Master Vagner RochaVagner Rocha Martial Arts was founded by Master Vagner Rocha, who is regarded as one of the top Grappling and MMA competitors in South Florida and beyond.

As the head instructor, Professor Rocha has competed in the most prestigious MMA promotions including the UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce. Vagner also has competed several of the regional MMA promotions in South Florida and is also widely regarded as one of the fiercest competitors on the professional grappling circuit.

VRMA is well known for being a family oriented academy with the highest level of instruction. We are proud to offer some of the best child, adult and women specific programs in South Florida.


Vagner Rocha was born in the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro and moved to the US at a young age. After visiting his family in Brazil as a teen, his older cousin showed him some Jiu Jitsu, and easily dominated him. When he returned to Florida, he began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the famed Master Pablo Popovitch and showed great talent right away. He demonstrated his grappling abilities by becoming one of the best competitors in South Florida, winning the Pan American Jiu Jitsu Championship and Placing 3rd in the World Jiu Jitsu Championship as a brown belt. He is also a multiple time Champion in NAGA, Grapplers Quest and Copa America. In 2007 Pablo awarded Vagner his Black Belt and he completed his certified instructor training.

Vagner began his professional MMA career in 2009 and in only his second fight he defeated Igor Gracie in the Bellator Fighting Championship. He continued with opportunities in Strikeforce and also competed and won the ADCC Trials. In 2011 Vagner made his UFC debut against top lightweight contender Donald Cerrone. In his second bout he defeated Ultimate Fighter alumni Cody McKenzie by rear naked choke. Vagner went on to fight several times in the UFC as well as being Fight Time Promotions only lightweight champion, holding the title for 6 years. Vagner has continued to actively compete in the surging professional grappling circuits having won matches in the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Submission Underground, Fight to Win Pro. Vagner is also the inaugural Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds Lightweight Champion which combines elite grapplers with open palm striking. In 2017 Vagner was the ADCC Bronze Medalist, the most prestigious and elite no gi grappling event in the world.  

Vagner continues to compete in professional grappling and MMA, FloGrappling said of Vagner:  “The 2017 ADCC bronze medalist, previous IBJJF Pan champion, and current Combat Jiu-Jitsu champion wants to break his opponents — mentally, physically, it’s all the same to Rocha. And we love it…There are few grapplers who are more entertaining to watch”

Personal Life

Vagner Rocha, kids and wifeMaster Rocha is married and a father of two. His wife, son and daughter also practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and they are always supporting him in his grappling and MMA career. Additionally, both of Vagner’s children are accomplished competitors in their own right having won multiple IBJJF grappling championships between them. 


 Inside the Academy

Vagner Rocha Martial Arts

Vagner makes sure every student receives the individual attention needed to constantly improve to the next phase of training. He attends every class and has a hands on approach, monitoring every student’s progress and growth. The curriculum can cater to not just to competitors, but also to men, women and children who need to get in shape, learn self defense and gain confidence in their ability and sense of self.



  • 2018 FIGHT TO WIN 68 (MIAMI, FL) Champion (Defeated Bill Cooper)
  • 2018 FIGHT TO WIN PRO 58 (Sacramento, CA) Champion
  • 2017 Submission Underground 6 Champion (Defeated Jesse Taylor)
  • 2017 Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds Lightweight Champion
  • 2017 EBI 13 Finalist (defeated Issa Able, PJ Barch & Nathan Orchad)
  • 2017 ADCC Finland Submission Wrestling World Championship- Bronze Medalist (defeated Garry Tonon)
  • 2017 ADCC West Trials Qualifier – Champion (defeated AJ Agarzam)
  • 2017 Fight Time 35 Tittle Belt Champion
  • 2017 EBI 11 Finalist (defeated Craig Jones) 
  • 2017 Fight Time 35 Lightweight Winner (defeated Yoislandy Izquierdo) 
  • 2016 FTP Lightweight Tittle Belt Champion  
  • 2016 FTW PRO 14 Winner (defeated AJ Agarzam)
  • 2016 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight TKO Winner (defeated Rafael Alves)
  • 2016 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight TKO Winner (defeated Gabriel Miranda)
  • 2015 ADCC Sao Paulo Competitor (defeated Romulo Barral)
  • 2015 ADCC North American Qualifier FL – Champion
  • 2013 Best Pro MMA Fighter of the Year Award
  • 2013 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Award
  • 2013 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight Champion (defeated Randy Barroso) 
  • 2013 Copa America Lakeland  Expert Absolute Gi and No Gi division
  • 2013 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight Champion (defeated JP Reese) 
  • 2013 ADCC North American Trials OH – Silver Medalist
  • 2013 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight Champion
  • 2012 Fight Time Promotions Lightweight/ISKA Champion
  • 2012 Copa America Grappling Champion Weight & Absolute
  • 2011 UFC Fight Night Champion (defeated Cody Mackenzie)
  • 2011 World Pro Abu Dhabi 2011 No Gi 3rd Place Weight
  • 2011 World Pro Abu Dhabi 2011 No Gi 3rd Place Absolute
  • 2011 Absolute Champion Deland, BJJ Open
  • 2011 Absolute Abu Dhabi World Professional Trial Jiu Jitsu Champion
  • 2010 ADCC North American Trials NY – Champion
  • 2010 Florida Extreme Grappling Absolute – Champion
  • 2010 Bellator Fighting Championship  – Champion via TKO (defeated Francisco Soares)
  • 2010 Action Fight League Rock-N-Rumble 2 MMA – Champion
  • 2009 Noche de Combate Lima, Peru MMA – Champion
  • 2009 Florida Grappling League 170lbs Weight – Champion
  • 2009 Florida Grappling League Absolute – Champion
  • 2009 Grapplers Quest Weight – Champion
  • 2009 Grapplers Quest Absolute – Champion
  • 2009 Bellator Fighting Championship 11- Champion (Defeated Igor Gracie)
  • 2009 NAGA Absolute – Champion
  • 2008 World IBJJF Jiu Jitsu – 3rd Place
  • 2007 Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu – Champion
  • 2007 NAGA Miami Super Fight – Champion
  • 2006 NAGA West Palm Beach Absolute – Champion
  • 2003 -2005 6 Time NAGA Advance Division – Champion
  • 2002 NAGA Champion Gi & No Gi
  • 3 Time Copa America Absolute – Finalist
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt Certified Instructor
  • UFC Fighter Veteran

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