From:BJJHEROES.COM

Asking yourself who to look for in the next Jiu Jitsu World Championships? Well here is a guideline on some of the “made” guys in the BJJ game. Note that this list will be updated as competitions go by.

Again, here is the BJJ Heroes list of the top pound 4 pound Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters in the World. The list consists of current competitors only, and it was a very, very hard question to crack. I have done this list over and over always ending with different results on this top 10 list, but based on results from the last couple of years, this is my final (I think) list – due to change as competitions go by.

Roger Gracie

Roger Gracie

1. Roger Gracie (Gracie Barra): Roger has been at the top of the BJJ pyramid since 2004, he was the first man ever to achieve 3 gold medals in the absolute/open weight division at the Mundial de Jiu Jitsu (BJJ World Championships), though he may not compete as often as most of the other fighters on the list, he always makes his mark on the World’s most prestigious tournament (the Mundial). He has been on a hot streak of submissions for quite some time, a run that came to a halt on this year’s final against Ricardo Abreu

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2. Rafael Mendes (Atos): Finally achieved the desired gold medal in the World Championships this year, one of the very few pieces of jewellery missing in his cupboard, and did it in impressive fashion (as always). His toughest match was against “Cobrinha” in the final, but as Rubens announced he would be hanging up his kimono this year the future looks like a land slide of medals for the Rio Claro native. The only major tournament medal to conquer at the moment is the Pan American and that is only missing because the American tournament coincides with the World Pro Cup (held in UAE), were Rafael chooses to compete
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3. Marcelo Garcia (Alliance): like Roger Gracie he does not compete as avidly as he used to, this is mainly because he is more dedicated to the running’s of his BJJ school in New York. Still he opts to come out of his dojo on major occasions such as the World Championships and manages to win impressively in a division that arguably has the deepest talent pool in Jiu Jitsu today

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4. Michael Langhi (Alliance): The guard magician blossomed for Jiu Jitsu in 2009 with a series of important tournament wins as a black belt and hasn’t stopped on his winning ways ever since. Though he seems content to compete mainly in IBJJ (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) competitions, he is today at the top of a stacked Lightweight Division. Langhi’s guard is also one of the toughest puzzles to crack in competitive Jiu Jitsu today as it hasn’t been passed in years.
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5. Claudio Calasans (Atos): Is a Judo and Jiu Jitsu black belt who was at one point part of the Brazilian Olympic Judo Team. Today solely dedicated to BJJ he has had a fantastic 2010 with an open weight division win at the World Pro Cup (also winning his weight division) and making it to the final of the World Championships against Marcelo Garcia, giving the champion a very tough match and losing solely by a sweep (2 points). He is the number two of the middleweights at the moment and a force to be reconed with at the absolutes… If Mr Roger Gracie decides not to show up
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6. Romulo Barral (Gracie Barra):This year’s World Championships Open Weight Silver Medallist (for second year in a row) has been on an unlucky streak, missing out on Gold medals in 3 occasions (World Pro Cup at his weight and Mundial on his weight division and absolute divisions) in the World Championships he had to bail out of the open weight final because of a knee injury which occurred at the Meio Pesado Final match. The Gracie Barra-Belo Horizonte powerhouse might be out of luck but his consistency in reaching the finals of so many big events speaks for how talented this fighter is. Arguably the most dangerous fighter in the Meio-Pesado weight division he should be a definite threat again next year if he sticks to BJJ and does not wonder to MMA like many athletes seem to be doing, seeking a more suitable income.
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7. Braulio Estima (Gracie Barra): The Carcará, like his Gracie Barra colleague above has also been on the wrong side of luck this year, after reaching the finals of both his weight and the open weight category at the Jiu Jitsu Pro World Cup tournament early this year (2010) losing both fights to Calasans (#5 ranking), he had his plans to premiere in MMA this May frustrated, after the organization SHINE fights cancelled the event on the last minute (literally on the day of the event). After this stumble in MMA, the BJJ community held their breath at the chance of seeing Estima compete in the World Championships in June, but misfortune knocked again at Braulio’s door and an injury muffled this opportunity also. Still the ADCC Champion and former World BJJ Champion is a major player in the Jiu Jitsu mix if he decides to make his comeback.
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8. Rubens Charles (Alliance): Cobrinha may be reaching the end of his competitive career, but there is still a lot of steam left in his engine. The Brazilian ran through his division in both the Pan Ams and was doing the same on the World Championships until he hit a wall called Rafael Mendes (ranked #2). He gave Rafael his toughest match of the day, managing to survive and ending up losing by a minimum margin (two advantages). If he decides to have another run at Gold next year, he would certainly make a tough challenge

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9. Ricardo Abreu (Nova Uniao): The only man to have survived Roger Gracie’s onslaught this year (even though he lost to a conclusive 13×2) Demente (The Demented) as he is “tenderly” called by his colleagues had a good start this year winning the Europeans, but stumbled twice on the World Pro Cup and World Championships reaching 2nd place. He is the most consistent fighter in his division, making the finals of all major tournaments sequentially. he is also one of the few heavier fighters that always tries to finish his opponents with his always aggressive game.
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10. Bruno Malfacine (Alliance): The most dominant Rooster Weight in recent history, Malfacine has won every major BJJ tournament out there. His division may lack some of the density of the Light and Middleweight divisions, but it is no joke none the less