Editor’s Note: We run occasional guest posts from members of the jiu-jitsu community, and would love to run more. If you would like to submit one, please e-mail us. This post is the first in a series of four posts where Revolution BJJ black belt Daniel Frank evaluates the best sport jiujitsu competitors of each decade, starting the 1990s — and culminating in a post that crowns the greatest of all time. We will post a new entry every two or three days leading up to the final. This one covers the 2000s. Read the 1990s entry here.
By Daniel Frank
The greatest of all time is a difficult moniker to bestow upon anyone or anything. Whether we are talking about astronauts, ant hills, or automobiles it is a designation that is earned, but not without severe competition and also not without intense debate.
In Brazilian jiujitsu the greatest of all time is a title that is very hard to define due to all of the factors that determine the result. There is a long list of factors, including: gi competition, no-gi competition, tournaments, super fights, mixed martial arts, belt levels, gender, era, longevity, and talent of the competition.
This article is meant to determine the greatest male, black belt, gi competitors in the 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s, and of all time. Major International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) competition results were analyzed along with results from smaller IBJJF competitions. Larger, competing organizations results were also factored into the final determinations.
Using this method of data collection later articles can (and will) be written determining the best female black belt competitors, the best no-gi competitors (both male and female), and even the best at each belt level. The possibilities are endless.