One month from today, Saturday, May 30, a new duo of black belt open class finalists will be pointed out in Long Beach, California.
Who do you think will be in the 2015 final? Buchecha and Rodolfo, Buchecha and Bernardo Faria or Rodolfo and Keenan Cornelius?
Before we worry with the future, let’s look back in time and exam the legacy of those who did great things.
After we line up the biggest names in Worlds history, maybe you can choose who’s the Greatest of All Times in your opinion.
1. Roger Gracie
With 10 world titles in the black belt division, including three open class gold medals, the grandson of Carlos Gracie is right up there in the rankings. Owner of a basic style of fighting, Roger couldn’t be more efficient even if he tried to. His famous, pass-to-mount-to choke sequence is well known by all his opponents, but few were able to at least put up some resistance against it. Away from competition since 2010, not many would doubt that Roger would still be competitive if he chose to come back today.
2. Marcus Buchecha
The other three-time black belt open class champion, young Marcus Buchecha is still in the making of building his legacy in the gentle art. Considering his results so far, who can say he has all he needs to be the GOAT? Buchecha is as a exciting fighter as you could hope for, with great technique, a lot of speed and and the incredible capacity of turning the tides on any match no matter how little time there is left.
3. Xande Ribeiro
Two-time open class champion and four times winner of his weigh division, Xande is one of the two guys to have defeated Roger twice for the absolute gold. Who can forget the 2006 and 2008 finals, two of the most thrilling of all times. Owner of great technique overall, Xande was able to use all the tools he had to achieve great things, including judo takedowns and dangerous games both on top or playing guard.
4. Ronaldo Jacaré
The man with a plan, Ronaldo Jacaré called it quits after his second open class gold medal in 2005 and decided to devote his talents to MMA. Ten years later, he’s on the verge of getting his first UFC title shot after a very successful run. Back when he was just a grappler, Jacaré was as good as you can hope for. His most mentioned moment in Jiu-Jitsu was the decision not to tap to Roger Gracie’s armlock in the 2004 final, but what few remember is that he did that because he was ahead on the socreboard after taking Roger’s back in the beginning of the match.
5. Rodolfo Vieira
“Rodolfo’s gonna get you!” That’s what his teammates like to sing whenever the 2011 open class champion is fighting. Aggressive and submission-driven, Rodolfo’s game has fewer gaps in it than Buchecha’s, for instance. At the 2014 Worlds, he submitted all his opponents until the final against the rival, something Buchecha himself was never able to do it. He also has the joy of knowing that despite being 1-5 in his personal score against Buchecha, Rodolfo still holds the honor of having the only submission win in the history of the rivalry.
A few other names could be in the list, like Marcio Pe de Pano, Amaury Bitteti, Rodrigo Comprido, Saulo Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Rubens Cobrinha, Rafael Mendes, etc.
While you decide who’s the GOAT in your opinion, don’t forget to register for the 2015 Worlds, the 20th edition of the mopst important Jiu-Jitsu event of the season.
Click here to register now.