Brazilian Top Team

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Brazilian Top Team
Brazilian Top Team (logo).jpg
Est. 2000
Founded by Murilo Bustamante
Ricardo Libório
Mário Sperry
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)
Training facilities

Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Headquarters)

United States Long Beach, California
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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.[1]

Rivalry with Chute Boxe[edit]

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 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:


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 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."[citation needed]

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.[10][11]

Notable fighters[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Brazilian Top Team, Long Beach". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to Brazilian Top Team Boston". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  4. ^ "Brazilian Top Team - Karate in Boca Raton". Boca Raton, Florida, United States: Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to Brazilian Top Team Florida". Florida, United States: Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  6. ^ "Brazilian Top Team Melbourne". Melbourne, Florida, United States: Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Brazilian Top Team Cocoa Beach". Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States: Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  8. ^ "alivemma_new". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  9. ^ "alivemma_new". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  10. ^ "The downfall of BTT and Chute Boxe". 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Brazilian MMA expanding, exciting fights are on the way, July 25, 2007". 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 

External links[edit]