Notable Fights Throughout BJJ History
From the Olympics and other televised matches to local tournaments and championships, there have been some pretty epic matches throughout the history of BJJ. It's tough to only pick a handle, given the amount of BJJ legends that have hit the mat. But we managed to pick out a few of our favorites.
(1) Royce Gracie vs. Art Jimmerson, Gerard Cordeau, & Ken Shamrock
This was three fights as opposed to one, but this was a significant match. On November 12, 1993, Royce Gracie put BJJ on the map by being the 'skinny kid' that beat all three opponents using BJJ techniques and strategies. All three opponents were significantly larger than him. The crowd was amazed that Gracie could not only take them on but beat them. This tournament started the BJJ craze in America and put a spotlight on martial art.
(2) Helio Gracie vs. Waldemar Santana
In 1955, Royce Gracie's brother, who taught Royce all about BJJ, Helio, came out of retirement at the age of 43 to fight one of his previous students, Waldemar Santana, in Rio de Janeiro. The fight gained a lot of attention to see who would win, the master or the student. The fight lasted over 3 hours and is the longest-recorded fight in BJJ history, with Santana ultimately winning.
(3) Beatriz Mesquita vs. Margot Ciccarelli
Arguably one of the most influential women in BJJ history, Beatriz Mesquita is one of the greatest competitors and holds the most of amount of titles at an impressive number of 23. In December 2021, all eyes were on Beatriz to see whether she would take home another title that day. Ultimately, Beatriz defeated Ciccarelli and took home her tenth title. To this day, she has conquered almost all major BJJ championships.
As techniques and moves continue to change and evolve, the competitions become even more intense and fierce. We are always excited to see new faces that come onto the mat and spar up against the legends and the icons.