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Top 10 Women in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Best Female BJJ Athletes

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | 0 comments

Women have been making remarkable strides in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), a martial art and combat sport known for its ground-fighting techniques. In recent years, the number of BJJ women practitioners, or “BJJ athletes,” has been steadily increasing over male practitioners, and their accomplishments deserve recognition.

Here, we will highlight the top 10 women in jiu-jitsu, showcasing their unparalleled skill and dedication in the sport. These women have not only mastered the techniques and strategies of BJJ but have also shattered stereotypes and paved the way for more women to thrive in the mixed martial arts arena.

Join us as we explore the accomplishments of these extraordinary athletes:

  • Mackenzie Dern
  • Gabi Garcia
  • Leticia Ribeiro
  • Michelle Nicolini
  • Beatriz Mesquita
  • Ana Carolina Vieira
  • Luiza Monteiro
  • Andressa Cintra
  • Karen Antunes
  • Claudia Do Val

These women exemplify the competitive edge and mental resilience required to excel in BJJ.

We will also discuss the empowering nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for women, the benefits of training in this martial art, and the challenges that female BJJ athletes face. We will provide insights on how women can find and train with fellow female BJJ athletes, fostering a supportive and empowering community within the sport.

Get ready to delve into the world of female BJJ athletes and discover why women are thriving in jiu-jitsu. 

Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Dern, a remarkable athlete in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has etched her name in the sport with a trail of exceptional achievements. Her numerous championships and impressive accolades serve as a testament to her immense skill and dedication. On the mat, Mackenzie’s technique and agility are unmatched, making her a force to be reckoned with.

As a role model for aspiring female practitioners, she embodies the true essence of dedication, inspiring others to chase their dreams in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. Mackenzie’s relentless pursuit of excellence has not only placed her at the pinnacle of the sport but also redefined the boundaries of what women can achieve in Jiu-Jitsu. Through her awe-inspiring talent and impeccable skills, Mackenzie Dern continues to astound and captivate audiences worldwide.

Gabi Garcia

Gabi Garcia

Gabi Garcia, a giant in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is widely recognized as one of the most prominent figures in the sport. Standing tall at 6 feet 2 inches and weighing approximately 230 pounds, Gabi Garcia’s size and strength set her apart.

Through her remarkable career, she has achieved tremendous success, emerging victorious in numerous world championships. In the heavyweight division, her dominance is unparalleled, establishing her as an unstoppable force. Gabi Garcia’s unwavering dedication and relentless work ethic have propelled her to the pinnacle of female BJJ athletes worldwide.

Leticia Ribeiro representing Gracie Family

Leticia Ribeiro

Leticia Ribeiro, a renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, has made significant contributions to the sport. Ribeiro’s dedication to her craft has resulted in numerous achievements, including multiple world championship titles. She is widely recognized for her technical expertise, agility, and strategic mindset in grappling matches.

Ribeiro’s success in the sport has greatly contributed to boosting the visibility and recognition of women in Jiu Jitsu. Her proficiency and unwavering commitment have garnered admiration and respect from both fellow athletes and fans. It is undeniable that Leticia Ribeiro’s contributions have played a pivotal role in advancing the sport of Jiu Jitsu, especially for women.

Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Nicolini, a renowned female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete, stands out for her impressive career achievements, labeling her as one of the foremost women in this sport.

Nicolini’s remarkable list of accomplishments includes numerous world championships, showcasing her exceptional technical abilities and expertise on the mats. Devoting herself wholeheartedly to mastering the art of Jiu Jitsu, she has emerged as an inspirational figure and role model for aspiring female athletes in this field.

Beatriz Mesquita

Beatriz Mesquita

Beatriz Mesquita is a highly accomplished female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete. As one of the best in her sport, Mesquita has won numerous titles, including gold medals in prestigious tournaments such as the World Championships, Pan American Championships, and the Abu Dhabi World Pro.

Her skill and dedication have earned her a black belt since 2011, making her highly respected and influential in the world of Jiu Jitsu. Beatriz Mesquita’s success and expertise on the Jiu Jitsu mats make her a force to be reckoned with.

Ana Carolina Vieira

Ana Carolina Vieira

Ana Carolina Vieira is a highly accomplished female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete. She is known for her exceptional skills and technical proficiency in the sport. Vieira, a multiple-time world champion and a five-time Pan American champion, has won numerous championships and accolades throughout her career.

Her dedication and hard work have made her one of the top competitors in women’s BJJ. Ana Carolina Vieira’s success in the sport is a testament to her commitment and passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Fact: Ana Carolina Vieira, with a remarkable winning percentage of over 70%, has dominated in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions.

Luiza Monteiro

Luiza Monteiro

Luiza Monteiro, a highly accomplished female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) athlete, has undoubtedly left a remarkable impact on the BJJ community. Her remarkable skill set and unwavering commitment to the sport have been instrumental in her success.

Luiza has secured numerous titles and championships, including multiple World Championships and Pan American Championships. It is her exceptional technical proficiency and strategic mindset that have truly propelled her to triumph on the mats. Continuously honing her abilities and nurturing her passion, Luiza remains an indomitable force to be reckoned with for any adversary.

In an impressive display of her abilities, Luiza Monteiro has emerged as a victorious woman multiple times at the World Championship, securing the title in her weight class.

Andressa Cintra

Andressa Cintra

Andressa Cintra, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete, has had a significant impact in the sport. Cintra has participated in numerous tournaments, consistently showcasing her skills and determination.

With her formidable technique and agility, she has proven herself to be a formidable opponent in the sport. Cintra’s hard work and dedication have been instrumental in achieving success in her Jiu Jitsu career. Moreover, she continues to inspire and motivate other female athletes in the sport.

Karen Antunes

Karen Antunes

Karen Antunes is not just any female athlete in Jiu Jitsu. She has made a name for herself with her exceptional skills and dedication to this sport.

Antunes has competed in numerous tournaments and has achieved great success, including winning the highly coveted World Championship and the Pan American Championship. It is through her unwavering hard work and amazing talent that she has been able to climb to the top ranks of women in Jiu Jitsu.

Claudia Do Val

Claudia Do Val

Claudia Do Val, a renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete, has undeniably left a lasting mark in the sport. She has garnered immense fame within the BJJ community and accomplished remarkable triumphs throughout her career.

Notably, Claudia has secured numerous world championships, solidifying her position as one of the foremost female BJJ athletes in the world. Recognized for her exceptional technical expertise, agility, and unwavering commitment to the sport, Claudia Do Val’s unwavering dedication and innate talent have rightfully positioned her among the elite in the realm of BJJ.

Why Women Are Thriving in Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu is providing an empowering space for women to thrive. The intense nature of the sport and its focus on strategy and technique make it an ideal platform for women to showcase their skills. Women are excelling in Jiu Jitsu due to several factors.

The sport promotes discipline, determination, and resilience, qualities that are advantageous in all aspects of life. Jiu Jitsu offers a supportive community where women can be part of a team, encouraging each other to excel.

The increase in women-only classes and competitions has created a safe environment for women to train and compete without feeling overwhelmed. The expanding opportunities for women in Jiu Jitsu have boosted their well-being and enhanced their proficiency in the sport.

Breaking Stereotypes: Women in Combat Sports

Combat sports have traditionally been male-dominated, but women are now breaking stereotypes and making their mark in these disciplines. This is evident in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where female athletes are thriving and proving their worth.

  • Women in combat sports are challenging the notion that these disciplines are only for men.
  • Female athletes are proving that they are just as capable and skilled as their male counterparts.
  • By participating in combat sports, women are redefining gender roles and societal expectations.
  • These women are showing that strength, agility, and determination are not limited to any gender.
  • They are paving the way for future generations of female athletes to pursue their passions and excel in combat sports.
  • Their success in combat sports inspires other women to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their own athletic endeavors.
  • Their achievements boost the visibility and recognition of women in combat sports.
  • By breaking stereotypes, women in combat sports are enhancing opportunities and representation for all women in the sporting world.

Overcoming Challenges: Female BJJ Athletes

Female BJJ athletes face their fair share of challenges in the male-dominated sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They have been breaking barriers and proving their ability to compete at the highest level. These athletes have had to overcome various obstacles, both on and off the mat, to achieve their goals.

One of the main challenges faced by female BJJ athletes is the lack of representation and opportunities. Historically, BJJ has been dominated by men, and female athletes have often been overlooked or underestimated. This lack of visibility can make it difficult for women to find training partners, sponsorship opportunities, and recognition for their achievements.

Another challenge is the physical and technical differences between men and women. In general, men tend to be stronger and have more muscle mass, which can make it challenging for women to compete against them. Female BJJ athletes have to work harder to develop their technique and find ways to overcome their opponents’ physical advantages.

Female BJJ athletes often have to balance their training with other responsibilities, such as work, family, and personal commitments. Finding the time and energy to dedicate to their training can be a challenge in itself. Many women have to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, which can make it difficult to give their all to their BJJ training.

Despite these challenges, female BJJ athletes continue to thrive and excel in the sport. They have shown resilience, determination, and a drive to succeed. Through their hard work and dedication, they have proven that gender is not a barrier to success in BJJ.

How To Find and Train with Female BJJ Athletes

  • To find and train with female BJJ athletes, one way is to join a women’s BJJ academy or class. These specialized schools focus on training women in BJJ and provide a supportive and empowering environment.
  • Another option is to attend women’s BJJ seminars and events. These gatherings bring together female BJJ practitioners from different academies and offer the opportunity to learn from top female athletes.
  • Using social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you can connect with female BJJ athletes and find a training partner. Many female athletes have profiles where they share training tips, techniques, and information about upcoming seminars or open mats.
  • Reach out to local BJJ academies and inquire about their female training programs. Some academies may have dedicated women’s classes or open mats where you can train with other female athletes.
  • Consider attending women’s BJJ camps or retreats. These immersive experiences offer several days of intensive training with top female athletes and provide a unique opportunity to learn and connect with other women in the BJJ community.
  • Join events hosted by the Sport Jiu Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF) for female BJJ competitions.

Pro-tip: When reaching out to female BJJ athletes, be respectful and professional in your communication. Explain your goals and express your enthusiasm for training with them. Building a positive and supportive network is essential for enhancing your BJJ journey.


1. Who are some of the top female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters?

Some of the top female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters include Michelle Nicolini, Beatriz Mesquita (Bia), Mackenzie Dern, Gabi Garcia, Ana Carolina Vieira Srour, Kyra Gracie, Bianca Barbosa Basilio, Mayssa Bastos, Grace Gundrum, Leticia Ribero, Hannette Staack, Claudia do Val, Yvone Duarte, Luiza Monteiro, and Jessica D Flowers.

2. What are some of the major achievements of these female fighters?

These female fighters have achieved numerous titles and championships in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some of their major achievements include winning the IBJJF World Champion, Pan American Champion, European Champion, World No-Gi Champion, ADCC World Champion, and many others.

3. Are martial arts spaces typically male-dominated?

Yes, martial arts spaces are often heavily male-dominated and not always welcoming to women. However, with the rise of female fighters like Ronda Rousey, Nicola Adams, and Katie Taylor, more women are getting involved in combat sports, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

4. What are the benefits of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for women?

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers numerous benefits for women, including physical strength and fitness, self-defense skills, increased self-confidence, and improved mental well-being. It can also provide social benefits, such as making friends and being part of a supportive community. Being the only female in a BJJ gym can be challenging. So make friends and train BJJ with other girls!

5. How do these female fighters inspire other women in sports?

These female fighters serve as valuable role models and inspirations for other women in sports. Through their hard work, determination, and outstanding achievements, they break barriers and prove that women can excel in combat sports. They pave the way for more opportunities and representation for female athletes.

6. What are some tips for women who want to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

  • Stay calm and don’t let any intimidation hold you back.
  • Focus on technique and leverage rather than relying solely on physical strength.
  • Find a supportive gym or training group where you feel comfortable and welcome.
  • Begin with a beginner’s class or private lessons to learn the fundamentals properly.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance from more experienced practitioners.
  • Be consistent and dedicated in your training to see progress and improvement over time.


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