Wow! What an amazing edition of the world gi jiu jitsu championship. The IBJJF returned with their marquee event of the year this past weekend in California. A spectacular weekend of jiu jitsu, major upsets and jaw dropping matches across the different belt levels. Our team put together a recap on the black belt divisions for anyone who didn’t get a chance to catch the action.
Before we get to the black belts, we want to give a HUGE shout out to Progress Jiu Jitsu sponsored athlete Junior Fernandes. Junior picked up his 3rd world championship title this weekend, the second of this year (taking gold at the no gi world championship earlier this year). Junior is a purple belt based out of Fightzone in London, training under the leadership of Marco Canha. Junior, was part of the Checkmat team that stormed the mats in California, winning the team title.
Speaking of team titles, the top three teams:
1- Checkmat - 62 points
2- Alliance - 52 points
3- Atos - 47 points
Adult Male Black Belt Recap:
Heavy favorite and 3x jiu jitsu world champion Mikey Musumeci did as expected and picked up his 4th world jiu jitsu championship title. Musumeci blitzed through the early rounds of competition going on to meet one the greatest jiu jitsu fighters of all time, Bruno Malaficine in a rematch. Malaficine reached the final after tough matches with rising stars Thailson Sores and Rodnei Junior. The heated rivalry delivered with Musumeci taking home the victory.
Gi or no gi, doesn’t matter for Diego Batista of Cicero Costha, always exciting to watch and almost always finds a win no matter the rules or type of jiu jitsu he competes in. The man standing across from him in the finals match is new to the black belt division but proved well prepared for the challenge of fighting in his first black belt jiu jitsu world championship. Malachi Edmond turned some heads with his silver medal winning performance, certainly a name to watch in the future.
Edmond’s teammate and world champion Shane Hill-Taylor looked to put his hands on another world title in the black belt division. Unfortunately for the young standout American, Fabricio Andrey had different plans. The Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter representing Fight Sports put a cap on a wonderful world championship run to take home gold. Taking home gold in such a stacked Featherweight division is truly a major accomplishment.
Renato Canuto becomes a world champion again after a couple of years removed from first becoming a world champion in no gi. The twenty five year old Brazilian takes home one of the few titles that has eluded him. Canuto is one of the fighters today showing that it is still possible to win major jiu jitsu competitions in the gi and no gi at the same time. Canuto closed out the final with fellow Checkmat star Matheus Gabriel. Both came through an impressive division containing some of the biggest stars of the jiu jitsu world today
Most likely the most talent ladened division at the world championship this year, whoever took home gold in this weight class would really be at the top of the jiu jitsu world. Tainan Dalpra proved to be just the man to get the job done. Taking out the previous king of the division in Isaque Bahiense. Dalpra proved to be just ahead with his AOJ coaches, the Mendes brothers leading him on from the corner. Dalpra submitted Tommy Langaker in the semifinal, one the most impressive matches of the weekend. The attacking modern jiu jitsu play of this young star impressed the fans all weekend. Jonnatas Gracie took home the other bronze medal.
An all Atos final between Gustavo Batista getting the nod in a close out with his teammate Lucas Barbosa. Leandro Lo, the jiu jitsu legend came up just short of Batista falling in the semifinal. Barbosa came through the otherside of the bracket taking out Andre Luiz of Fight Sports in his seminfinal match. The Atos stars have been atop of this division for some time now, it will be interesting to see if in the coming years this will remain true.
Poland’s star Adam Wardzinski will have to wait another year before taking home gold at this tournament. The Checkmat jiu jitsu ace has won just about everything but a world championship at the IBJJF jiu jitsu worlds. Kaynan Duarte returned in impressive form to the gi jiu jitsu competition. Taking home gold after defeating a game opponent in Luan Lima of Cicero Costha.
Dream Art crowned their first male black belt world champion in Eric Munis. The young brazilian has been turning heads since his blue belts days. In his first world championship, Munis was able to secure his first black belt world title. Attacking modern jiu jitsu is a trademark of the Munis style. An impressive win over division favorite Felipe Andrew was just the match that could launch a successive reign at the top of this division.
Victor Hugo avenged a previous loss to Nicholas Meragali to reach the finals. The Dream Art transfer took out a surging Cyborg in the early rounds with a slick loop choke. Hugo would take home the gold medal after defeating Max Gimenis in the final. Hugo has been near the top of the division for some time and is one of the most exciting big men to watchout there.
It seems each year there is some controversy which splits the jiu jitsu world. This time it was the disqualification of Meragali in the semifinal match for making gestures towards the crowd. This handed the title to Felipe Pena. To reach the final Pena needed to defeat Felipe Andrew, Max Gimenis and Arnold Maidana. Kaynan Duarte took home bronze in the division to mark a successful year for the Atos star at the jiu jitsu world championship.
Adult Female Black Belt Recap
Mayssa Bastos proved that she belongs as the division favorite after capturing yet another major title. The Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter has looked in unstoppable form as of late. Wins over Brenda Larissa and Jessica Dantas launched Bastos to the top of the podium.
Ana “Arod” Rodriguez became Dream Arts first Female black belt world champion. Arod’s jiu jitsu is one of the best to watch in all of the jiu jitsu world. She was met in the final by Tammi Musemeci, looking to get her hands on another world title. Falling short this year, we will hopefully catch these two impressive jiu jitsu fighters in more matches coming up.
Another all Atos final between Bianca Basilio and Gabrielle Lima defined the final of featherweight. The packed division so some great matches all throughout the weekend. Larissa Carvalho and Gabriela Fletcher won’t go home empty handed, taking home hard fought bronze medals.
Bea Mesquita is proving each year why many consider her the lady GOAT. Mesquita was in top form throughout the competition showing her powerful jiu jitsu. Taking out her rival Luiz Monterio in the finals match. To reach the final Mesquita defeated Unity’s Margot Ciccarelili and Hannette Staack. Each performance seems to show an improved form for Mesquita, hard to her not adding many more titles to her mantle before she is finished.
Andressa Cintra of Gracie Barra went on an impressive tear to capture the middleweight crown. Wins over Thamara Silva of Guigo JJ and Magdalena Loska of Brasa Poland proved to be enough to take home the gold.
Ana Viera took home another gold medal for the Viera family. The rising star of women’s bjj took out the much hyped American Elizabeth Clay in the finals match between the two. Having fought already before, this proving to be one of the better rivalries in the female jiu jitsu world.
In a rather wide open division, Melissa Cueto achieved the gold medal. Her Jiu Jitsu turned some heads with major victories over Izadora Silva, Margaret Grindatti, Graciel De Fava and Cassa Paola.
In a major upset 10x jiu jitsu world champion Gabbi Garcia fell short of adding another title. The Alliance star will have to set for bronze after falling to eventual winner Gabrielli Marinho.
Gabrielli Marinho secured a double gold weekend, defeating Yara Nasciemento in the finals match. She was also able to defeat Bea Mesquita in a semifinals matchup. Marinho has certainly shown she has the jiu jitsu style to win against the sports best, make sure to keep an eye out for her in the coming years.
We don’t know about you, can't wait to see next year's world championship!
-Team Progress Jiu Jitsu