The 10 most important things that happened in Jiu-Jitsu in 2014

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GraciemagPromo_Xmas2014_webIt was a full year, if we ever saw one.

From January to this last days of December, we had non-stop action in the Jiu-Jitsu universe.

Here’s an attempt to point out the 10 most important of them all.

Don’t hesitate to indicate your own facts in the comments area.

10. GRACIEMAG celebrates its 20th anniversary

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What started as the Jornal Gracie in 1994, distributed for free in academies and juice bars in Rio, turned into the most important Jiu-Jitsu media outlet in the world, with issues reaching more than 50 countries around the globe and all US states. We covered all editions of the world championships and there’s no big name in the sport that wasn’t in our pages and our cover. From Helio Gracie to the Miyao Bros, GRACIEMAG has been the diary of the gentle art for the last two decades helping you to learn Jiu-Jitsu and embracing the lifestyle. With the help of our fans, we look forward for the next 20 years and much more.

9. Ronda Rousey says she could beat any Jiu-Jitsu black belt and female world champions call the UFC star on her loudmouth

Some of the black belt ladies at the 2014 Worlds. Photo: Lance Emery/IBJJF

Some of the black belt ladies at the 2014 Worlds. Photo: Lance Emery/IBJJF

On June, Ronda Rousey said in a interview to the Great MMA Debate podcast: “One thing I couldn’t stand when I was only coming into MMA from judo is all this people saying that the Jiu-Jitsu people would beat the judo fighters on the ground. It was such a stereotype. I still think that I can beat any BJJ girl in the world, gi or no gi, any weight division, black belt all the way in any rule setting.”

One week later, had the answers of some of the biggest names in the female Jiu-Jitsu community:

Beatriz Mesquita: “First of all she is dead wrong. I don’t think she can beat any of the current black belt world champions.”

Gabi Garcia: “I rather believe she didn’t know what she was saying. It’s not possible for someone to display such a lack of humbleness.”

Luiza Monteiro: “If she thinks that she can beat us, why doesn’t she register for the Worlds. I would love to fight her. I’m sure it would be a great fight.”

8. Preguiça, Keenan, the Miyao Bros and others compete in the their first Worlds as black belts and mark the arrival of a new generation with a bang


The mats of the Long Beach Pyramid were the stages for the first showing of a new generation of talents at the World Championship. Felipe Pena, Keenan Cornelius, Paulo and João Miyao, Gianni Grippo, Tammi Musumeci, Janni Larsson, among others, were the most recognizable names to debut in the elite. Preguiça made all the way with the heavyweight title, as did Janni in the female middleweight. The Miyao’s reached the second place at the rooster and light-featherweight divisions. Tammi would only concede the match to Michelle Nicolini after a dislocated elbow and shoulder in the featherweight final. Gianni had a tough path at the male featherweight, but even so made it to the quarterfinals.

7. Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo meet again in a rematch of the 2003 ADCC classic

When they met for the first time, the outcome was so unexpected that the shockwaves could still be felt 11 years later. Eddie Bravo, virtually unknown in 2003, caught Royler Gracie, a four-time world champion and three-time ADCC champion, with a triangle to get the tap and end the match. In 2014, they were at it again on Metamoris 3, in a 20-minute submission only match. In the end, it was a draw and the discussion about it went on for months. As a matter of fact, it’s still going on.

6. Beatriz Mesquita wins the black belt open class division at the Worlds and is elected the female fighter of the year

She is the personification of the saying that states that things will go your way eventually if you don’t give up easy. After years having to settle for the 2nd place, in 2014 Bia Mesquita finally made all the way in the open class division of the world championship. The win over Michelle Nicolini crowned a career that is nothing short of sensational. “I hate losing. I get upset and disappointed in myself. The secret is that this doesn’t last long,” said Bia to GRACIEMAG when asked why she never gives up.

5. Leandro Lo and Gilbert Burns fight for more than 20 minutes at Copa Podio and Lo finishes the fight with a choke

Leandro Lo VS Gilbert Durinho (Special Match) from Copa Podio on Vimeo.

It was indeed something of epic proportions, an instant classic, at Copa Podio, in Rio, on November 22. Leandro Lo and Gilbert Burns battled for 20 minutes and Lo ended the match with a powerful choke that left Durinho no other option than the tap. That’s what happens when you put two beasts to battle.

4. The  IBJJF inducts its first Hall of Fame class in an award ceremony one day before the Worlds

The IBJJF Hall of Fame was the stage for the first ever Jiu-Jitsu world champions selfie

The IBJJF Hall of Fame was the stage for the first ever Jiu-Jitsu world champions selfie

On May 28, one day before the kick off of the 2014 Worlds, the IBJJF held a very special dinner party in Long Beach. For the first time in history, a group of competitors for the past and the present was inducted to the Jiu-Jitsu Hall of Fame. “I used to say to myself that I was gonna be the best fighter and I believed in that. The first competitions I entered, I lost. But then I started winning and I knew I could always be a little better,” said Roger Gracie, one of the inductees of that evening. After the speeches, the winners went on and took a historical Jiu-Jitsu selfie.

3. Alexander Trans becomes the first native European to win the black belt open class division at the IBJJF Euro Open

Alexander Trans made history in January, when he got Yuri Simões to tap to his armbar, in the 2014 European adult black belt open class division final. For the first time in the event’s history, an athlete born in Europe made all the way to the top in the absolute division. “This title is very important for my career and it’s nice to be the first European, but I train with a lot of Brazilians, I go to Brazil so often. I don´t pay much attention to being European,” said Trans.

2. Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba meet again in a grappling rematch of their 2000 Pride FC classic fight

Kazushi Sakuraba vs Renzo Gracie Metamoris 5 by mma4all

If you know enough about the history of MMA, you know about the incredible fight Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba had in 2000, at Pride FC. The image of Renzo’s arm broken (or dislocated) to Saku’s kimura travelled through time and distance. On November 22, the Gracie and the “Gracie Hunter” met again for a rematch, now under grappling rules. After 20 minutes, it was called a draw, but the crowd couldn’t care less and roared with delight after the display of heart, technique and love for Jiu-Jitsu of both fighters. “Before I got the call, I was without doing a single push up for three years and now here I am, 27lb lighter. This match lit up my internal flame,” said Renzo after the match. “He is great! I tried to do my best!” said Sakuraba.

1. Marcus Buchecha becomes the first athlete ever to win the world championship black belt open class division three times in a row

Before he made history on June 1st, Marcus Almeida “Buchecha” thought of quitting competing in Jiu-Jitsu twice. Thank to the Gods of the gentle art, he didn’t. The wrestling takedown on Rodolfo Vieira halfway into the black belt open class final was enough for the two points, the win and his name in the books. Buchecha was now the first athlete ever to win three black belt absolute gold medals in a row at the Worlds. “He’s gonna be the greatest of all times because he’s not afraid of risking anything,” said Rodrigo Cavaca, Buchecha’s most important professor. Asked if he thought of himself as the best, Buchecha’s answer was a measure of some of the reason he is doing so well: “I think Rodolfo is the best currently, and Roger Gracie is the best of all time. I’m improving. My Jiu-Jitsu is evolving. I think it’s too pretentious to consider myself the best.”

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