Remember what BJJ champions told Ronda in 2014 when she said she could beat any of them in a grappling match

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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

The Jiu-Jitsu community reacted quickly to Ronda Rousey’s statement saying that she would beat any women in BJJ today in any setting of rules.

The UFC bantamweight champion is getting ready to fight Alexis Davis, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie.

Michelle Nicolini, the 2014 featherweight World champion, was the first to respond to Ronda: “She was quite disrespectful. Not even the best Jiu-Jitsu competitors would say something like that. No one is unbeatable. I would fight her and would do my best to represent all women in Jiu-Jitsu that felt bothered with her comment. If she is that good, she should register for the Worlds. Talk is cheap when you never show up.”

Photo: Erin Herle

Bia Mesquita

Beatriz Mesquita, the 2014 lightweight and open class world champion, also weighed in on the matter: “First of all she is dead wrong. I don’t think she can beat any of the current black belt world champions. The skill level is so high and all she knows is that armlock. She is a great judo fighter, but in a Jiu-Jitsu match all you have to do is pull guard and her judo is done. I’d love to be in a fight with her. Maybe the people at Metamoris would like to promote a match like that. Jiu-Jitsu is much more than an armlock. It’s a lifestyle.”

Two-time open class world champion and already training for her MMA debut in August, Gabi Garcia was in disbelief with Ronda’s words: “I rather believe she didn’t know what she was saying. It’s not possible for someone to display such a lack of humbleness. She disrespected Jiu-Jitsu as a whole. The first quality of a champion is to be humble and to respect others. As my Professior Fabio Gurgel said, I’m ready and at her disposal to fight her under any rules, with or without gi.”


Gabi Garcia

Seven-time world champion Hannette Staack also shared her thoughts on Ronda’s comments: “Personally, I think Ronda has no idea of what she is talking about. I’m sure she would think twice before accepting any challenge from a BJJ champion. I would love to have the chance to change the way she thinks about us. I’m sure she says that to get people’s attention, once not even the fight against Cris Cyborg she agreed to. I would fight her under Jiu-Jitsu rules or even Metamoris rules [20 minutes, submission only]. Judo is a wonderful sport that has all my respect, but when you are a specialist in something, like we are in Jiu-Jitsu, things get a lot more complicated. I don’t doubt she would be a very tough opponent, but that’s our field and we demand respect.”

Luiza Monteiro, 2012 open class and lightweight silver medalist at the Worlds, also did not like Ronda’s statement: “Is she a BJJ black belt by any chance? She showed a lot of disrespect towards all black belts in Jiu-Jitsu. 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.”

Gezary Matsuda, the 2014 light-featherweight world champion, kept her good sense of humor: “Arm for an arm, I have my own collection against great fighters, all of those I respect a great deal. I would love to give her the welcome to Jiu-Jitsu.”

Photo: Erin Herle

Monique Elias

Monique Elias, recently promoted to the black belt after dominating the brown belt division at the 2014 Worlds, also has something to say to Ronda: “She did it only for promotion. She can’t say that once she never fought any of us. She has fought a lot of girls who train Jiu-Jitsu for MMA, which is a lot different than training for competition Jiu-Jitsu. Once I saw her defending a rear naked choke against Liz Carmouche with a bite. I think she has no technique to pass a guard, for instance. I think it’s time for the UFC to put real Jiu-Jitsu fighters to face her and not only promotion stunts.”

Mackenzie Dern, one of the most active competitors in the black belt division, also shared her opinion: “It’s more a marketing thing! She always does things like that before her fights. The way she talks, it seems that she could defeat anyone of us whenever she wants. That’s just wrong and disrespectful. If she lost in the Olympics, that means another woman was better than her. She has a lot to learn yet, including how to be more humble. I’m sure a lot of girls would love to fight her under Jiu-Jitsu rules. If the opportunity woud come up for me to fight her, would be a great match. I think she wouldn’t be able to handle my constant attacks. That never happens in her MMA fights.”

Janni Larsson, Vanessa Oliveira

Janni Larsson

 Janni Larsson, the 2014 heavyweight world champion, talks about the issue and also addresses the role of the media in it: “Rousey is known for giving statements that people react strongly too. Thisis part of her “media personality” or personality. Keep in mind though that even if you have seen the Ultimate Fighter and you think you know who Rousey is, you might not have the whole picture. The people making the episodes choose an hour of 168 hours of footage to make an episode. I do however know from own experience that media sometimes exaggerates comments, so we can’t actually be sure on what Rousey said unless there is a recording of it. Even if there is a recording of it: do we have the conversation leading up to the comment? Statements taken out of context can always be misinterpreted. I am sure that Rousey can beat a lot of good Jiu-Jitsu players. I am not sure if she can beat the women in the bigger weight classes in IBJJF. I have a hard time believing that a girl at 60-70 kg can armbar Gabi Garcia, but I am not saying that it is impossible. I do believe that Rousey would do well in IBJJF if she knows/learns the IBJJF rules. If she feels that she needs to prove herself to the world she can start attending IBJJF competitions (if I remember correctly she is a purple or brown belt). I don’t really see the point in doing this though, she is currently the best in her weight class in MMA and she doesn’t have anything to prove. I am not sure how a BJJ-match between her and me would go. I am however confident that she would kick my ass if we met in a MMA fight.”

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