There have been some incredible matches within women’s BJJ over the last year. We’ve seen some of the usual names, as well as some newer names, establish themselves as top female BJJ athletes.
Here are our choices for the top 10 women’s BJJ competitors in 2023. Detailing their careers over the last year and their successes in jiu jitsu competition.
We’re starting off our list with UAEJJF champion Julia Alves. She’s one of the newest black belt that’s looking to make a name for herself as one of the sport’s best athletes.
Throughout her grappling career, Julia has primarily competed in the UAEJJF/AJP, where she’s been very successful. Earning the best athlete of AJP award from the federation as a colored belt.
Julia was a world champion in 2022 at Brown Belt while also winning the ADWPJJC Championship.
As a black belt, Alves finally took the next step in her evolution by winning her first pro tournament. Shutting down her opponents at the BJJ Pro in Sao Paulo to earn gold.
The former world champion is just one big win from making a name for herself as a pro-black belt BJJ athlete.
Anna Rodrigues has been one of the top female athletes in the world since earning her black belt. The Dream Art athlete has won every major title between the IBJJF and UAEJJF/AJP.
She’s a 2x IBJJF World Champ, 3x Pan American Champ, 3x European Open Champ, and AJP Pro Champ.
This year, Anna looked like she wouldn’t be beaten in competition. Rodrigues went on a tear, winning 3 consecutive tournaments without getting scored on and winning most by submission.
In the early rounds of the 2023 Worlds, it looked like Anna would run away with the title. That was until she met her rival Bianca Basilio in the finals, who edged her out by an advantage to become champion.
Anna was so close to becoming a 3x world champion, but she’s still one of the best grapplers in the world. Expect to see Anna in every major competition for the next decade.
Brianna Ste-Marie is probably the best Canadian pro grappler in the world right now. Like Amy Campo, Ste-Marie began making a name for herself in 2022.
She put on an impressive performance at the ADCC West Coast Trials that got many fans talking. Brianna would then have a good ADCC debut, where she earned 2nd place and gained many new fans.
After that 2nd place finish, Ste-Marie would go on to win the WNO 135lb Championship and No-Gi Worlds.
Her 2023 hasn’t been as great, but Brianna will look to repeat as No-Gi World Champion at the year’s end.
Rodolfo Vieira isn’t the only world champion in his family. His sister, Ana Vieira, is a 5x world champion and one of the best female grapplers ever.
Ana won her first IBJJF World Championship in 2017 and would win five more since then. Anytime you see Ana’s name in the brackets, you expect to see her either winning the division or medaling.
The top GFTeam athlete has stayed in the mix as one of the world’s best grapplers. Showcasing her elite-level guard game. Ana is already a legend; anything she does now is just extra.
We’ve talked about AoJ athlete Jessa Khan before and how she was evolving as an athlete. 2023 would prove to be her coming out party as she has performed best in her career.
Jessa would earn her first world title at black belt and become AoJ’s first female world champion. The 21-year-old has finally become one of the world’s best female grapplers, as many fans expected she would.
But Khan’s rise to stardom is just beginning. She has recently signed to ONE Championship and will debut in a grappling match at ONE 159.
Being Cambodian, the Asian-based ONE Championship will attempt to make her a star. Get ready to see more of Jessa Khan in the coming years.
Amy Campo has been on quite the run over the last year. She came out of nowhere in 2022 to win gold at ADCC 2022. Beating the legend Gabi Garcia, then taking out division favorite Rafaela Guedes in the finals.
This performance made Campo an instant star in the BJJ world. She followed this performance up by winning her first no-gi world title.
In 2023, Campo continued to establish herself as one of the world’s best women’s BJJ competitors. At the 2023 IBJJF Worlds, Camp would avenge her previous loss to 5x world champion Ana Vieira in the semifinals.
She would go on to beat her opponent by RNC in the finals. Earning her very first world title in the gi. Amy is one of the hardest workers in BJJ, and her work has been paying off. Expect to see her on every top competitor’s list for years.
Since 2017, Bianca Basilio has been one of the world’s best women’s BJJ competitors. She has faced the best athletes in the world and has beaten many of them multiple times.
Bianca has one of the most impressive resumes of any female grappler, including being a 2x World Champ, ADCC Champ, 4x AJP Pro Champ, and 5x Brazilian National Champ.
But in the last two years, we’ve been seeing the best of Basilio. She would not only win her first IBJJF World Championship in 2022 but repeat as champion in 2023.
Her match in the 2023 finals against Anna Rodrigues was a grudge match. Neither competitor would give an inch, but Bianca would earn an advantage to win the match.
We love watching Bianca compete and can’t wait to see what she does next.
When making a top female BJJ competitor list over the last few years, Mayssa Bastos has been an automatic choice. Bastos has won every major title between the IBJJF and UAEJJF multiple times.
The Unity JJ has been a favorite in every competition she’s entered in the last few years. In 2023, Bastos would become a grand slam champion in IBJJF competitions.
Bastos started the year by winning the European Open and then won the Pan American and Brasileiro. Her 4th world championship win was one of her best performances, as she submitted 2 of 3 opponents.
Then for fun, she would travel to Japan to win the 2023 Asian Open for the first time. Whenever there’s a major BJJ competition, you can expect Mayssa Bastos to be there and probably win it all.
She has yet to be defeated in the competition this year and will look to stay undefeated as the competition season continues.
Ffion Davies is among the world’s most exciting women’s BJJ competitors. She is a fan favorite that grappling fans watch anytime she competes because they know Davies will put on a show.
The Wales native has entered her competitive prime, and we’ve seen some impressive showings from her over the last year.
2022 was the best year of Davies’ young competition career. At the 2022 Worlds, she won her first world title without getting a point scored on her.
Then at ADCC 2022, Ffion would top her Worlds performance with one of the best performances in ADCC history. Shutting down the legend Bea Mesquita 6-0 and then beating Briana Ste-Marie 10-0 to win her first ADCC title.
In 2023, Ffion has shown she’s still the female to beat in the feather division. Repeating as IBJJF World Champ once again without getting a point scored on her. Davies will look to earn her 3rd no-gi world title later this year.
No female BJJ competitor has been more successful than Gabrieli Pesanha. She isn’t just the best women’s BJJ athlete but arguably the top overall BJJ athlete in the world.
Since earning her black belt in 2020, the pride of Cidade de Deus(City of God) has dominated the BJJ world. She has won every major BJJ competition multiple times over the last three years.
This includes Double Gold World Champ(2021-2023), 5x Pan Champ, 4x European Open Champ, and 2x AJP World Pro Champ.
All Gabi has done is win since becoming a black-belt athlete. Not just win, but dominate. She has not been defeated in two years and holds one of the highest submission rates at 62%.
The crazy thing about Pessanha is she’s only 23 years old. Gabrieli could easily become the greatest female BJJ competitor of all time once her career is done.
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