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Caio Terra - The Winningest IBJJF No Gi World Champion

Caio Terra - The Winningest IBJJF No Gi World Champion


On December 14-16th, the IBJJF will be holding the 12th edition of the World IBJJF Jiu Jitsu No Gi Championships in Anaheim, California.  While this event has amazing athletes and competitors such as 2017 ADCC Champion and 2018 No Gi Pan Weight and Absolute Champion, Gordan Ryan, 4 time ADCC and 5 time No Gi World Champion, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreau, 2x ADCC and 2x No Gi World Champion Yuri Simoes, ADCC Veteran and 2018 Gi World Champion, Mahamed Aly, and 2017 No Gi Worlds Weight and Absolute Champion and 2018 Gi World Champion, Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa, let’s take a look at the winningest IBJJF No Gi World Champion, Caio Terra- who has won 10 consecutive gold medals, spanning from 2008 to 2017.

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After his latest victory in 2017, the 31-year-old Caio declared that he while he was not retiring from all competition (he did not rule out competing in the gi or in superfights), that would be his last IBJJF No Gi Worlds competition- stating that he wanted to “start a new chapter in his life”.  

Caio Terra Biography

Caio is a black belt under Paulo Maruicio Strauch, and is one of BJJ’s most accomplished rooster-weights (57.50 kg or 127 lbs) in history- gi and no gi.  Caio began training BJJ in 2003, and received his black belt in 2006- making his promotion to black belt one of the fastest in BJJ history.

When Caio received his black belt, the IBJJF has just set a minimum time frame for each belt, and he did not meet the mandatory time for a brown belt (1 year before being promoted)- as he was a brown belt for less than 12 months.  As a result, he was not able to compete at the 2007 Brazilian Nationals (Brasileiro). However, later that year, the IBJJF made a last minute exception and allowed him to compete at the World Championships- making him the last athlete to compete at the black belt level with less than one year as a brown belt.   

Caio Terra was born on 1986 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He started BJJ in the early 2000’s because he was forced to take it by his mother- who had seen him being bullied at school.  As a teenager, he weighed around 85 pounds, and did not enjoy taking BJJ lessons. In fact, his mother joined the class to encourage him to continue with it.   

Mother and son trained at the Fight Zone academy in Copacabana, led by Rodrigo Medeiros and Ricardo Vieira. 

Caio did not dedicate himself in jiu jitsu until after he received his blue belt and competed in his first tournament.   While he won his first match, he was so nervous, he asked his coaches if he could quit. However, he persevered and continued to win additional matches until he lost in the finals in a close battle with his future competition rival, Bruno Malfacine.

After his exciting experience, Caio decided to take training seriously and trained every day, twice a day.  He continued having success at tournaments, placing 2nd in 2004 at the IBJJF World Championships in the blue belt division.  Shortly afterwards, Caio left Fight Zone and moved to Paulo Mauricio Strauch’s academy.

At this time, Caio also built a mini academy in his home- by removing a few walls and matting the floors.  Using this home academy, Caio improved exponentially, as he had visitors day and night, and he trained throughtout the day with these guests.  He received his black belt on July 2006, making his white to black belt journey one of the fastest ever.

On his second year at black belt, Caio won the IBJJF World Championships, and moved to the United States, after an invitiation from Cesar Gracie.  Caio remained at Cesar’s academy for 4 years, until he was dismissed in November 2012- as Cesar was upset at Caio for helping Carlos Condit train in preparation for his first with George Saint Pierre at UFC 154.  Because Carlos was a welterweight title contender, Cesar saw this as a betrayal, as his academy had another welterweight contender- team member Nick Diaz.

Since leaving, Caio established a successful academy in San Jose, California, the Caio Terra Academy, as well as creating the Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association, which now has over 50 schools nationally and internationally, from Hawaii to Switzerland.

Accomplished Competitor and Coach.  

Caio is a 10 time IBJJF Black Belt No Gi World Champion and a IBJJF Black Belt World Champion (with the gi) in 2008 and 2013.  Additionally, he is a four time Rio de Janeiro state champion and a five time Brazilian National Champion.

Not only is Caio one of the winningest competitors of all time, he has proven to be an exemplary Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach as well.  He has coached Yuri Simoes to two ADCC World Championships (2015, 2017) as well as IBJJF World No GI Champion at weight and absolute in 2014 and 2016.  

He is also the coach of Mikey Musumeci, who under his tutelage (when he moved from ATOS/AOJ to Caio Terra Association in 2016) has won the IBJJF World Champion Black Belt Peso Pluma (64kg, 154 lbs) division in 2017 and 2018- becoming the only American to win  the title twice in their career.

Career Highlights

  • IBJJF World Champion 2008/2013
  • IBJJF World No Gi Champion 2008-2017 (Ten Time World No Gi Champion)
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion 2011/2012/2013
  • USBJJF/ IBJJF American Nationals Champion 2010*/2011**/2012
  • USBJJF/ IBJJF American Nationals No Gi Champion 2012*
  • IBJJF European Open Champion 2014/2015/2016/2017/2018
  • IBJJF European No Gi Open Champion 2013**
  • IBJJF Las Vegas Open Champion 2010**/2011**/2012
  • UKBJJF/IBJJF British National Champion 2015**
  • UKBJJF/IBJJF British National No Gi Champion 2015**
  • IBJJF World Championship Runner-Up 2009-2011, 2017 (2005 Blue Belt)
  • IBJJF Pan-American Championship Runner-Up 2010
  • IBJJF World No Gi Championship Runner-Up 2008
  • USBJJF/IBJJF American National Championship Runner-Up 2010/2012/2014
  • Metamoris 1 Super fight winner
  • FTW Bantamweight GI and No Gi Title Holder

*Absolute **Weight and Absolute

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