Dean Lister

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Dean Lister
Born (1976-02-13) February 13, 1976 (age 46)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Other namesThe Boogeyman, The Machine, Mr. Fister
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach75 in (191 cm)
StyleWrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Catch wrestling, Sambo, Submission Wrestling.
TeamFabio Santos Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (until 2003)
Victory MMA[1]
Rank   4th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jeffrey Higgs
Years active2000-2009; 2012, 2015
Mixed martial arts record
By submission11
By decision2
By decision7
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record

Dean Richard Lister (born February 13, 1976) is a retired American mixed martial artist. A professional from 2000 until 2015, he fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, PRIDE Fighting Championships, and California-based promotion King of the Cage, where he rose to prominence as a Middleweight Champion. Lister's sparring partner and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Tito Ortiz, invited him to be his assistant grappling coach on the third season of the Spike TV reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.


Lister grew up in a military family and lived in several South American countries, including Venezuela and Panama. Lister speaks several languages. He lived in Panama during the U.S. invasion in 1989, and, according to Lister, he was "right in the middle of a serious combat zone".[2] After living in several different cities in the United States, Lister's family settled in San Diego for Lister's high school years, where he attended Hilltop High School[3]


Lister often fought as a kid, mostly due to a combination of being the "new kid", a foreigner, and being small for his age. The need to protect himself led Lister to wrestling and martial arts. He started wrestling in high school, and became the high school division wrestling champion and a U.S. National Sambo Champion. Shortly after graduating from high school, Lister visited the Fábio Santos Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in San Diego with his wrestling teammates, and became very interested in the sport. He started competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1996, six months after he started training.

From 1997-2003, Lister worked as an instructor for Santos. Lister teaches both beginner and advanced students at Victory MMA in San Diego. The classes typically begin with Dean teaching submission grappling techniques from various grappling arts he's accumulated during the years, followed by sparring.[4]

He maintains that it is "the biggest and most challenging sport that exists".[2] Lister does not favor any particular technique, although he is mostly known for his leg attacks (foot locks and knee locks). Lister is a high school division wrestling champion, two-time U.S. National Sambo champion, four-time U.S. Machado National Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion (weight class and open classes), and a National Gracie Jiu Jitsu champion. He also holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, given to him by Jeffrey Higgs, who holds a black belt under Fábio Santos.

Lister was invited three times (2000, 2003, and 2005) to the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) championship, a prestigious grappling tournament consisting only of the top 16 grapplers in the world of each weight class. Lister won the Abu Dhabi Absolute Division championship in 2003, as well as two Superfights in 2003 and 2005; in addition, he set a tournament record by defeating 4 of his opponents consecutively (3 by submission) in 2003.

It is worth noting that one of Lister's MMA losses is against Nathan Marquardt, despite previously submitting him in the 2003 ADCC tournament.[5]

Lister was a King of the Cage Middleweight Champion, and defended his title several times before losing to Jeremy Horn in a Light Heavyweight fight. KOTC stripped Dean of his title after the loss, even though it was at a higher weight class. Years later, Lister avenged this loss by submitting Jeremy Horn with a guillotine choke in the TUF 7 finale.

Lister lost a three-round unanimous decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 92 on December 27, 2008, dropping his UFC record to 4–2. He subsequently requested to be released from his UFC contract, and has since signed with the Maximum Fighting Championship.

Dean Lister and Renato Sobral fought to a draw at Metamoris 3 a submission-only jiu-jitsu match.[6]


Lister won the 2003 ADCC Absolute World championship and was the 2005 Superfight champion, defeating Jean Jacques Machado. He claimed the gold medal again in 2011 in the under 99 kg division by submitting João Assis in the final by a heel hook. He also submitted jiu-jitsu world champion Rodolfo Vieira, in his weight division, also with a heel hook.[7] At the 2013 ADCC in Beijing, China, Lister defeated Cristiano Lazzarini in the semi-finals of the under 99 kg division by heel hook but would go on to lose on points in the finals to João Assis; In the absolute division Lister submitted both Hideki Sekine and João Gabriel Rocha by heel hook before losing to Marcus Almeida in the semi-finals. Lister also lost to Keenan Cornelius in the bronze medal match both on points.

In 2022, Lister earned the honor of being part of the inaugural class of the ADCC Hall of Fame and was the first American to be included.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Lister was formerly married to model Flavia Mazoni.[9] In April 2021, Lister was hospitalized due to being involved in a hit and run which resulted in a ruptured spleen.[10]

Dean Lister portrait taken during his seminar in Pedro Bessa BJJ Gym, Cork, Ireland.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
20 matches 13 wins 7 losses
By submission 11 0
By decision 2 7
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 13–7 Michael Knaap Submission (heel hook) Fightor 1 January 17, 2015 1 N/A Charleroi, Belgium
Win 12–7 Rodney Moore Submission (inverted heel hook) Cage Contender 13 March 28, 2012 3 2:44 Belfast, Northern Ireland
Loss 11–7 Thales Leites Decision (unanimous) MFC 23 December 4, 2009 3 5:00 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Loss 11–6 Yushin Okami Decision (unanimous) UFC 92 December 27, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–5 Jeremy Horn Submission (guillotine choke) TUF 7 Finale June 21, 2008 1 3:53 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–5 Jordan Radev Decision (unanimous) UFC 79 December 29, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 9–5 Nate Marquardt Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 8 January 25, 2007 3 5:00 Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 9–4 Yuki Sasaki Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 6 August 17, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–4 Alessio Sakara Submission (triangle choke) UFC 60 May 27, 2006 1 2:20 Los Angeles, California, United States
Loss 7–4 Ricardo Arona Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Total Elimination 2005 April 23, 2005 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Opening round.
Win 7–3 Akira Shoji Submission (triangle choke) PRIDE Bushido 6 April 3, 2005 1 3:13 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 6–3 Amar Suloev Decision (split) PRIDE Bushido 4 July 19, 2004 2 5:00 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 6–2 Jeremy Horn Decision (majority) KOTC 31: King of the Cage 31 December 6, 2003 4 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States For the KOTC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 6–1 James Lee Submission (armbar) KOTC 29: Renegades September 5, 2003 1 N/A San Jacinto, California, United States Defended the KOTC Middleweight Championship.
Win 5–1 Brian Sleeman Submission (double armbar) KOTC 25: Flaming Fury June 29, 2003 1 1:14 San Jacinto, California, United States Defended the KOTC Middleweight Championship.
Win 4–1 Brendan Seguin Submission (triangle choke) KOTC 16: Double Cross August 2, 2002 3 4:37 San Jacinto, California, United States Won the KOTC Middleweight Championship.
Win 3–1 Jacen Flynn Submission (kimura) KOTC 12: Cold Blood February 9, 2002 2 4:28 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 2–1 Jerry Jenkins Submission (heel hook) KOTC 11: Domination September 29, 2001 1 4:24 San Jacinto, California, United States
Loss 1–1 Jacen Flynn Decision (split) KOTC 7: Wet and Wild February 24, 2001 3 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 1–0 John Jensen Submission (kneebar) KOTC 5: Cage Wars September 16, 2000 1 1:50 San Jacinto, California, United States

Grappling record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
39 matches 24 wins 13 losses
By submission 19 3
By decision 5 10
Draws 2
Result Opponent Method Event Division Year
Loss Russia Muhammad Kerimov Submission (shoulder injury during an Ezekiel choke) ACBJJ Superfight 2015
Loss Brazil Yuri Simoes Points (3-5) ADCC 2015 Absolute 2015
Win Brazil Ricardo Mesquita Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2015 Absolute 2015
Loss United States Orlando Sánchez Referee Decision ADCC 2015 +99 2015
Win South Korea Hyung Chul-Lee Submission (armlock) ADCC 2015 +99 2015
Loss United States Keenan Cornelius Submission (reverse triangle choke) Polaris Professional Jiu Jitsu Invitational Superfight 2015
Loss United States Josh Barnett Submission (scarf-hold choke) Metamoris IV Superfight 2014
Draw Brazil Renato Sobral Draw Metamoris III Superfight 2014
Win Finland Janne-Pekka Pietiläinen Referee Decision Macaco Branco Primates Superfight 2014
Win Brazil Tarsis Humphreys Submission (heel hook) World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Superfight 2013
Loss United States Keenan Cornelius Points ADCC 2013 Absolute 2013
Loss Brazil Marcus Almeida Points ADCC 2013 Absolute 2013
Win Brazil João Gabriel Rocha Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2013 Absolute 2013
Win Japan Hideki Sekine Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2013 Absolute 2013
Loss Brazil João Assis Points ADCC 2013 -99 kg 2013
Win Brazil Cristiano Lazzarini Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2013 -99 kg 2013
Win United States Ezra Lenon Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2013 -99 kg 2013
Win China Jia Jing Jang Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2013 -99 kg 2013
Loss Brazil João Assis Referee Decision Grapplers Quest: UFC Fan Expo Absolute 2013
Win United States Kyle Griffin Submission (toe hold) Grapplers Quest: UFC Fan Expo Absolute 2013
Draw Brazil Alexandre Ribeiro Draw Metamoris I Superfight 2012
Win Brazil Ricardo Abreu Submission (heel hook) Grapplers Quest: UFC Fan Expo Superfight 2012
Win Brazil João Assis Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2011 -99 kg 2011
Win Brazil Rodolfo Vieira Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2011 -99 kg 2011
Win Poland Radek Turek Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2011 -99 kg 2011
Win Brazil Augusto Ferrari Points ADCC 2011 -99 kg 2011
Loss Brazil Vinny Magalhães Points ADCC 2009 Absolute 2009
Loss Brazil Glover Teixeira Points ADCC 2009 -99 kg 2009
Win Denmark Andreas Olsen Submission (triangle choke) ADCC 2009 -99 kg 2009
Win Brazil Jean Jacques Machado Points ADCC 2005 Superfight 2005
Win Brazil Alexandre Ferreira Submission (heel hook) ADCC 2003 Absolute 2003
Win Brazil Márcio Cruz Points (3-0) ADCC 2003 Absolute 2003
Win Brazil Saulo Ribeiro Submission (kneebar) ADCC 2003 Absolute 2003
Win United States Nate Marquardt Submission (kimura) ADCC 2003 Absolute 2003
Loss Brazil Alexandre Ribeiro Points ADCC 2003 -99 kg 2003
Win Sweden Ilir Latifi Submission (guillotine choke) ADCC 2003 -99 kg 2003
Loss United States Marc Laimon Points (2-4) Grapplers Quest West Absolute 2000
Win Peru Tony DeSouza Points (4-2) Grapplers Quest West Absolute 2000
Win United States Sean Sprangler Submission (neck crank) Grapplers Quest West Absolute 2000

Grappling credentials[edit]

ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships

ADCC 2013 –99 kg: 2nd Place

ADCC 2011 –99 kg: 1st Place

ADCC 2005 Superfight championship: Defeated Jean Jacques Machado.

ADCC 2003 –98 kg: Absolute/Open weight: 1st Place

ADCC 2002 North American Trials -99 kg: 1st Place

Record of opponents:

  • Won: Jean Jacques Machado (pts 9-0), Iiir Latifi (sub-guillotine), Nathan Marquardt (sub-kimura), Saulo Ribeiro (sub-kneelock), Marcio 'Pe De Pano' Cruz (pts 3-0), Alexandre Ferreira 'Cacareco' (sub-heelhook), Masutatsu Yano (sub-rear naked choke), Augusto Ferrari (pts 2-0), Radek Turek (sub-heelhook), Rodolfo Vieira (sub-heelhook), Joao Assis (sub-heelhook), Ricardo "Demente" Abreu (sub-heelhook)
  • Lost: Xande Ribeiro (pts), Ricardo Almeida (pts), Vinny Magalhaes (pts)
  • Draw: Xande Ribeiro (Metamoris Pro 2012)


High school division wrestling champion.

Two-time national (US) sambo champion.

Four-time Machado National (US) BJJ champion.

National (US) Gracie BJJ champion.

Three-time ADCC submission wrestling World champion


  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Dean Lister". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  2. ^ a b UFC. "Dean Lister profile". Archived from the original on 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  3. ^ "Jocko Podcast 137 w/ Dean Lister: If You Know the Way Broadly, You Will See It in All Things". YouTube.
  4. ^ (2006). "Official Homepage of Dean Lister". Official Homepage of Dean Lister, World Champion Grappler. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
  5. ^ ADCC 2003 - Dean Lister vs. Nathan Marquardt at youtube
  6. ^ "Metamoris 3: Bravo vs. Gracie Results". Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Dean Lister Becomes First American in ADCC Hall of Fame". 4 January 2022.
  9. ^ Dean Lister Comes Home for UFC Debut Saturday "I had a lot of personal issues with my ex-wife and family stuff and I lost a lot of my motivation," Lister admitted. He attended San Diego State University.
  10. ^ BjjTribes (2021-04-20). "BJJ legend Dean Lister hospitalized with ruptured spleen after hit and run". BjjTribes. Retrieved 2021-04-20.

External links[edit]