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?
GRACIEMAG.com 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