on his back and pulling guard, a distinct homage to his BJJ background.
Any BJJ student knows that it takes an extremely technical and knowledgeable practitioner to successfully execute a gogoplata. And to be able to execute it in an MMA fight – only the Tobikan Judan would be able to pull it off.
8) BJ Penn vs Matt Hughes 1
One of the biggest upsets in UFC history, in this fight, BJ Penn proved that his jiu-jitsu was certainly underrated. Although it is widely known that BJ Penn received his BJJ Black Belt in 4 years, his grappling skills had yet to be tested in the octagon. Penn was the underdog and Matt Hughes was on a 13 fight winning streak, including 6 in the UFC.
Eager to prove his BJJ skills and finally win a title, Penn went on to submit Hughes four minutes into the first round. This fight was considered to be one of the greatest submission victories in MMA .
9) Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano
Love her or hate her, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight World Champion was once the most dominant fighter in MMA, with 9 armbar finishes out of 11 wins. In her fight against Cat Zingano, who, at the time was considered to be the greatest threat to Rousey, she was able to finish the fight within 14 seconds with an armbar. This fight went down as the shortest match in UFC Championship history.
So tell us, which fight was your favorite?