Brazilian Top Team
|Founded by||Murilo Bustamante
Luis Roberto Duarte
|Past titleholders||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira heavyweight Champion (PrideFC 2001-2003) 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)+
Murilo Bustamante middleweight Champion (UFC 2002) 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Vitor Belfort light-heavyweight Champion (UFC 2004) 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
|Prominent fighters||Ricardo Arona (PrideFC)
Murilo Bustamante (PrideFC) Rousimar Palhares (UFC) Marcello Salazar (IFL)
Long Beach, California
The Brazilian Top Team (BTT) is an academy specialized in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. The academy was established in April 2000 by Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Libório, Mário Sperry and Luis Roberto Duarte, former-members of the Carlson Gracie Academy, to develop and create new training techniques for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, submission grappling and mixed martial arts.
Rivalry with Chute Boxe
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
BTT maintains an intense rivalry with Brazilian mixed martial arts stable Chute Boxe, which is descended from a Muay Thai lineage. BTT traces its lineage to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Carlson Gracie. The most storied chapter of this rivalry was reached at the apex of each teams success in PRIDE FC. Chute Boxe was comprised, at the time, of such fighters as Wanderlei Silva, Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons, Murilo and Shogun Rua, and former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
BTT consisted of top fighters such as, Ricardo Arona, former UFC Middleweight Championship holder Murilo Bustamante, The Nogueira Brothers, Vitor Belfort, Allan Goes, Mario Sperry, and former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho. Competition between the two teams was not limited to Pride FC matches. Bouts between fighters of the two camps had taken place in Brazil, Portugal, the U.S., and other parts of the world on a regular basis.
On August 28, 2005 at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 the finals of Pride's middleweight tournament were held which was intended to crown the world's best 205 lb Mixed Martial Artist. Veterans Mauricio "Shogun" Rua of Chute Boxe, and BTT’s Ricardo Arona, were among the competition. Both scored impressive victories over highly regarded opponents, Alistair Overeem and PRIDE Middleweight Champ Wanderlei Silva respectively. It was Arona’s victory over the latter that would stoke the flames of the rivalry, because until then Silva had been the torch-bearer for Chute Boxe. Later that night, however, “Shogun” would compensate for that loss with a thoroughly dominating first round victory, ultimately finishing Arona by TKO due to strikes.
In April 2000 BTT inaugurated a new center in Brazil for training professional fighters in mixed martial arts. In the new center, the athletes are able to count on teachers of: Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling and the already recognized skills of its teachers of mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Other locations are:
- Montreal, Canada - Fabio Holanda opened Brazilian Top Team Canada upon his arrival in Montreal, which has since become the training ground for prominent UFC Fighters Patrick Côté and UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre.
- Long Beach, California - Marcelo Perdomo (BJJ Black Belt under BTT co-founder Murilo Bustamante opened Brazilian Top Team Long Beach in mid-2004.
- Boston, Massachusetts- In 2003 João C. Amaral and Daniel Gazoni opened Brazilian Top Team Boston, the first recognized BTT dojo in the United States.
- Boca Raton, Florida- João C. Amaral
- West Palm Beach, Florida- João C. Amaral
- Melbourne, Florida- Edgard Dutra (BJJ black belt) BTT Florida
- San Antonio, Texas- Marcello Salazar (BJJ black belt) BTT Texas
- Portland, Oregon- Bill Bradley (BJJ black belt) Alive MMA BTT
- Phuket, Thailand - Tiger Muay Thai Fernando Maccachero (BJJ black belt)
Like Chute Boxe, BTT had fallen on hard times since the sale of PRIDE to Zuffa in 2007. Beginning with the departure of the Nogueira brothers, the team has lost much of their roster including co-founder Mario Sperry, The Nogueira Brothers, and Paulo Filho. Most of this is considered to be due to the fact that with the fall of PRIDE FC and the lower guaranteed pay scale in the U.S., fighters cannot afford to pay the high dues charged by the team. Co-Founder Ricardo Liborio's departure in 2003 to found American Top Team in Florida and the departure of Ed Soares managed fighters in 2006 to the California based Black House has also largely played a part in the teams struggles.
Recently however, things have begun to turn around for BTT. Despite contrasting rumors, Ricardo Arona has publicly stated he is still a member of BTT. In reference to him leaving BTT, he stated in a Sherdog.com interview, that "I’m still on the team. Nothing has changed. I’m not training there by choice, but I still have a connection with Murilo Bustamante, and I don’t have any quarrels with them. We always made it clear that if our opinions ever changed, we would sit down and talk."
A few rumors have also surfaced that Paulo Filho has trained with BTT for his re-match title fight on Sept. 10, 2008 against Chael Sonnen (which he ends up losing). Potentially meaning Filho could return to BTT sometime in the future, due in large to his close friendship with Ricardo Arona, and Anderson Silva.
- Murilo Bustamante - Former UFC middleweight champion, and PRIDE FC Welterweight Grand Prix Finalist. Former competitor for UFC and PRIDE FC
- David Bielkheden - Former competitor for UFC
- Rousimar Palhares - Competitor for UFC
- Marcello Salazar - Former competitor for IFL
- Milton Vieira - Competitor for UFC
- Fernando Paulon
- Patrick Côté - Competitor for UFC
- Vitor Belfort - Former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion/ Current Competitor for UFC / Former competitor for PRIDE FC / Former competitor for Affliction
- Paulo Filho - Former competitor for PRIDE FC / Former WEC Middleweight Champion/ Current competitor for DREAM
- Allan Goes - Former competitor for PRIDE FC / Former competitor for IFL
- Ikuhisa Minowa - Former competitor for PRIDE FC/ DREAM Super Hulk (Open-Weight) Grand Prix champion
- Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira - Former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion / Former Interim Heavyweight Champion for UFC
- Antônio Rogério Nogueira - Former competitor for PRIDE FC / Former competitor for Affliction
- Antonio Silva - Former Heavyweight Champion for Elite XC
- Mario Sperry - Former competitor for PRIDE FC
- BTT Official Site
- Fabio Holanda/BTT Canada Official Site
- Combined Martial Arts Academy - CMAA - Mixed Martial Arts School - New England
- "The downfall of BTT and Chute Boxe". ESPN.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- "Brazilian MMA expanding, exciting fights are on the way, July 25, 2007". ESPN.com. 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-09.