Poll: What is the strongest crop of world champions of all time?

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The world Jiu-Jitsu champions of 2004 at black belt: strongest group since 1996? Photo: Gustavo Aragão/GRACIEMAG

The world Jiu-Jitsu champions of 2004 at black belt: strongest group since 1996? Photo: Gustavo Aragão/GRACIEMAG

The IBJJF World Championship had already ended, the ecstatic fans were slowly leaving the Tijuca Tennis Club gymnasium, but the GRACIEMAG staff ran like hell across the bleachers that evening of July 25, 2004 – the date of the consecration of Ronaldo Jacaré, who fights tonight at the UFC in Belo Horizonte.

The reason was to try to get all of the young world black-belt champions of that year together in one iconic picture. Photographer Gustavo Aragão was portraying one of BJJ’s greatest-ever crops of champions: standing, Roger Gracie, Fabricio Werdum, Jacaré, Bráulio Estima and Xande Ribeiro; sitting, Mário Reis, Daniel Moraes, Fernando Vieira and Marcelinho Garcia. Only roosterweight Gabriel Moraes, in his haste to return to Manaus, was missing.

But, notwithstanding the massive amount of talent of those depicted, is this the greatest crop of black-belt champions of all, from the first Worlds in 1996 until today?

We list below every group of champions since the first WC and ask you to vote: which is the strongest year?

1996:  Amaury Bitetti, Zé Mario Sperry, Ricardo Libório, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Roleta, Roberto Gordo, Paulo Barroso, Royler Gracie, Helio Sonequinha and Marcos Barreto;

1997: Amaury Bitetti, Luiz Guilherme Guigo, Zé Mario Sperry, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Roleta, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcio Feitosa, Royler Gracie, João Roque and Robson Moura;

1998: Zé Mario Sperry, Roberto Traven, Roberto Roleta, Saulo Ribeiro, Rafael Gordinho, Fernando Vasconcelos, Leonardo Vieira, Royler Gracie, Robson Moura and Marcelo Ferreira;

1999: Rodrigo Comprido, Roberto Traven, Leonardo Leite, Murilo Bustamante, Saulo Ribeiro, Alexandre Paiva, Vitor Shaolin, Royler Gracie, Robson Moura and Omar Salum;

2000:  Rodrigo Comprido, Leonardo Leite, Saulo Ribeiro, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Roleta, Fernando Tererê, Vitor Shaolin, BJ Penn, Robson Moura and Omar Salum;

2001: Fernando Margarida, Márcio Corleta, Fernando Boi, Fabio Gurgel, Vitor Shaolin, Marcio Feitosa, Frédson Paixão, Ricardo Vieira and Bernardo Pitel;

2002: Marcio Pé de Pano, Gabriel Vella, Fabio Leopoldo, Saulo Ribeiro, Delson Pé de Chumbo, Marcio Feitosa, Frédson Paixão, Carlos Escorrega and Marcos Norat;

2003: Marcio Pé de Pano, Fabricio Werdum, Eric Wanderley, Jefferson Moura, Cassio Werneck, Fernando Tererê, Daniel Moraes, Mário Reis, Carlos Escorrega, Bibiano Fernandes and Felipe Costa;

2004: Ronaldo Jacaré, Fabricio Werdum, Roger Gracie, Xande Ribeiro, Bráulio Estima, Marcelo Garcia, Daniel Moraes, Mário Reis, Fernando Vieira and Gabriel Moraes;

2005: Ronaldo Jacaré, Chiquinho de Cuiabá, Roger Gracie, Robert Drysdale, André Galvão, Celsinho Venícius, Frédson Paixão, Bibiano Fernandes and Samuel Braga;

2006: Xande Ribeiro, Gabriel Napão, Roger Gracie, Bráulio Estima, Marcelo Garcia, Celsinho Venícius, Rubens Cobrinha, Bibiano Fernandes and Daniel Otero;

2007: Roger Gracie, Rafael Lovato, Xande Ribeiro, Romulo Barral, Lucas Leite, Lucas Lepri, Rubens Cobrinha, Robson Moura and Bruno Malfacine;

2008: Xande Ribeiro, Roger Gracie, Braga Neto, André Galvão, Sergio Moraes, Celsinho Venícius, Rubens Cobrinha, Samuel Braga and Caio Terra;

2009: Roger Gracie, Gabriel Vella, Bráulio Estima, Romulo Barral, Marcelo Garcia, Michael Langhi, Rubens Cobrinha, Guilherme Mendes and Bruno Malfacine;

2010: Roger Gracie, Rodrigo Cavaca, Bernardo Faria, Tarsis Humphreys, Marcelo Garcia, Michael Langhi, Rafael Mendes, Pablo Silva and Bruno Malfacine;

2011: Rodolfo Vieira, Braga Neto, Leonardo Nogueira, Sergio Moraes, Marcelo Garcia, Gilbert Durinho, Rafael Mendes, Gui Mendes and Bruno Malfacine;

2012: Marcus Vinicius Buchecha, Leonardo Nogueira, Rodolfo Vieira, Romulo Barral, Otávio Sousa, Leandro Lo, Rafael Mendes, Gui Mendes and Bruno Malfacine

2013: Marcus Vinicius Buchecha, Bernardo Faria, Rodolfo Vieira, Romulo Barral, Otávio Sousa, Leandro Lo, Augusto Tanquinho, Gabriel Moraes and Caio Terra.

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