The IBJJF is kicking the new year off right with the first major of the year. The Europeans return with this year's edition on January 23rd. Paris will play host to the largest tournament in Europe this year with thousands of Jiu Jitsu athletes coming to compete from around the world. Take a look below at some of the top black belts who could walk away with a gold medal this year.
Adult Male Rooster
Brazilian sensation Thalison Soares will be a heavy favourite to walk away with Gold in this division. One of the most technical fighters in the lower weight classes, Thalison looks well positioned to take home gold at the first major of the year.
Adult Male Light Feather
A lot of familiar faces are signed up in this fourteen man division. Yuta Shimada of Alliance Marcelo Garcia has picked up some big wins of late and could make a deep run. American Malachi Edmond is another top talent in the mix. Deigo Batista of Dream Art is the favourite to win, he will be looking to carry the momentum of the ADCC into this new year.
Adult Male Feather
Always one of the most competitive divisions of the Europeans, this year looks no different. Ireland’s Sam McNally entered after an impressive showing at ADCC where he took a win over Gary Tonon. The Brazilian veteran Leonardo Saggioro is always dangerous. Perhaps the favorites to take home gold are Fabricio Andrey and Shane Hill-Taylor, these two would make for an electric final.
Adult Male Light
Andy Murasaki, Vinicius Pereira, Marcio Barbosa, Gui Rocha and Gabriel Rollo are some of the top names of this stacked division. Not to mention Sweden’s Max Lindbald, Checkmat ace Marcelo Fausto and veteran Kevin Mahecha. With this much talent in one division it is hard to point out one favorite. Needless to say, tune in to catch this division live.
Adult Male Middle
The hands down favourite here is Tainan Dalpra however, it won’t be easy for the Mendes brothers black belt to walk home with the gold. Norwegians Tarik Hopstock and Espen Mathiesen will stand in his way. Bradley Hill, a long time veteran in the division, is always a name to watch at middleweight. Perhaps the biggest challenge to Tainan will be Unity’s Italo Moura.
Adult Male Medium-Heavy
Yet another division stacked with talent; Pedro Souza, Jonnatas Gracie, Shane Fishman, Sean coates and Taylor Pearman are all present and prepared to snatch the gold. With home field advantage, don’t be shocked if one of the European’s are able to upset some of the Brazilian favourites. With this much talent in one division expect some good early round action.
Adult Male Heavy
Janis Riekstins, Devonte Johnson and Bruno Lima are some talented competitors who won’t make things easy. The favourites here are Adam Wardzinski and Brazilian Felipe Andrew. The two have fought before, be ready to sit on the edge of your seat for this one.
Adult Male Super-Heavy
With just nine competitors registered at the moment, the clear favourite here is Kaynan Duarte. The ADCC and World Champion has been at the top of the heavier weight classes for years. It looks like Kaynan will walk away from this competition with another gold to add to his collection.
Adult Male Ultra-Heavy
Mason Fowler moves up in weight for this one. He will need to get past Seif Houmine and Pedro Elias. Despite being undersized for the division. One would expect to see Fowler take home the gold year.
Adult Female Rooster
The lightest weightclass contains the AOJ ace Jessamine Khan in her return to action. Expect Jessamine to take home a gold medal here to kick offer her 2023 year.
Adult Female Light-Feather
Another Unity ace is signed up in this division, Mayssa Bastos has been at the top for many years and will be ready to finish another tournament at the top of the podium. It won’t be any easy day with the likes of Brenda Larissa also signed up in the division.
Adult Female Feather
One of the most exciting grapplers on the scene, Ana Rodrigues will look to take home gold here and kick start the year with a major victory. She will need get past Sophia Dalpra and Rafaela da Rosa.
Adult Female Light
Luiza Monteiro is by far the favorite here, she is one of the legends of Jiu Jitsu he has been at the top for a very long time. Expect her to take a victory here and be ready for another great year of competition.
Adult Female Middle
Ana Beatriz, Gabriela Schuck and Elisabeth Clay are at the top of this bracket. Expect some exciting action from this division with big takedowns and dynamic guard play.
Adult Female Medium-Heavy
Small bracket here with just 5 competitors signed up. No clear favorite but, some potential to see who could take home more golds from majors this year
Adult Female Heavy
Leticia Carvalho took home gold last year as a brown belt at worlds. This could be the event which she stamps her name on to the black belt division
Adult Female Super-Heavy
Another bracket on the smaller side which could be the opportunity a competitor needs to gain a gold medal and launch the start of their 2023 competition season.
Make sure you tune in to catch these awesome Jiu Jitsu Players in action!