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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There are 39 comments for this article
  1. Agustin Prado at 3:37 pm

    Yall full of it…..still is Judo what all of them will use….one is better fighter standing and the others are better at fighting on the ground……

  2. Roget Romain at 4:25 pm

    Bro Rhonda would have a hard time if she could not strike to set up her arm bar against a bjj champ with a ref , points and clock

  3. Saad Al-Aziz at 4:56 pm

    Great article! It's one thing to arm bar MMA fighters, but a totally different issue to think you can even come close to a World Champion BJJ BLACK belt. Rousey would not have a chance.

  4. Nick Graham at 5:04 pm

    She only managed a bronze in her CHOSEN martial art, spending most of her life training it and with a former world champion for a mother… but she can beat the world champions in a different martial art? Come on…

  5. Derek Simonds at 5:25 pm

    That is pretty much exactly what I said the other night. Any of the champions from this years Worlds would be an incredible fight for her. Much more than I think she could handle and that doesn't take into account Gabi… I do agree with Janni's perspective at the end of the article. This seems very close to a promotional stunt. She might believe in stirring the pot to make her more marketable.

  6. Jeffrey Allen Howard at 5:34 pm

    Interesting! I'd love to see it. Rhonda, and for that matter we, can talk and talk, but until the competition actually takes place, we won't know for sure. I think there's a huge difference in getting a submission on someone who has to guard only against submissions, versus getting a sub on someone who has to guard against strikes, too. I think she would have a tougher time than she thinks, personally, but then again…let's see! How about Ronda at Metamoris?

  7. Joe Anderson at 5:38 pm

    If Rhonda said that she was probably not being sincere but knowingly doing women's BJJ a favor in bringing attention to their raw talent. And possibly trying to build women's MMA even further by attracting attention and talent to women's UFC divisions. And of course she was trying to encourage doubt in her upcoming opponent.

  8. Sean Ross Sapp at 8:37 pm

    "but in a Jiu-Jitsu match all you have to do is pull guard and her judo is done" How'd that work for Cyborg Abreu against Brendan Schaub? Smart opponents don't dive into the guard.

    Also, her name doesn't have an H in it. Ronda, not Rhonda.

  9. Educated Rapper at 8:41 pm

    Not that I disagree with you, but let me just modify what you said. You are correct that it is one thing to arm bar in MMA. In MMA you are constantly having to worry about getting punched, elbowed, kneed or kicked, so the amount of stress and attention to detail involved much more intense. Trust me if you are going for a submission and you take a few punches or elbows in the nose and mouth, you will stop going for that submission.

    While I think Ronda is simply all talk because she knows she will never have to back up her words, it would be interesting to see her compete in a pure grappling match.

  10. John Rubano at 5:04 am

    Schaub doesn't belong on the same mat with a world class bjj player like Abreyu and it showed. Rhonda is in the same boat. I don't see your point. Schaub did nothing the entire match and embarrassed himself but not even attempting to pass Cyborgs guard. The point she making was that by pulling guard a jiu jitsu player takes a valuable weapon away from the stand up game of a judo player. Get a clue.

  11. Sean Ross Sapp at 5:07 am

    John Rubano What did Cyborg do? Sit on his ass and scoot around? The point I was making, and was showcased in Cyborg/Abreu, is that pulling guard doesn't mean a thing if someone doesn't let it happer. Get a clue

  12. John Rubano at 1:09 pm

    Sean Ross Sapp: Cyborg attempted to participate in a jiu jitsu match. Schaub attempted to stall and refused to engage. Which in a nice points, submission only match will get you a draw. But in the ADCC or IBJJF if Rousey attempts to stall and play possum she will get warnings for such spineless behavior and eventually lose. The strategy you are praising on the part if Schaub only works in Mma. In a pure jiu jitsu match, she can choose to engage or be disqualified. Cyborg assumed that Schuab understood that Metamoris is a jiu jitsu match, Schuab missed the memo. Rousey won't have that luxery in any other bjj venue.

  13. Lana Stefanac at 4:29 pm

    It fascinates me how Gracie Magazine always only reports on Brazilian female black belts. Lastly, Alexis Davis got her black belt from ME not Cesar Gracie, and she now trains under Caio Terra in San Jose.

  14. Chad Purdy at 11:26 pm

    well first on here lets look at the real quote and not drop words off of the quote which I know is what people are saying.

    It’s definitely an interesting new challenge,” said Rousey. “One thing that I couldn’t stand when I was just watching MMA and coming from Judo was all these people talking about how the Jiu Jitsu people would beat any Judo player. It was such a stereotype that I thought, and still think, that I could beat any girl in the world, any weight division, gi or no-gi, black belt and in any ruleset they want, in just pure Jiu Jitsu.”

    she is saying in her mind she still thinks she can, as a top player and competitor you have to have that mentality. if you think your going to lose you will lose. 2nd of all all the girls in the above article are saying the same thing that they think they can kick her ass. I am a judo player and this has been one of my pet peeves for years also, im not taking anything away from bjj players. jiu jitsu is a complete other sport but I wont go there right now. bjj guys are awesome on what they do on matwork, but I have seen them come into judo tournament and not do well. no different in flipping it the other way. what she is saying is that judo players get no respect for our ground game which might not be as high as a bjj player but it is right up there with them. everyone thinks judo players can just throw another player and that is all. well fight a judo player and when he tosses you and lands you right in a juji gatame and its match over.

  15. Lucretia Bolin at 6:21 am

    Let's stop all this shit talkin, jaw jackin, hyperbole and in the words of Michael Buffer "Let's Get Ready to Ruuummmmmmbbbbllllle." R2 has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet. Here's a respectable list of possible challengers ala Lana Stefanac There's probably a few more names that could be added to the list of potential challengers. R2 you just won an all expense paid trip to yes, yes, yes, you guessed it BLANKEYTOWN. DANA WHITE I smell money.

  16. Lucretia Bolin at 6:21 am

    Let's stop all this shit talkin, jaw jackin, hyperbole and in the words of Michael Buffer "Let's Get Ready to Ruuummmmmmbbbbllllle." R2 has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet. Here's a respectable list of possible challengers ala Lana Stefanac There's probably a few more names that could be added to the list of potential challengers. R2 you just won an all expense paid trip to yes, yes, yes, you guessed it BLANKEYTOWN. DANA WHITE I smell money.

  17. Cody Callender at 12:03 am

    Instead of them expecting her to show up at the Worlds why don't they try to go the UFC and prove her wrong?

  18. Pedro Ivo at 1:24 am

    Man, Travis stevens is also an olympic judoka, competed twicein copa pódio, lost both, having lost twice for Myiao in the last one! got submitted easily by Rodolfo Vieira and Renato Cardoso (just the ones i can remember now)! i don't see the fundamentals in why Ronda would be able to beat the female word champions

  19. Sean Kelliher at 2:25 am

    And BJJ Black Belt Alexis Davis lasted about 15 seconds against RR. Haha! To all BJJ fans, Ronda is a millionaire and superstar. She isn't going to show up at worlds to face a bunch of no name girls who make McDonald's wages. If any of ladies are really serious about defending BJJ, sign with UFC and actually fight. Maybe you might make more than $100 and more than three people will know your name. BJJ is nothing anymore to MMA. Have the guts to face Ronda in UFC where all forms are allowed and the best fight the best.

  20. Joshua Smith at 6:57 pm

    To quote Ronda Rousey: "They’re only upset because they think they can beat me, so why shouldn’t I be just as upset at their opinion thinking they could beat me? Why are they so much more entitled to their opinion than mine?"

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