IBJJF Ranking: Buchecha retakes lead after Pan; quick profile on the top 10 black belts

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The IBJJF just released the last update on its black belt competitor rankings. The list already counts the points each athlete scored at the 2013 Pan. With the additions, Marcus Vinícius Almeida took back the lead with 766.5 points. Leonardo Nogueira also went up one position, taking second place from teammate Bernardo Faria, who after a bronze medal in the absolute and not being able to compete in his weight division, did not score a lot of points.

Here is a quick profile of the top 10 black belts of the moment in Jiu-Jitsu. The next update on the ranking will take place after the New York open, which is scheduled for April 20, in NYC. For the full ranking, go to IBJJF.com.

1st – Marcus Vinícius Oliveira de Almeida – 766.5 pts

Marcus Buchecha Almeida

Marcus Buchecha Almeida

The boy prodigy from Check Mat is only 22 and already the man of the moment in competition Jiu-Jitsu. He achieved BJJ stardom with the 2012 black belt absolute world title, conquered with breathtaking fights, especially the quarterfinal against Rodolfo Vieira and the final against Leonardo Nogueira won in the last seconds. Armed with precise takedowns, fast guard passing, tons of pressure and a wide range of submissions, Buchecha has all the tools to stay at the top of the competition circuit for a long time. 

2nd – Leonardo Pires Nogueira – 705.5pts

Leo Nogueira vs. Gabriel Vella

Leo Nogueira

The best word to define Leo Nogueira in Jiu-Jitsu is consistency. In every tournament he goes in, the Alliance super-heavyweight is an opponent to be feared and an almost sure presence on the podium. With slick half-guard sweeps and a lot of pressure on top when passing, Leo Nogueira has already collected two world titles as a black belt, among many others. At 25 years old, Nogueira still has some good years of high-level Jiu-Jitsu in him.


3rd – Bernardo Augusto Rocha de Faria – 622.5pts

Bernardo Faria

Bernardo Faria

The deep half-guard sweep king of today’s Jiu-Jitsu, Bernardo Faria is the guarantee of thrilling matches wherever he is competing. A world champion as a black belt in 2010, as well as a two-time European Open absolute champion, Bernardão (Big Bernardo) is all about putting his heart out on the mat. No defeat is taken lightly and no victory is taken for granted with him. Still 25 years old, Bernardo will be around for some time.

4th – Rodolfo Vieira Srour – 553.5pts

Rodolfo Vieira

Alongside with Buchecha, Rodolfo Vieira is perceived as being the competitor with most qualities to be on the top of the competition circuit. The 2011 world absolute black belt champion, as well as 2011 Pan champion and 2012 Euro Open champion, displays well-rounded takedowns, amazing guard passing and precise submissions. Being only 22 years old, Rodolfo will for sure be competing for a long time.


5th – Caio Terra – 438pts

Caio terra vs. Bruno Malfacine

Caio terra vs. Bruno Malfacine

The first representative of the lighter fighters in the ranking is perceived as one of the most technical competitors there is. Caio Terra is also synonymous with modern Jiu-Jitsu, as he has no fear to experiment new moves and exciting techniques. Also very outspoken, the presence of Caio Terra in a championship is a guarantee of thrills both on and off the mats. Terra is 27 years old and is still in his prime as a Jiu-Jitsu competitor.


6th – Rafael Mendes Godoy – 427pts

Rafael Mendes vs. Rubens Cobrinha

Rafael Mendes

The youngest of the Mendes Brothers, Rafael, along with his sibling Guilherme, is the main poster boy to what today is called Modern Jiu-Jitsu. The Atos JJ black belt is already a three-time world champion at the young age of 24 and all signs point that he will continue his career as a top competitor for a long time. Rafael’s game is known for innovative techniques and some trademark moves like the 50/50 guard, the leg drag pass, and the berimbolo.


7th – Guilherme Mendes Godoy – 383pts

Guilherme Mendes at 2013 IBJJF Pan light-featherweight

Guilherme Mendes

Rafael’s older brother is known for being a Jiu-Jitsu scholar. Guilherme likes to study every move he wants to put in practice and drill it thousands of times at training sessions. So much devotion to mastering the techniques has led to a very successful career, including three world titles as a black belt in the light featherweight division. Being 25 years old, Guilherme still has a lot of time to put his studies in practice.


8th – Rômulo Claudio Barral – 354pts

Romulo Barral 2013 PAn IBJJF choke

Romulo Barral

At 28 years old, Romulo Barral holds his spot in the IBJJF Ranking top 10 with competence.  A master of the spider guard, Rominho is a three-time world champion and has written his name in the history of Jiu-Jitsu with amazing performances like the 2009 World Championship.


9th – Bruno da Silva Malfacine – 348pts

Bruno Malfacine in Caio Terra’s guard, in the World Championship 2012. / Photo: GRACIEMAG

Bruno Malfacine

Five-time world champion Bruno Malfacine trains under Alliance and can be considered the king of the roosterweight division. Known to be very strong for his size, Malfacine likes to play on top, always on the offense searching for a submission. At 26 years old, Malfacine is still in top shape to keep his high-level Jiu-Jitsu on display.


10th – Claudio Calasans Camargo Júnior – 330pts


Claudio Calasans Jr.

Calasans Jr may be the Jiu-Jitsu competitor with the best takedown game there is. Son and nephew of judo black belts, Calasans still takes part in judo competitions. In Jiu-Jitsu, the middleweight also has some great results, like the European Open (2011 and 2013), Pan (2011 and 2012), among others. With amazing takedown skills, Calasans is also very good on the ground, both on top and on the bottom. Being 29 years old, Calasans proves in every competition that he’s up to the challenge when facing the young guns.

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