When i answer these types of questions, i look at it as who implements the style best in MMA. in that case it is big nog hands down. although he is sloppy with stand up of late, nog is beautiful to watch on the ground and it is truly amazing and awe inspiring how such a big man can utilize JJ in his weight class. to see him throw submissions from his guard is thrilling to watch ad every fighter besides fedor knows that big nog's guard is not where you want to be. nog has shown great versatility by utilizing such techniques as the anaconda choke (my 2nd favorite submission
), armbar, triangle choke, arm triangle, rear naked choke, guillotine, key locks and most recently the guillotine. in his first recognized professional fight he was able to get a submission due to a crucifix, i mean that says it all right there. he has brought JJ to its highest level and makes me proud to have an athlete of his caliber in the style i love.
while the answer to the question is obviously nog, it is the number two spot where i hit a rough patch. i would have to say it is a tie between mir and werdum. now the reason i have to go with mir here is because i am assuming he is back to the shape he was in before the accident where he was just schooling the UFC HWs on the lessons of JJ. he was constantly moving and was very mythotical in his guard throwing up submissions that caught his opponents off-guard (pun intended btw
). in his fight with lesnar i saw signs of his old self. he was keeping an active guard against a wrecking machine in lesnar and threw up two solid armbar attempts and eventually clinched the kneebar to win it. if he is back to his old self he is a fighter to look out for. werdum has always been a great JJ fighter in MMA who utilizes the triangle very well. he was able to choke out aleks which speaks to his skill and made GG scared of his guard. the fight against RZ where he got an armbar and a triangle at the same time was beautiful and werdum has shown such beauy in most of his fights. unfortunately he has not been able to grace the UFC with his submissions skills but the HWs should be wary of his JJ.
Now, i could not pick roger gracie because his JJ is relatively unknown in terms of how he uses it in MMA. GG has great credentials but never uses it in MMA for some reason. pe de pano only has one submission in MMA and monson doesn't really have a great guard as most of his submissions are chokes (if not all of them). AA is not JJ and he only has 3 submissions. AA, Fedor and Aleks are all disqualified form this because they are all sambo
. so, i have to go with my rankings as such:
2) Mir (mir and werdum are tied imo but i would give the slightest edge to werdum)