Bill Cooper, affectionately known as “Bill the Grill”, is widely renowned as a pioneering figure in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Grappling. Born on February 28, 1987, in Santa Barbara, California, Cooper has etched his name permanently into the annals of BJJ for his unique fighting style and prowess on the mat. With a pedigree rooted in the prestigious Jean Jacques Machado lineage, Bill Cooper commands respect and admiration from Grappling and BJJ enthusiasts all over the globe.
Bill Cooper was serendipitously introduced to the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the tender age of 12 when he enrolled at Ricardo Franjinha’s Paragon Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Santa Barbara, California. Despite a benign introduction, he quickly fell in love with the martial art and started showing promise as a formidable teenager, striking fear into opponents in various junior tournaments.
Cooper’s innate talent paired with the expert mentorship of Franjinha propelled him into a fast-paced journey of growth and mastery of the sport. With Franjinha’s coaching and guidance, Cooper’s style evolved – bringing a perfect blend of aggressiveness, speed, technique, and intelligence to the mix.
Drawing attention from around the BJJ community for his distinct, action-packed style and aggressiveness, Bill was soon dubbed “Bill the Grill”.
Throughout his illustrious career, Cooper has racked up an impressive tally of achievements, many before he even earned his black belt. His major achievements include:
• Two-time Pan American No-Gi Champion – Black Belt Division (2011, 2009)
• Pan American Brown Belt Champion (2007)
• American National No-Gi Champion – Black Belt Division (2009)
• Grapplers Quest Pro Division Champion (2007)
• Mundial Jin-Jitsu Champion – Purple Belt Division (2005)
• Competition in prestigious promotions like Professional Fighters League and Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Despite his major accomplishments, one of the most significant highlights of his career is the infamous match against Kron Gracie at the 2007 Pan American Championship. Kron, son of the legendary Rickson Gracie, was unbeaten until he met Bill “The Grill” Cooper. In a match that shook the jiu-jitsu world, Cooper submitted Kron with a triangle choke, breaking his unbeaten run.
Cooper is also known for his extraordinary ability to transition between jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts seamlessly – a feat not many are able to master. Not one to stray away from a challenge, Cooper has also delved into the realms of mixed martial arts, launching his professional MMA career in 2009.
In a thrilling journey that has seen ups, downs, and epic triumphs, Bill Cooper has truly etched his name among the legends of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His unique style, aggressive approach, and incredible skill continue to inspire generations of martial artists. His influence extends beyond the mat, proof of his greatness in BJJ. Just like his moniker “The Grill,” Cooper’s fiery passion for the sport and his impact on it are unforgettable. As he continues to contribute to the sport, Cooper’s star shines brighter, preserving his legacy as one of BJJ’s most dynamic figures.