BJJEE and Judo Phenom Flavio Canto team up to bring you the top 5 fighters that best use Judo in MMA!
Flavio Canto is a Brazilian judo champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who won the bronze medal in the 81 kg division at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. He previously competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Canto won three medals in a row at the Pan American Games: 1995, 1999 and 2003. He is known for his high level ground game and there are many stories of him having dominated many BJJ champions on the ground in training.
Canto gave Tatame his list of top 5 fighters that best use Judo in MMA:
5) Hector Lombard
Former Bellator champion and current UFC fighter, the Cuban has represented his country in the Olympics in Judo. “He’s another guy who’s a monster. He competed at 73 kgs in judo, amazing. He’s a guy that is expected to explode in the UFC. Has a good way to go.”
4) Karo Parisyan
Former UFC fighter and former WEC champion, Parisyan began practicing Judo at age nine and won six youth national championships in the sport. “He was a nice guy to see fight. He has several beautiful takedowns using the Judo techniques.”
3) Demian Maia
Jiu-Jitsu specialist, Demian started in Judo. “Demian is a guy that applies very well Judo in MMA. He has great throw techniques. I agree with Ronda when she says that the hole in MMA today is Judo. Few athletes work with hip and leg throws, not even those from Wrestling Greco-Roman. So I put Demian as one of the guys because he does a good job with trips and hooks. I do not know if he learned it with his friends Jiu-Jitsu or Judo, but he knows how to use the technique to take down, which is within the hole that Ronda mentioned.”
2) Leo Leite
2 x world BJJ champion and former athlete of the Brazilian national Judo team. “Leo is like a brother to me, my best friend. He is evolving in the right way, and progressing while increasingly gaining consistency. He’s starting to put his Judo game in MMA fights. In the last fight he had good throws. I think that can grow very well still. He has so much potential but needs opportunity. I think it’s about time he went to the UFC, he has won two belts at Legacy.”
1) Ronda Rousey
Bronze in Olympic game in Beijing, Ronda was the first American to achieve an Olympic medal in the sport. “She is first, no doubt. We do not yet have many high-level judoka competing in MMA. Philosophically, there is a barrier to be overcome by most Judo fighters who want to make the transition. They want to make the Olympic cycle. And to enter the MMA, have to do what Ronda did, leave the Olympic dream. And that’s too large for a judoka. You step on the mat for the first time thinking about the Olympics. I think that hinders this entry.”
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