90's BJJ black belt vs today's purple - Who wins?

BJJ has evolved tremendously the past couple of decades. So much so that there has been talk online that the 1993 version of Royce Gracie is more or less at par with today’s blue belt world champion (lol).

While I don’t necessarily agree with the Royce comparison, I do believe that today’s practitioners (around purple belt level and above) are miles better than the black belt of the 90’s. That said, if let’s say a guy like Nicky Ryan (purple) grapples the 90’s version of Royler Gracie (black) - who do you think wins and why?

90’s BJJ Black Belt, all day. These guys set the standards, they knew the sport even before YouTube. They felt the moves and discovered them first hand. Hence, they know the intricacies of each and every position and move that go along with it.

Perfect example: Xande Riberio. Have you seen how he schooled a bunch of black belts in recent competition with the most basic move of them all. The arm bar — from everywhere!

The true definition and representation of the belt. I think the belt themselves is already enough argument.

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That’s a very solid counterpoint @jiujatesu, yeah guys like Xande/Saulo are beasts regardless of generation.

I think the ruleset is also a determining factor in this topic now that I think about it. In the IBJJF setting, a 90’s monster like the Xande can definitely be a problem even today, but for sub-only it could be a different story with all of the leg entanglements that have now been added to the meta game. Who knows though, but it’s always cool to speculate.

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Indeed! Involving reaps, and heel hooks represents a whole different ball game. I guess we could say we can break down the topic into either Gi or No Gi! :clap:

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I doubt a purple belt today could beat guys like the Ribeiro brothers, especially in their prime.

On the other hand, some of these high level purple belt guys are absolute monsters, and can probably get the best of your average hobbyist blackbelt 9/10 times (not that blackbelts are ‘average’ but you get me).