Despite that, since 1996, three amazing competitors accomplished a feat that seems unthinkable, they won the featherweight division at the Worlds four times each.
Who was the greatest of the three? Watch some of their finest moments and elect your GOAT.
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In the early days, Royler Gracie was the ruler of the division.
To this day the lighter athlete to reach the podium of the open class division, with the third place in 1997, Royler owned the featherweight division from 1996 to 1999.
If you think he had a easy job getting those gold medals, some of the opponents he had to face were Vitor Shaolin (1997), Vinicius Draculino (1998) and Leo Vieira (1999), just to name three.
Here’s the final match against Leozinho.
Is Royler your greatest featherweight competitor of all times?
Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”
The second man to become a four-time world champion at the featherweight division comes from the lineage of Fernando Tererê.
Rubens Cobrinha, nowadays a successful academy owner and team leader in Los Angeles, took the division by storm from 2006 to 2009.
Regarded as phenomenon on the mats with a high-speed, submission-driven game, Cobrinha made his legend in four flawless years.
In 2007, he won the gold medal without even allowing one advantage to be scored on him.
Here’s his 2006 final against the also legendary Marcio Feitosa.
Is Cobrinha your greatest featherweight competitor of all times?
Rafael and his brother Guilherme debuted in the black belt division at the Worlds in 2009.
A defeat to Cobrinha in the semifinals caused Rafael to wait a whole year before he could be called a black belt world champion.
After the first title in 2010, he’s been almost unstoppable, winning also in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Now running the Art of Jiu-Jitsu academy with Guilherme, in Costa Mesa, Rafael still have time to put on the intensity of training to be on the top of the division.
Known for his inventive approach to Jiu-Jitsu, using all kinds of new techniques and setting trends on the mat, Rafael has a legion of followers and copiers.
Here’s his 2011 final against Augusto Tanquinho.
Is Rafael your greatest featherweight competitor of all times?