One of the most decorated champions in the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, eight-time BJJ World Champion Michelle Nicolini began her martial arts journey by training in capoeira at age 14. Driven by a desire to compete and test her skills, she traded capoeira for BJJ at age 17, and has never looked back since. She proved to be a prodigious talent, earning her BJJ black belt in an astonishingly quick six years.
Nicolini went on to win a series of accolades in BJJ as a black belt, including eight IBJJF world titles, an Abu Dhabi Combat Club no-gi grappling title, double gold at the BJJ European championships, and three Pan-American championships. She is also one of the few women admitted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame.
Although she made her professional cage debut in 2011, Nicolini juggled her new career with competing on the mats, and suffered as a result. To fully focus on her dreams of world championship glory in the cage, she retired from BJJ competition in 2016 and is reaping the benefits. Now, with her sights set on the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship, she is determined to utilize her world-beating BJJ to devastating effect.