Roldolfo Vieira's Comeback & The Most Exciting Bracket Of The Year


Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

There's no denying that Rodolfo Vieira is a jiu-jitsu icon who will forever be known as one of the best competitors to ever step on the mat.

But he's largely stepped away from the sport of in favor of pursuing his MMA dreams, competing just ONCE in the gi since he won worlds in 2014, and we want to make sure the new fans out there realize just how momentous his return to gi competition at the Spyder BJJ Invitational coming later this month really is.  

Watch the 2019 Spyder Invitational BJJ Championship Final live on FloGrappling!

A Brief Review

For those who are unfamiliar with his career, his key accomplishments include:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2011* / 2012 / 2013 / 2014)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2015)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2011*)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2012**)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro (2014 / 2012* / 2011*)

* = weight + absolute

Rodolfo first entered the spotlight as a brown belt after defeating ADCC champion Braulio Estima at the Abu Dhabi World Pro in 2009, earning him the fabled nickname "the black belt hunter."  Rodolfo would later take victories over top-tier competitors, including Buchecha, Rafael Lovato Jr, Xande Ribero, Keenan Cornelius, among many, many others. 

After an awe-inspiring jiu-jitsu career and numerous titles collected, Rodolfo left the jiu-jitsu spotlight to pursue a career in MMA. Today, he is undefeated with a record of 6-0 with FIVE submission wins and is currently making his way up the ranks of the UFC middleweight division.

After an extended hiatus, Rodolfo has announced he will be returning to jiu-jitsu competition in hopes of taking home the largest paycheck in jiu-jitsu history. 

Enter: SPYDER & $100,000

The Spyder Invitational BJJ Championship is awarding a $100,000 cash prize to the winners of the -100kg and -76kg division champions. Elite level competitors from around the world are packing their bags and headed to Seoul, Korea, to battle it out in one of the most electrifying shows of 2019. 

Although Rodolfo's focus has been on MMA for the past four years, we expect to see the same jiu-jitsu legend show up to Spyder. In 2018, he stepped back on the mat briefly during the CBD Black Belt 2018 and defeated the current world champion, Mahamed Aly and Kit Dale.

Rodolfo's first match at Spyder will be new generation talent, Anderson Munis. Even though Anderson is a brown belt, he may prove to be a more difficult matchup for Rodolfo than some may expect due to his in-depth knowledge of lapel guard. We're very eager to see how Rodolfo approaches the modern riddles of the latest jiu-jitsu metagame.  

Anderson Munis.

Should Rodolfo advance past Munis, he will be facing a tough semifinals match against either Kayan Duarte or Leandro Lo. Kaynan versus Rodolfo is clearly a dream match for any jiu-jitsu fan – Kaynan has been essentially unstoppable since getting his black belt and is the current heavyweight world champion and +99kg ADCC Champ. The duo's game is more alike than dissimilar, and we can predict a very physical contest with a strong emphasis on the stand-up battle. Rodolfo has always possessed some of the best takedowns in the game, but Kaynan is no slouch in that department, and we're looking forward to the technical war that should ensue.  

Kaynan Duarte.

However, Kaynan and Roldofo is far from a guarantee; should Leandro Lo make a historic comeback in the first round and turn the tables on Rival Kaynan we could instead see the NS Brotherhood leader meet Rodolfo in the semifinal. Lo and Rodolfo have met before with Rodolfo taking the win, but that was before Lo packed out 30 pounds of muscle, and this match would likely play out a little different this time around. 

We've picked Meregali as a strong candidate to make the final on the other side of the bracket, and should Rodolfo make it to the final, potentially provide the match of the year.  Mereagali's guard AND passing are among the very best in the game, and the two-time world champion is a proud member of the new generation of athletes making waves 

Nicholas Meregali.

However, despite the fact that Meregali is currently ranked P4P #1 and critics' pick to make the final, he is by no means a lock – Tim Spriggs, Claudio Calasans, and Erberth Santos have all put targets on Meregali's back and are ready to steal the spotlight and any of them make for an intriguing match for the famed Rodolfo Vieira.

In preparation for this matchup, Rodolfo has headed down to Fight Sports Miami to train with Cyborg, Vagner Rocha, Tex Johnson, BB Monster, and Enrico Cocco. Rodolfo has a long history of preparing at Fight Sports, take a look at this throwback footage of Rodolfo wrestling against Cyborg. We spoke to Cyborg about how Roldofo is looking leading up to Spyder and this is what he had to say,

"Rodolfo is a different animal. His focus, determination and talent is just abnormal. We have been working very hard with him and he is looking great; in my eyes he is the owner of that crown. The bracket couldn't be better for him. Of course there are many great challenges but I beleive the styles play on his favor. He is ready to take that cash home." –Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu

Tune in live on FloGrappling November 23 to see Rodolfo "The Blackbelt Hunter" Vieira return to the mats and face off in this star-studded event fighting for the largest paycheck in jiu-jitsu history.

Four Major Takeaways From WNO: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior

Craig Ronaldo WNO Heel Hook

The backstage events at Who's Number One: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior, may have momentarily overshadowed some of the outstanding performances of the event.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Grappling Bulletin: The Gordon-Galvao Incident, Where Do We Go From Here?

gorodn vs galvao.jpg

Gordon Ryan and Andre Galvao got physical backstage at WNO and the slap was heard around the world. The real question is where do we go from here? 

How to Watch WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha

gordon vagner.jpg

Here's what you need to know about how to watch WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha live or on demand on FloGrappling.

Gordon Ryan Takes On Vagner Rocha At WNO On March 26th!


Who's Number One (WNO) is returning on March 26th for another stacked event, with WNO: Gordon Ryan vs Vagner Rocha! The pound-for-pound King returns for his fourth match at WNO, taking on the top middleweight grappler in the world in Vagner.

Full Recap & Results | Who's Number One: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior

craig ronaldo.jpg

The 2021 season of Who’s Number One is underway, as WNO: Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior is almost underway.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Rising Stars Who Will Compete In The WNO: Jones vs Ronaldo Free Prelims

wno Feb 26 prelims.jpg

Before Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior or Gordon Ryan vs Roberto Jimenez, four prospects will fight on the undercard of Who’s Number One on Friday, February 26. Those matches will be streamed live for free on the FloGrappling Facebook and YouTube channels, and will feature four hungry and exciting competitors.

The Grappler Without Fear: Roberto Jimenez Will Face Anyone

Nicky Rod vs Roberto Jimenez 3CG.jpg

Roberto Jimenez lives by a code. Based on his words, and expressed through his jiu-jitsu, one of the tenets of that code is to let his jiu-jitsu flow.

Based on his actions, another tenet is never to refuse a challenge.

Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu and Roberto Jimenez

5 Must-Watch Matches From Roberto Jimenez

jimenez kumite V winners.jpg

Perhaps above all things, Roberto Jimenez is known for engaging in dynamic and compelling matches; his only goals: self-expression and the submission.  

Lis Clay Set For First Black Belt Gi Match vs Maria Malyjasiak At F2W 165

Clay Malyjasiak F2W

Fight To Win will close out its three-week stint in Dallas with an all-female card. Fight to Win 165 on Saturday, February 27 will be the second ever card featuring women, only; continuing the promotion’s pattern. Fight to Win has scheduled its third all-female event for the third weekend in March in Austin, TX. 

Grappling Bulletin: Lauded by Joe Rogan, Vagner Is On An Unstoppable Run

Vagner joe rogan.jpg

Vagner Rocha has been on a tear and though he brings out the haters every time he competes he has fans in high places, including none other than Joe Rogan.