Robson Moura: BJJ Legend & Innovator

Last updated on 16.01.2024 by

Robson Moura, affectionately known as “Robinho” in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is a legendary figure who has left an indelible mark on the sport. Born and raised in Brazil, Robson Moura’s journey through the ranks of Jiu-Jitsu has been nothing short of remarkable.

Birth: March 23rd, 1978
Hometown: Teresopolis, Brazil
Nickname: Robinho
Affiliation: RMNU
Weight Class: Featherweight
BJJ Titles: 5x IBJJF World Titles(4 in a row 1997-2000 & 2007), 2002 CBJJO World Cup Champion, 1998 CBJJ Brazilian National Champion.
BJJ Record: 28-6
MMA Record: 2-1-1
BJJ Fight Statistics: 11 Wins by decision, 10 Wins By Submission, 4 Advantages, 3 Decisions(36% Wins By Submission, 39% Points, 14% Advantage, 11% Decision)

Here’s the full bio on BJJ legend Robson “Robinho” Moura. Detailing his journey as a BJJ athlete, winning 5 world titles, and his effect on the sport.

Robson Moura’s Early BJJ Training

Robson “Robinho” Moura grew up in Teresopolis, a city in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. At 10, Robinho started his BJJ training under his first coach, Ailson “Jucao” Brites.

He quickly fell in love with jiu-jitsu and followed everything about the sport. Moura dedicated himself to training 2-3 times per day to become the best BJJ athlete possible.

This dedication led him to achieve quick success at the child and teen ranks. Unfortunately, Robson’s coach, Jucao, had to leave Teresopolis, which left Robson without a teacher. 

Robinho became a student of Nova Uniao founder Andre Pederneiras. At this time, Nova Uniao was considered the best camp in the world for lightweight competitors.

Under Perderneiras’ guidance and numerous world-champion caliber teammates, Moura evolved into a monster.

Robson rolled through the lower ranks and won every title possible at the time. In seven years, Robinho was a brown belt and already considered one of the best in the world. 

He capped off his time at the lower ranks in 1996 by winning the world title at brown belt. 

Moura Jumps To Black Belt

After winning the world championship at brown belt, Robson’s coach, Andre promoted him to black belt. This was just one year removed from earning his brown belt, which went against IBJJF guidelines.

Under IBJJF rules, a competitor must remain at the brown belt for two years before being promoted to black belt. Robson was an exception to this rule, as he was already considered one of the world’s best grapplers.

Many black belts at the time felt that Moura was going to do great things.

Robson Becoming The Featherweight King

Robinho fulfilled his destiny in his first year as a black belt at just eighteen. He hit an armbar in the 1997 BJJ World Championship finals to win his first world title.

For the next four years, Robinho established himself as one of the best grapplers in the world. He went undefeated at the world championship tourney and became 4x world champion.

Moura’s reign is considered one of the most dominant runs in the early history of the IBJJF. He would reign as king until 2001, when Ricardo Vieira beat him by points in the semis.

Robson’s Major Car Accident

During a road trip to the 1999 IBJJF Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Moura was involved in a major car accident. Robson was driving with his student Rodrigo Ribas, wife, and friend Ricardo “Demente” in the car when it rolled and capsized.

The car was totaled, but thankfully, only Rodrigo sustained minor injuries. Moura’s wife would take Rodrigo to the hospital, while Robson and his Ricardo took a bus to Rio. He went on to win his 3 straight world title.

Robson first shared this story with Tatame Magazine back in 2010.

In 1999, we were going to Rio to compete in the world championship. There was me, ‘Demente‘, my wife and a student, Rodrigo Ribas. We left Ribeirão Preto (E.N.: where Robson lived and taught BJJ at the time) and suffered a bad car crash, I was driving. We capsized, it was very ugly, the car was destroyed, I do not know how we came out alive. I looked at him (Ricardo) and said: “I guess we will need to take the bus”. Rodrigo was hurt and had to stay home. Demente and I caught the bus and headed to Rio. We did not mention it to anyone and achieved great results. If I remember correctly, the Ricardo placed second in blue youth category, I was champion.

– Robson Moura

Robson’s MMA Career

After earning a bronze medal in 2001, Moura took a break from IBJJF competition for six years. The super featherweight king competed exclusively in a start-up federation called “Confederaciao Brasileiro de Jiu-Jitsu Olimpica(CBJJO)” in 2002.

At the same time, Moura transitioned to MMA. Taking a shot at winning another world title in another combat sport. The BJJ champion signed a 4-fight deal with Japanese MMA organization Shooto. From 2002 to 2004, Moura earned an MMA record of 2-1-1 before retiring from competition in 2004.

Robson’s Return to BJJ Competition

The king of the super featherweights returned to IBJJF competition in 2007 after a six-year absence. Despite this absence, Robinho was still one of the favorites to win the championship.

Moura would have to go through former champion Samuel Braga and Brasileiro champ Carlos Esquisito. 

The 4x champ became a 5x world champion with two hard-fought matches to reclaim his crown. Becoming one of the most successful competitors in jiu-jitsu history. After his last world title in 2007, Moura continues to compete sporadically. He’s competed everywhere from 2011 ADCC Championship and two Polaris events.

Robson Moura: The Teacher

After stepping away from BJJ competition in 2001 to compete in MMA, Moura also opened his own jiu-jitsu school. He opened his gym, Robson Moura Jiu-Jitsu Academy, in Tampa, Florida.

RMJA would quickly become one of the top BJJ schools in Florida and later a full-fledged affiliation. Moura would call his BJJ affiliation “Robson Moura Nations United(RMNU). Today, there are around 50 RMNU affiliate schools around the world, and still growing.

FAQs About Robson Moura

Where is Robson Moura From?

Robson Moura grew up in the city of Teresopolis in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

What is Robson’s Nickname?

Family and friends affectionally know Moura as “Robinho” or little Robson. 

When Did Robson Receive His Black Belt?

Robson was promoted to black belt by Andre Perderneiras at eighteen and just one year removed from earning his brown belt.

How Many BJJ Titles Has Robson won?

His main achievements include 6 IBJJF World Championship titles (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2007), a CBJJO World Cup Championship in 2002, and a CBJJ Brazilian National Championship in 1998. In 2001, he also claimed a well-deserved 3rd place at the IBJJF World Championship, further solidifying his status as a formidable force in the sport.

What is Robson’s Pro MMA Record?

Robinho has a professional MMA record of 2-1-1, with all his fights occurring in the Japanese MMA promotion Shooto. 

What is Robson Moura’s Jiu-Jitsu Lineage?

Robson Moura’s Jiu-Jitsu lineage can be traced back through a prestigious path of masters: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Robson Moura.

What is Robson’s BJJ Affiliation

Robson Moura Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association. 

Where is Robson Moura’s BJJ Academy Located? 

Robson Maura Jiu-Jitsu Academy HQ is located in Tampa Bay, Florida.

How Many Affiliate Schools Are There Under Robson’s Affiliation?

There are over 50 RMNU affiliate schools around the world.

Robson Moura on Social Media?

Final Thoughts on BJJ Legend Robson Moura

Robson Moura is a jiu jitsu icon who accomplished nearly everything possible in BJJ- a 5x world champion, who innovated the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and created his own BJJ affiliation.

Professor Moura has given so much to jiu jitsu and deserves all the respect in the world. His talent and love for BJJ are undeniable. If you’re ever in Florida, stop by Moura’s academy to say hello and train with the legend.