Robert Drysdale

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"Possibly the most accomplished American Grappler of his generation"[1]

Robert Drysdale
Legacy Rob.jpg
Legacy Light Heavyweight Championship
BornRobert Lewis Drysdale
(1981-10-05) October 5, 1981 (age 37)
Provo, Utah, United States
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
DivisionLight heavyweight
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu
TeamZenith BJJ/Drysdale JJ
Rankblack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Mixed martial arts record
By submission7
No contests1
Other information
Notable studentsForrest Griffin, Frank Mir, Randy Couture, Dan Hardy, Evan Dunham, Brad Tavares, Michelle Nicolini, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Kevin Randleman, Phil Baroni, Kevin Lee, James McSweeney, Joe Stevenson, Jay Hieron.
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Robert Drysdale
Medal record
Representing  United States
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2007 New Jersey, US -99 kg
Gold medal – first place 2007 New Jersey, US Absolute
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2005 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -94 kg
Silver medal – second place 2006 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -94 kg
Silver medal – second place 2007 Los Angeles, US -94 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Los Angeles, US Absolute

Robert Lewis Drysdale[2] (born October 5, 1981 in Provo, Utah) is an American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and professional mixed martial artist currently signed with the Legacy Fighting Championship & is the current Light Heavyweight Champion. Born in the United States to a Brazilian mother and American father, he moved to Brazil with his family in 1987 at the age of six.

As a young man, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to begin college. While in the United States, following his growing interest in martial arts, he began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Lewis-Perderneiras in 1998 and carried out a submission victory over Marcelo Garcia in 2007. Drysdale also made a successful MMA debut defeating Bastien Huveneers via arm triangle choke.

Early life[edit]

Beginning in the early 1990s, jiu-jitsu began growing in popularity worldwide and Brazil was quickly becoming the Mecca of jiu-jitsu. Robert returned to Brazil in 2002 to dedicate himself entirely to training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Over the years he has trained continually, initially with Maromba Club and eventually team Brasa Jiu-Jitsu Club in São Paulo, Brazil.

While training and competing for Brasa Club he received his Black Belt in 2004[citation needed] from Léo Vieira.

In Brazil, he went on to win multiple national and world titles including the IBJJF world championship as a Black belt in 2005

He has competed and taught in various countries around the world, including Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, France, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand; while teaching and hosting seminars in cities across the United States.

In 2007 he won the prestigious ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship – Open Division ADCC, submitting Marcelo Garcia in just over two minutes. A feat considered to be the equivalent of "out-swimming" Michael Phelps.[3] That same year he was regarded as the best Submission Wrestler in the World by Gracie Magazine.[4]

In early 2008, he returned to the USA where he trained with former UFC Champion, Randy Couture and former Pride Champion Wanderlei Silva. That same year he opened Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu in Las Vegas, still in operation today.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Robert Drysdale made his amateur MMA debut with Tuff-N-Uff, winning his fight.[5] Robert Drysdale was introduced on Countdown to UFC 101 as the BJJ coach of former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. He was also selected as a coach on TUF season 8 for the team coached by Frank Mir.

Drysdale made a successful professional MMA debut defeating Bastien Huveneers via arm triangle choke.[6] In his next fight, Drysdale faced Clay Davidson, a King of the Cage veteran who entered the contest riding a six-fight win streak. Drysdale won via armbar in the first round.[7]

It was announced on February 16, 2012 that Drysdale has signed a multi-fight deal with Legacy Fighting Championship.[8] Drysdale eventually made his debut at Legacy Fighting Championships 12 and went on to defeat Isaac Villanueva, Chris Reed and D.J. Linderman under the Legacy FC banner all by submission in the first round.[9]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Drysdale was expected to make his promotional debut against Ednaldo Oliveira on August 3, 2013 at UFC 163.[10] However, Drysdale pulled out of the bout in mid-July citing a lingering staph infection.[11]

Drysdale's debut was rescheduled for UFC 167, where he was slated to meet Cody Donovan. However, after failing an out-of-competition drug test, with a 19.4/1 T/E ratio, the Nevada State Athletic Commission ultimately declined to license him.[12]

Drysdale eventually made his debut on July 6, 2014 against promotion newcomer Keith Berish at The Ultimate Fighter 19 finale.[13] He won the fight via submission in the first round. When asked after the fight by the announcer if he had jitters Drysdale said "I fight for my own personal reasons. I love the crowd, I love my friends, family, people who support me all these years. The pressure I put on myself, is myself only. It doesn't really matter where I am."[14] However, Drysdale later failed a post-fight drug test for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 12:1. After failing his second drug test, Drysdale was released by the UFC.[15]

In early 2016, Drysdale was brought in as the grappling coach for Joanna Jędrzejczyk's team on The Ultimate Fighter season 23.

Film Producer[edit]

In March 2018 Drysdale announced that he was involved in a Documentary production titled “Closed Guard: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil.” The film being about how the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu developed from the first Japanese immigrants onward. According to Drysdale, the goal of the film was to tell a complete account about how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu drifted away from its Kodokan roots and became such a unique art. Additionally, the purpose of the film is to give credit to many forgotten names that made Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu possible, as well as acknowledge other already accredited names. The film, currently in production, has no release date yet.

Grappling credentials[edit]

2007 (Black Belt)[edit]

  • 1st place in the Abu-Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships – Open Division (ADCC)
  • 3rd place in the Abu-Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships – -99 kg Division (ADCC)
  • 2nd place in the BJJ World Championships (IBJJF/CBJJ)
  • 3rd place in the BJJ World Championships – Open Division (IBJJF/CB

2005 (Black Belt)[edit]

  • 3x times BJJ World Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
  • 1st place Black Belt World Championships (CBJJO)

2004 (Brown/Black Belt)[edit]

  • 2x National Brazilian National Champion (IBJJF/CBJJ)
  • 1st place in the Brazilian National Championship open division (IBJJF/CBJJ)
  • 3rd place World Championship (IBJJf/CBJJ)
  • 1st place in the Scandinavian open
  • 1st place in the Scandinavian open absolute division

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 7–0 (1) Ryan Spann Submission (rear-naked choke) Legacy FC 58 July 22, 2016 2 2:58 Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States Won the Legacy FC Light Heavyweight Championship.
NC 6–0 (1) Keith Berish NC (overturned by NSAC) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn Finale July 6, 2014 1 2:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission (rear-naked choke) win overturned to NC; Drysdale tested positive for elevated testosterone.
Win 6–0 D.J. Linderman Submission (rear-naked choke) Legacy FC 19 April 12, 2013 1 1:48 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 5–0 Chris Reed Submission (armbar) Legacy FC 15 November 16, 2012 1 1:15 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 4–0 Isaac Villanueva Submission (armbar) Legacy FC 12 July 13, 2012 1 1:27 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 3–0 Mike Nickels Submission (guillotine choke) AFC 6: Conviction June 18, 2011 1 1:04 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Win 2–0 Clay Davidson Submission (armbar) AFC 4: Revelation November 6, 2010 1 2:54 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Win 1–0 Bastien Huveneers Submission (arm-triangle choke) AFC 3: Evolution July 17, 2010 1 1:12 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Robert Drysdale | BJJ Heroes". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^
  5. ^ "Robert Drysdale MMA amateur debut a success". 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  6. ^ "Robert Drysdale's MMA Debut Vs. Bastien Huveneers Fight Video AFC 3 – Evolution".
  7. ^ "Weekend winners include Saunders, Ishii, Drysdale, Franchi and Egan". Archived from the original on November 11, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "Legacy Fighting Championships signs Robert Drysdale to multi-fight deal". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ T.P. Grant. "Legacy FC 19 Results and GIFs: Robert Drysdale Remains Undefeated with Quick Submission Win". Bloody Elbow.
  10. ^ Staff (2013-06-04). "Robert Drysdale signs with UFC, meets Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 163". Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  11. ^ Adam Hill (2013-07-16). "Las Vegan Robert Drysdale forced to pull out of UFC debut". Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  12. ^ Steven Marrocco (2013-10-29). "Robert Drysdale denied UFC 167 license due to elevated T/E ratio". Retrieved 2013-10-29.
  13. ^ Zane Simon. "Welcome to the UFC Berish & Letourneau". Retrieved 2014-05-30.
  14. ^ video (2014-07-05). "Robert Drysdale vs. Keith Berish - TUF 19 Finale". Archived from the original on 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
  15. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-07-30). "Kevin Casey and Robert Drysdale flunk post-fight tests at UFC 175, TUF 19 Finale". Retrieved 2014-07-31.

External links[edit]