Background Among combat sports, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) present elevated physical fitness demands from the high-intensity intermittent efforts. However, information regarding how metabolic and neuromuscular physical fitness is associated with technical-tactical performance in Judo and BJJ fights is not available. This study aimed to relate indicators of physical fitness with combat performance variables in Judo and BJJ. Methods The sample consisted of Judo ( n = 16) and BJJ ( n = 24) male athletes. At the first meeting, the physical tests were applied and, in the second, simulated fights were performed for later notational analysis. Results The main findings indicate: (i) high reproducibility of the proposed instrument and protocol used for notational analysis in a mobile device; (ii) differences in the technical-tactical and time-motion patterns between modalities; (iii) performance-related variables are different in Judo and BJJ; and (iv) regression models based on metabolic fitness variables may account for up to 53% of the variances in technical-tactical and/or time-motion variables in Judo and up to 31% in BJJ, whereas neuromuscular fitness models can reach values up to 44 and 73% of prediction in Judo and BJJ, respectively. When all components are combined, they can explain up to 90% of high intensity actions in Judo. Discussion In conclusion, performance prediction models in simulated combat indicate that anaerobic, aerobic and neuromuscular fitness variables contribute to explain time-motion variables associated with high intensity and technical-tactical variables in Judo and BJJ fights.