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#59 Murilo Bustamante

Whether as a BJJ competitor, Vale-Tudo fighter, MMA World Champion, or co-founder of Brazilian Top Team one of the greatest martial arts teams in history, Murilo Bustamante has done it all at a level most people can only dream of. Murilo is a man that has defended the honor of Jiu Jitsu on the mats, in the ring, and in the cage with professionalism and courage.

Murilo began his Jiu Jitsu journey under the legend, Carlson Gracie, Sr. and not only trained Jiu Jitsu as a teen but also included Judo and Boxing into his fight game. In 1991 while in his mid-twenties, Murilo, along with Fabio Gurgel, and Wallid Ismail, was handpicked by Master Carlson to compete in the first-ever BJJ vs Luta Livre Challenge. This challenge pitted Brazillian Jiu Jitsu against Luta Livre fighters to once and for all decide which fighting style was superior. The three Carlson Gracie fighters all won their respective fights proving that Jiu Jitsu was the supreme martial art.

For the next several years Murilo concentrated on Jiu Jitsu before returning to MMA and embarked on a career that would have him fighting for the top organizations and winning and successfully defending the UFC Middleweight Championship. Murilo left the UFC and in 2003 and went on to fight legends Dan Henderson and Rampage Jackson in a 9 fight stint in the PRIDE organization.

In 2000 during his early MMA career, Murilo and several other top fighters left or were expelled from the Carlson Gracie Team. The reasons for this vary but there were disagreements over fighters purses and the fact that Master Carlson was spending too much time at his new home in Chicago, thus leaving his team in Brazil without their leader.

Murilo wasted no time and that same year co-founded Brazilian Top Team. BTT quickly became a dominant force in MMA and created world champions including Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Vitor Belfort, and Murilo himself. Murilo continued his fighting career for several more years amassing a 15-8 and 1 record and then left the fight game to concentrate on BTT.

BTT has had several personal changes over the past twenty years but the one constant has been Murilo Bustamante. He has expanded the organization to include locations across the globe and is now its sole manager.


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