Tribute to Barcelona, 5 upsets from BJJ and fight world

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Sergio Moraes after beating Kron Gracie at the 2008 Jiu-Jitsu World Championship / Photo:

The big sporting news of the week came this Tuesday, with Barcelona’s Champions League elimination to the less traditional—and less qualified—Chelsea, who go into the final to face Bayern Munich, the team that toppled the all-powerful Real Madrid. Just like in soccer, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, submission wrestling, boxing and other arts have seen the favorites crumble against less celebrated opponents. That’s what makes it all so intriguing.

Who doesn’t remember Mike Tyson falling at the hands of James Buster Douglas, the biggest upset of the sweet science? Or top dog in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the time Wallid Ismail getting swept by the unknown Roberto Roleta at the 1996 World Championship? scoured the Jiu-Jitsu annals and dug up five fights where the favorites are unseated by unlikely opposition. If you, gentle reader, recollect any other such battles, let us know in the comments field below.

Roberto Roleta vs Wallid Ismail – Worlds 1996

Serginho Moraes vs Kron Gracie – Worlds 2008

Mike Fowler vs Saulo Ribeiro – ADCC 2007

Alistair Overeem vs Vitor Belfort – Pride 2005

James Buster Douglas vs Mike Tyson – 1990

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