Returning to the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach California after a brief hiatus, the IBJJF World Championships are set to return with a bang.
New Faces and Returning Favourites
The prospect of new world championship titles always brings the best in the sport to the Walter Pyramid and this year’s event is no exception.
This year we see the return of familiar faces such as 2021 Middleweight World Champion Tainan Dalpra, Welsh women’s lightweight Ffion Davies, and the return of Rafael Lovato Jr in the Ultra-Heavy black belt adult division.
This year we also see the debut of Fightsports Mica Galvao, who has been on an incredible winning streak. While the world looked on and hoped he would compete in the middleweight division, Mica announced that he wanted to compete in the medium-heavy division stating that he wanted to be one of the first medium-heavy weight competitors to win the absolute. Since then he has changed divisions to compete in the lightweight category.
This year’s 2022 World Championship also sees the removal of “Close outs”. This year if two competitors from the same team meet in the final they will be required to compete in order to gain their championship title.
Whether or not this will actually cause competitors to compete is another question, or if there will be a “gentleman’s agreement” between the two competitors on who will win the match.
Male Black Belt Divisions
This year’s rooster weight division sees a lack of returning competitors. This year we lack entries from last year’s champion Mikey Musumeci and last year’s runner-up and multiple-time world champion Bruno Malfacine
This year we saw a move from Thalison Soares from Cicero Costha to Art of Jiu-Jitsu and he’s predicted to be this year’s front-runner after a string of wins in recent IBJJF Opens.
On the other side of the bracket, we have Thalison’s former Cicero Costha team-mate Jonas Andre, who is predicted to have a good run through the division and possibly meet Thalison in the final.
This year’s light-featherweight division is an already stacked affair.
This year’s number 1 sees Diogo Batista from Dream-Art will be looking to make another statement in the division, while number 3 seed Hiago George will also be looking to make another triumphant tear through the division.
This year everyone’s eyes will be on the number 4 seed Fightsports’ Diogo “Baby Shark” Reis who’s had an incredibly successful 2022.
This year’s featherweight division sees the return of 2021 World Champion Fabricio “Hokage” Andre, who’s looking to win a second world title in recent months.
The featherweight division also features star names such as runner-up Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor, Isaac Dolderian, Kennedy Maciel and Gabriel Sousa. However, Hokage has been on an incredible run recently and it will be difficult to dethrone the current Featherweight king.
The lightweight is one of the championship’s best divisions in recent years. This year it features current European champion Espen Mathieson, who’s looking to redeem whos 2021 performance after 1st round crash.
However, this year’s lightweight division sees the black belt debuts of Fightsport’s Mica Galvao and ATOS’s Tye Ruotolo. Everyone is hoping to see both of them in the final, however, Routolo’s path is much more difficult than Galvao’s as his first-round match is against Hugo Marques, and his second-round match is against last year’s world champion and number one seed Jonatha Alves.
Outside of the rivalry we also have competitors such as Unity’s Levi Jones-Leary, Jonnatas Gracie and Matheus Gabriel. An incredibly stacked division.
The most exciting division at the 2022 IBJJF World Championship has to be the upcoming Middleweight division.
Featuring the return of 2022 champion Tainan Dalpra, whose current form currently makes him unbeatable. He’s so intimidating that numerous competitors have changed divisions just so they get an opportunity to compete for the gold.
The middleweight division also sees the return of World Champion and European Championship runner-up, Norway’s Tommy Langaker. Will this be Tommy’s year to dethrone the AOJ prodigy or will we see Dalpra continue his winning streak?
Aside from these two competitors, the middleweight division also sees ATOS’ Ronaldo Jr, who’s always been a dangerous competitor in the division, his Pan American match against Tainan Dalpra is up there as one of the best matches in recent years.
The Medium-Heavy division sees a new entry, Dream Art’s Isaque Bahiense, who is moving up a division after losing to Tainan Dalpra.
However, with names such as Gustavo Batista, Leandro Lo, Bruno Lima and Sebastian Rodriquez, this year’s Medium-Heavy division is shaping to be one of the more exciting Medium-Heavy divisions in years.
Returning 2021 World Champion Kaynan Duarte will be looking to gain another title during the 2022 competition, however this year he will be facing some stiff competition.
Firstly the 2022 European Champion Checkmat’s Adam Wardzinski will be looking to dethrone the current champion after having an incredible competition year.
This division will also see the return of the legendary Xande Ribiero and also Marcelo Garcia’s Matheus Diniz
The 2022 Super-Heavy division is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting division. First, we see the return of Nicolas Meregali after his 2021 disqualification due to him flipping off an audience member.
We also see the return of Meregali’s Dream Art teammate Eric Muniz, the current 2021 world champion who will be looking to maintain his current world champion status.
Both competitors will face stiff competition from athletes such as Felipe Andrew, Devonte “Bones” Johnson and Helton Jr.
Our final men’s division sees the return of current adult European Champion Rafael Lovato Jr. His first-round match will be against the formidable and controversial Erberth Santos, a tough first-round match.
However, the ultra-heavy division also features a new formidable name, Gutenberg Ferreria, who has had an incredible 2022 season already. Will he be the one to top Victor Hugo from the top spot or will the current Six Blades champion retain his title.
Female Black Belt Division
There’s only one name in the female roosterweight division that really matters and that’s Unity’s, Mayassa Bastos.
The current 2021 World Champion is not only one of the most dominant females in the division, she also leaders her fellow competitors in the standings by a massive 619 championship points.
She is a firm favourite division for the 2022 crown however names such as Italy’s Serena Gabrielli and Fightsports Brenda Larissa should add an exciting element to the division.
The Light-Featherweight division features names such as European Silver Medalist and World Championship Bronze Medalist Rose El-Sharoni, Tammi Musumeci, Jessa Kahn and more.
However, the division has been dominated by Dream Art’s Ana Rodriguez who’s been very dominant in the sport since 2018
An incredibly small division that is likely to be dominated by one name, the current world silver medalist Bianca Basilio.
She will be facing tough competition from Amanda Monteiro, Larissa Campos and Gabriella Fetcher.
All eyes will be on the final lightweight division with the return of Wales’ Ffion Davies.
The division is drawn up for her to meet the current 2022 Pan American Champion Nathalie ‘Tata’ Riberio, which would be an exciting final for all spectators.
However, with names such as Margot Ciccarelli and Current World Champion Gabrielle Lima, it will be a difficult path for both athletes.
The female middleweight division doesn’t feature many superstar names but it’s likely current 2021 champion Andressa Cintra and Thamara Silva will likely meet in the finals.
The female medium-heavy division will likely be dominated again by Aviv Jiu-Jitsu Ana Carolina Viera. Keep an eye out for her trademark jumps after her wins!
The heavyweight division features names such as Fightsports Margret Gindatti and Fernanda Mazelli, however, it’s likely that the current number of seed Melissa Stricker will be the favourite for the division.
The Super-Heavyweight division will likely be dominated once again by Gabrieli Pessanha, who is also a likely winner for the female open-weight division.