2019 World Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship

The Greatest Of All Time Female Black Belts, Ranked

The Greatest Of All Time Female Black Belts, Ranked

We determine the identity of the true Lady GOAT of sport jiu-jitsu.

May 30, 2019 by Heather Raftery
The Greatest Of All Time Female Black Belts, Ranked
Many women in the jiu-jitsu community can call themselves legends, but only one should be able to call herself the “Greatest Of All Time”. 

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Many women in the jiu-jitsu community can call themselves legends, but only one should be able to call herself the “Greatest Of All Time”. 

Who really is the Lady GOAT? In today’s landscape of sport jiu-jitsu and grappling, the answer is not so easily defined. 

You might think that the total number of medals would be a fair estimate, but this is simply not true. For example, there are many different promotions around the globe, with more popping up each year– they should not all be counted equally. 

Or consider the fact that you have world champions in every division, regardless of exactly how many women actually compete in that division– some have 10 or 12, some divisions have three or four. 

How do you account for the history of women’s involvement in competitive jiu-jitsu, like when purple, brown and black belts were thrown into a single division for years before there were enough competitors to justify separate categories? Winning a division full of savage black belts is certainly more hard-fought than a division containing a single black belt. 

What about the women who not only sought out their own division title, but that of the open class, as well? And can you really decide who the greatest jiu-jitsu practitioner is without considering the no-gi events? 

To determine the identity of the true Lady GOAT of sport jiu-jitsu, all these things must be considered… which is exactly what we did. 

We started with the black belt division champions in nine major IBJJF gi and no-gi tournaments, as well as the UAEJJF World Pro, ADCC and EBI. We gave each event a weight depending on the generally-accepted level of prestige, then deducted points for divisions with less than four participants and those in which lower belt divisions are combined with the black belt division. We also gave extra credit to winners in the absolute weight divisions. 

What we got was possibly the most accurate determination of who the reigning Lady GOAT is… and who is gunning for the title. 

5. Luiza Monteiro

Along with Beatriz Mesquita, Monteiro is the most currently-active competitor on this list. The two-time World champion and three-time World No-Gi champion made it onto this list almost purely via her IBJJF accomplishments, as unlike the others she holds no ADCC titles or Abu Dhabi World Pro gold medals.  

4. Luanna Alzuguir 

IBJJF Hall of Famer Luanna Alzuguir has won every major title, many of them more than once. ADCC, IBJJF World, Pan, European and Brazilian Championships, Abu Dhabi World Pro and more. After a few years away from competition she returned in 2018 and showed that she still has it by winning the IBJJF World No-Gi Championships. 

3. Michelle Nicolini 

At 37 years of age Michelle Nicolini has had one of the longest and most storied careers on this list. She entered the brown-black divisions in 2006 and immediately made it to the top of the podium, a place she regularly returned to until her most recent Worlds win in 2014. An ADCC champion, she still occasionally competes in grappling tournaments but has transitioned into an MMA career where she fights in Asia for ONE Championship. 

2. Gabi Garcia

From 2008 to present, Gabi Garcia has cast a large shadow over the women’s black belt division. One of the toughest and scariest opponents you could expect to see standing across you on the mat, the Alliance champ could have topped this list had she not had results discounted for a doping violation in 2015 or the three years she spent focused on MMA. 

1. Beatriz Mesquita 

With eight World title (including two absolute gold medals), five World No-Gi gold medals (including one absolute), numerous Abu Dhabi World Pro gold medals in the black and brown belt division, an ADCC gold, an EBI title belt, and a length list of titles and achievements. Beatriz Mesquita is the undisputed Lady GOAT with an incredible 102 points. The lightweight queen is far and away the most credentialed and successful female competitor of all time, and the scary thing is she’s only 28 years of age which means she has plenty of time to solidify her legacy. 

Scroll down for the full ranking 

NameDivisionFlo Score
Beatriz MesquitaLight102
Gabi GarciaHeavy74.75
Michelle NicoliniLight Feather/Feather65.5
Luanna AlzuguirLight56.75
Luiza MonteiroLight/Middle49.5
Mackenzie DernFeather39.625
Tayane PorfirioSuper Heavy37.75
Andresa CorrêaMedium Heavy35.375
Hannette Quadros StaackLight/Middle35.25
Natiely JesusMedium Heavy34.25
Talita NogueiraMedium Heavy/Heavy31.5
Bianca Andrande BarretoFeather31.25
Kyra GracieLight28.375
Leticia RibeiroLight Feather26.5
Dominyka ObelenyteHeavy/Super Heavy26
Gezary MatudaLight Feather25.5
Monique Medeiros EliasMiddle17.5
Rikako YuasaRooster/Light Feather16
Claudia do ValMedium Heavy14.25
Ana Carolina VieiraMiddle14
Bianca BasilioFeather/Light13.5
Mayssa BastosRooster/Light Feather13.5
Jessica Oliveira FlowersMedium Heavy/Heavy/Super Heavy12.75
Karen AntunesFeather/Light10.25
Talita AlencarLight Feather/Feather9.5