This weekend at UFC 258 comes the return of perhaps the most decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner in the entirety of mixed martial arts, Rodolfo Vieira, who makes his third octagon appearance against Anthony Hernandez in the preliminary main event.
This could be a pretty dangerous fight for Vieira, though he’s a sizeable favorite. Hernandez is more of a grappler himself, but did run right through a talented in striker Jordan Wright on the Contender Series, KO’ing him in just 40 seconds.
Vieira made his UFC debut in August of 2019 with a record of 5-0, submitting Oskar Piechota (11-1-1) in the second round via arm-triangle choke. Next came a bout against Sapabek Safarov (9-2), who he also submitted via arm-triangle choke, this time in round one.
Prior to this, Vieira also finished all five of those fights as well with four submissions. This instant success has got to be because of his grappling background, right?
Rodolfo Vieira Grappling Credentials:
- ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Gold Medal (2015)
- Five-Time World Championships Gold Medal (2011, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Two-Time World Championships Silver Medal (2013, 2014)
- Seven-Time World Cup Gold Medal (2009, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Two-Time World Cup Silver Medal (2013, 2014)
- Two-Time Pan American Championships Gold Medal (2011, 2011)
- Two-Time European Championships Gold Medal (2012, 2012)
- Defeated in BJJ: Rafael Mendes, Rafael Lovato Jr, Sergio Moraes, Marcus Almeida, Braulio Estima, Antonio Braga Neto, Andre Galvao, AJ Agazarm, and Benson Henderson.
- Overall Grappling Competition Record: 100-9-1 (68 submission victories, one submission defeat – to Dean Lister via heel hook)
Vieira defeated most of those names more than once, and he submitted all of them aside from Braulio Estima and Rafael Lovato Jr.
All of these competitions were held at the black belt level, and many of them were contested in the absolute division.
His opponent this weekend, Anthony Hernandez has got to try keeping the fight on its feet at all costs. Of Hernandez’ seven wins, five come via submission, but it’s clear who the better grappler of the two here is.
To think, Demian Maia is only a two-time world champion and three-time silver medalist in BJJ tournaments. Fabricio Werdum has six world championships, Gilbert Burns has four world championships…
Guys like Charles Oliveira, Brian Ortega, or Leonardo Santos haven’t won any, and Rodolfo Vieira has 13 world championships, it’s absolutely remarkable.
At 31-years-old, it’s hard to say how much he’ll round out his game, but he’s proven to be successful thus far into his mixed martial arts, and UFC careers.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.