Robert Drysdale Signs with UFC, Will Debut at UFC 163

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2013

For all you hardcore Brazilian jiu-jitsu fans, get ready for one of the biggest signings the UFC has made in recent times.

According to, the UFC has signed world champion jiu-jitsu artist Robert Drysdale to its light heavyweight division. The grappling ace will make his UFC debut in Brazil when he takes on former heavyweight Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 163.

Drysdale trains out of Las Vegas and is the jiu-jitsu coach for many notable fighters in that area. He was seen on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he was the BJJ coach for Frank Mir's team.

Drysdale's MMA career has been incredibly impressive so far, running a 6-0 record. His longest fight in that six-fight span was just under three minutes long.

All of his wins have come via a submission, proving that he is one of the top submission artists in the world. In addition to beating UFC veteran Mike Nickels with a guillotine choke, he has also taken out notables Isaac Villanueva (armbar) and DJ Linderman (rear-naked choke).

Going forward, the UFC has definitely bolstered its light heavyweight division with this top-notch prospect. Nobody in the division will be able to match up grappling-wise with Drysdale, who could be a contender if he develops some striking.

His fight against Oliveira will be a real litmus test for him. The former heavyweight competitor makes his 205-pound debut against Drysdale, so he will likely have the size advantage.

Oliveira has good boxing skills and was a main sparring partner of Junior dos Santos. He gets good training and will be ready for a specialist like Drysdale.

Time will tell how good Drysdale will be, but with a great jiu-jitsu base like his, there is no reason why he cannot be a contender in the division. Guys like Vinny Magalhaes have used a superior BJJ base to carve out a pretty solid place in the organization.