Showing posts with label worlds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label worlds. Show all posts

September 27, 2015

Big Mike Finds Gold in the Nevada Desert

   My good friend and fellow martial artist Mike Gates has just taken gold in the old mans division at the 2015 IBJJF World Masters Tournament in Las Vegas Nevada!  Winning the gold with style by choking out his opponent in the final seconds of the final match.
    Mike is the epitome of why you do not want to lose the top position... just think, a few years ago this guy did not even know what grappling was.  Come a long way my friend.  Proud of you.
    Big Mike is a student of Marcos Santos, representing the RCJ Machado brethren of Dallas Ft. Worth. 

June 6, 2014

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida 3X World Absolute Champion

Copyright: Gracie Mag
A HUGE congrats to multi-time champion black belt, instructor at Ace Jiu Jitsu, and overall nice guy Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida on his third STRAIGHT Black Belt Absolute Title!  Pretty much hands down leaves him standing on a level all his own... I can honestly say he is without a doubt the best BJJ practitioner in the world.  If you are in the Fountain Valley California area make sure to check out the champ teaching at Ace JJ! 

Cheers bro!



June 6, 2013

2013 IBJJF Mundials In Retrospective

What a whirlwind of a past week... month... year.  When I started getting serious about competing a few years back I was fortunate enough to go to the 09 No Gi Worlds and have a wonderful trip.  I told myself on that trip that despite my advanced physical age I wanted to compete in the Mundials, the Worlds, where there are no age categories; 18 years and up at your weight and belt!  After very little self deliberation I came to the conclusion that 2013 would be the year at purple belt.  And so I began training.

I was at the Worlds every day for at least a little bit and overall it ran very nicely.  Rarely a mat without action, though I did not hear final numbers the mats saw 100's of fighters a day and each division started on time.  Some participants I heard griping about how long their brackets were taking, lest they forget some brackets such as purple lightweight had 100 plus fighters in it!  But it was my observation and experience that most everything ran quite smoothly.

What can I say in regards to the refereeing?  I realize it is a tough position, but I see more and more blown calls / misunderstanding of muddled rules / poor communication (sorry... ref's should be at least bi-lingual) each and every tournament I attend.  Penalties are thrown around like candy when players are confused as to what they did and ask.  I agree if they are rude or inappropriate they should be penalized.  But if they are simply asking what they did wrong, an answer should be provided.  On the flip side of the ref coin I will say this... what happened to the days when we did not settle until a submission?  Who the hell wants to gain an advantage point and stall out for 5 minutes??  Not Tanquinho.  Not Braulio.  Not Buchecha.  

Courtesy of John Cooper Photography
The worlds truly bring together the best of the best in an open tournament format from all over the world.  Met some cats from Mongolia there.  Yes the blue belt champ at ultra heavy did beat a 350 pound man in the finals.  Said Mongolian mountain tipped the scales at 450 pounds and was about 2 inches taller then me.  I must admit the brown belt matches were some of the most exciting fights throughout as the top competitors in the world rarely stalled out.  I think brown belts still have that impatient eagerness to attack like a teenage puppy which makes for some fun matches.  And of course watching the black belts thin out competition over two days was amazing for the most part.  

Overall great fights and competition, though I have one request of the IBJJF.... please bring back heel hooks! I have grown tired of the double guard pull into 50-50 guard where two "grapplers" play footsie all day and win by an advantage point.  This is not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!  And one simple solution to all this.... allow heel hooks, with the experienced levels at the very least.  I  must admit it was nice see the Mendes brothers knocked out rather early, though we did have to suffer through the Miyao love of 50-50.

A few other quick observations from the tournament:
  • Andre Galvao is a sore loser...chewing the head referee's ear for over 10 minutes after Rafa Mendes  lost to Tanquinho
  • Dude... you are a black belt.  At this stage in the game I should not have to explain to you that it is gross beyond comprehension to be barefoot in the bathroom changing!!!!!
  • The level of BJJ has drastically improved even in the 4 years since my first IBJJF tourney!  
  • Always, ALWAYS, bring an extra gi and belt.  Too many BS DQ's because of stupid gi issues.
  • The camaraderie amongst BJJ brethren is second to none.  Heard nothing but positive encouragement before, during, and after my match! 
  • Leo Lo has a sick guard!  Period! 
  • We all love Brazilian BBQ and Acai bowls, but do we really need to inflate the prices so high?
  • UC Long Beach is a MUCH nicer venue then UC Irvine for both the competitor and the fan alike.
  • Apparently standing in front of folks trying to watch a fight is par for the course in Russia, Bulgaria, and Brazil! 
My fight...
First and foremost a HUGE shout out to my friend Asa Fuller at Ace JJ who was gracious enough to coach my big dumbass!  I really appreciate it Asa.  And a second HUGE shout out to John Cooper at John Cooper Photography for taking AMAZING shots.  I will write a separate review of John Cooper's services and photography later this week, but if you have not already make sure to check him out! 

John Cooper Photography
Overall I feel this is the most prepared I have ever been for a tournament. My physicality is great. I feel my rolling has been sharp, focused, and in general I have a firm grasp of my game. Brian my coach really helped stitch up some of the holes in my top game (yeah... I'm kinda weird like that.... big guy with great guard, and so-so top game!). Mentally it is the most focused I have been ever tournament wise. Coming into a tournament like this I had to impose my will from the get go, and my apologies to my training partners who bore the brunt of said training.

One of the most positive observations I gleamed from this past weekend was my ability to finally control my nerves. Don't get me wrong I still get the little butterflies just before stepping onto the mat, but overall I felt comfortable, confident I had been here before and it was just a fight. This is helped by my avoidance of the bullpen for the most part. The testosterone and nervous energy is unwelcoming to me, so I typically stay on the peripheral where I can still hear announcements but am away from the stagnant air.
As to how I fought.... what can I say?  I fought a decent guy but overall I know I could have beat him and feel like I was doing well throughout until I made a fatal flaw.  I opened his guard once by pressuring his throat.  He ends up scrambling and getting me back into guard.  Holding my elbows strongly I could not open his guard with pressure on his legs, so I reverted back to the throat press pass.  In hindsight he was TOTALLY anticipating me doing it and threw on the armbar quickly. 

I apologize for the limited camera view.  People were rather rude in regards to standing in front of others!



This is frustrating because I should know better and have a number of different looks.  Overall I was happy with my open guard.  His balance was good and I should have mixed it up giving different looks to him.  I suppose these are the lessons we learn, but they are frustrating none the less when you have poured out the sweat and tears (thankfully very little blood was shed!) into the hours of practice.  I keep reminding myself that if I'm going to swim I will most likely get wet, and there was only one champion last Friday. 

As you watch the video you will most likely notice a small lull in action.  Yes, thats right, for the first time ever the referee noticed (kinda weird) my piercing and made me remove it!  I have no complaints as it bought me an extra 40 seconds or so.  I thought it was pretty damn amusing. 

Much thanks and love goes out to my coach Brian, my sponsor 1914 Kimono's (the best gi's on the market), my mom and pop, my mat family at NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, and my coach Tim Cartmell. Also thanks to Chad Hospodar at Arm Bar Soap Co. for keeping me cootie-free!  I hope to offer a much better showing in the future. 

Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake
  

May 31, 2013

Here We Go.... 2013 Mundials

In less then 3 hours Scott Stillwell will be tearing up the purple belt lightweights, and in just over 5 hours I will be hunting gold in the heavyweight purple division.  The fight has already been won or lost.  It is a matter of showing up and imposing my will!

My home today! 
Had some great training with NWJJA before I left on Wednesday, and then Ace JJ yesterday morning had another tough but awesome session.  Well rested and going to get some grub here shortly, I wish to thank all that have helped  me on this path; my coach Brian; my training partners; RCJ Machado and the family; my students; 1914 Gi's!  Thank you all for the support and encouragement!

I hope to report good news by days end, but regardless of outcome this is an awesome day to fight!  So stoked!

Cheers
Jake

May 28, 2013

2013 Mundials... The World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships

I sit here typing three days (Friday at 4:45 to be exact) out from what promises to be the biggest, toughest, most challenging tournament I have ever entered; the Mundials, AKA the Worlds!  Considered by most in BJJ circles to be the pinnacle of tournaments, the Mundials pit the best of the best against each other with no age restrictions.  I have wanted to compete at this level for years and figured I am not getting any younger, and most likely by next year I will be a fresh brown belt, so this was my opportunity to test myself and fight on the biggest stage out there for BJJ. 

I have been through a LOT in the last year or two, and I look at the preparation for this tournament as my therapy, my church, my zen meditation if you will.  I do not feel right if I miss rolling for a day or two.  Setting a goal such as the worlds puts ones game into perspective and offers an opportunity not only to test oneself, but to really hone ones specific skills.  Regardless the outcome Friday evening my training has been a huge success!  I truly feel like I have a game plan and I have the confidence to impose it!  I am excited to test it out on my opponents as I never have felt so well prepared.

  

And I owe a lot of that confidence to my training partners.  Much thanks goes out in helping with preparation for this, but especially Shadow, Denise, Scrappy, Motorcycle Matt, Kamau, Big John, and the others who put in extra time and training.  Also a big thanks to my coach who is much more then just my coach.  Brian, I hope to represent the academy, and the Machado family strongly at the Worlds.  May my luck with tournaments that contain the word "world" in them continue. 

I am honored to be the first "official" representative fighting under the academy name "North West Jiu Jitsu Academy," as we just became an IBJJF recognized academy last month.  This is a great first step towards creating a world class team right here in the Pac NW!  

I also want to thank my sponsor 1914 Kimonos  as I will be sporting there gi's this weekend.  Also a shout out to Arm Bar Soap Co.  and my bud Chad (hit me up at the worlds bro!), and also to Cooper Foto who will be doing dedicated coverage of my fights where I will offer up a review of his excellent services.  For those of us whom fight, there is no better coverage you can ask for then John Cooper and his staff.  Just wait to see the great shots! 

For those die hard fans you can tune in online for full coverage of the entire tournament at IBJJFTV.COM!  

Hey if you see me at the Mundials stop and say "Hi!"  I am the big bald dude, purple belt, with a silly grin the whole time I am sure! 

Cheers, and best of luck to everyone fighting this week! 
Jake




May 30, 2012

2012 World BJJ Championships: Pre-Tournament Post

Unfortunately I cannot afford to make it to the most prestigious tournament in all of BJJ; the Mundials (Worlds) this year.  I had set my sights on the Worlds at the purple belt level as I wanted to test myself against the best of the best.  Keep in mind, no age categories at the worlds; just rank and weight!  I would be fighting alongside 40 of the best.  Bummed I cannot be there.  But next year for sure!

But just because I cannot be present does not mean I cannot post up a few things about the tournament before it kicks off tomorrow:

  • First of all best of luck to all who are fighting!  Remember with the last two months of training you have already won!
  • Make sure to log into Budovideos to pay for the live stream online.

And finally check out this AWESOME breakdown and prediction's from Open Mat Radio and JSHO (whomever that is?!?!):

This is the 17th Mundials of the modern era (1996 – ) and despite the absence of a number of Elite players due to injury, MMA or retirement (not least champions Roger Gracie and Braulio Estima) this edition looks to have surpassed even last year’s stellar competitor list.
Budovideos will once again be running an online stream on the Saturday and Sunday, more details here: http://www.budovideos.com/online/
When not commentating on the stream, Caleb will no doubt be running his excellent live blogging service on http://thefightworkspodcast.com/
Some random Mundial stats to start us off:
Roger Gracie: Arguably the best in the world
will be absent this year
*Of the 160 black belt golds won since 1996, Gracie Barra & offshoots have won 52 gold, Alliance & offshoots have won 44 gold, Gracie Humaita have won 22 golds, Nova Uniao have won 13 golds and Carlson Gracie Team & offshoots have won 11 golds
*Roger has won 10 golds (7 weight and 3 absolute)
*Xande has won 6 golds (4 weight & 2 absolute).
*Saulo Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia and Robson Moura have both won 5 golds at their weight.
*Royler Gracie, Bruno Malfacine, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Magalhães (Roleta) & Rubens Charles (Cobrinha) won 4 golds at their weight.
*Robson Moura won his first black belt gold in 1997 and his most recent in 2007, the longest span in terms of first and last golds.
*Only 4 men have won 10 or more medals at Black Belt: Xande Ribeiro (12), Saulo Ribeiro (10), Comprido (10) and Roger (15)
*Roleta and Cobrinha have both won the Pan Ams and the Mundials 3 years in a row.
*Royler, Robson and Cobrinha have won their divisions 4 years in a row.
*Saulo won a different weight division 4 years in a row (1997 – 2000 Medio, Pesado, Meio Pesado, Super Pesado).
*Roger Gracie has been in his weight category final 7 years in a row, winning all 7.
*Xande is the “winningest” Champion here, with 6 Mundials, 4 Copa do Mundo and 2 ADCC Titles to his name.
*** The Divisions***
Competitors to date here at the IBJJF site
*** Roosterweight – Galo ***
2011 Mundials: Bruno Malfacine
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Ivaniel Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Koji Shibamoto
2012 Pan Ams: Caio Terra
2012 World Pro Gi: N/A
2012 Brasilieros: Igor dos Santos
The Contenders?
Bruno Malfacine; Felipe Costa; Koji Shibamoto; Rafael Freitas; Igor dos Santos
What might happen?
In the absence of Roger, as close as it gets to a sure thing at the Mundials, the identity of the finalists can pretty confidently be predicted with Malfacine will be looking for his 4th Gold in a row here, probably by a 4th straight finals match with Caio Terra. Shibamoto may have won major tournaments, but not when Terra or Bruno have been in the same division. Costa is unlikely to add to his Mundials titles but may break the record for most bronze in a division. Freitas and Dos Santos won’t make it easy for Terra or Bruno, but I’d still see the latter two making their 5th straight face-off in a Mundials Final
Random facts
*Malfacine will be going for his Fifth Mundials gold and his fourth in a row, with Costa and Terra gunning for their second.
*Felipe Costa has six bronze medals in this division, equaling Comprido’s record at Black Belt.
*** Light Featherweight – Pluma ***
2011 Mundials: Guilherme Mendes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Adriano Mineiro
2012 Europeans: Carlos Vieira Holanda
2012 Pan Ams: Bruno Malfacine
2012 World Pro Gi (-65kg): Fernando Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: José Tiago
The Contenders?
Daniel Beleza; Carlos Vieira Holanda; Ary Farias; Guilherme Mendes;  Gabriel Willcox; Bernardo Pitel; Laercio Fernandes; Dai Yoshioka; Pablo Silva; Samuel Braga
What might happen?
Gracie Barra (Braga and Souza) and Atos (Gui & Ary) both have very strong pairings, with multiple Mundials and Pan titles between them. Farias’ vanquisher in the recent Brasilieros final Jose Tiago is not enrolled and Malfacine, who beat Gui at the Pans will not be in contention, but perennial medalists Beleza, Holanda and Fernandes will be in contention as well. Depending on the brackets, I would most likely expect to see Atos vs Barra semi-finals with Gui and Braga the likely finalists.
Random facts
*Mendes & Braga will be going for a third Mundials title.
*In 2011 Gui and Rafa Mendes joined the Ribeiro brothers and the Correa brothers (aka Gordo & Gordinho) as world champion siblings, but they were the first to have done it in the same year. They will be confident of repeating the feat this year
*Bernardo Pitel last tasted Gold here in 2001, if we managed to pull off a win here this year, his span between golds would be a new record (surpassing Robson Moura’s 1997 and 2007 golds
*** Featherweight – Pena ***
2011 Mundials: Rafael Mendes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Mário Reis
2012 Europeans: Bruno Frazatto
2012 Pan Ams: Rafael Mendes
2012 World Pro Gi (-70kg): Samuel Hertzog
2012 Brasilieros: Leonardo Saggioro
The Contenders?
Rafael Mendes; Leonardo Saggioro; Eduardo Ramos; Justin Rader; Isaque Paiva; Samuel
Hertzog; Rubens “Cobrinha”; Mario Reis; Marcelino Freitas; Mike Fowler.
What might happen?
Former World Champion Mario Reis has recently joined Alliance. The veteran black belt may yet
one day have had more clubs that Liz Taylor has had husbands, but in a way he was already part
of the same club as Cobrinha, the club of people who cannot beat Rafa Mendes.
Mendes blew the competition away at this year’s Pans, mauling Justin Rader and then submitting
Cobrinha in the final, the first time this has happened at black belt. The bracket has depth, with
Frazatto’s conqueror Isaque Paiva; World Pro Gi champ Hertzog and Brasilieros champ Saggioro
in attendance, but as above, which of these contenders has the gameplan to dethrone Mendes?
Random facts
*Mendes, like his brother Gui, will be looking for a third Mundials Gold.
*If Cobrinha wins this year, he makes it 5 Mundial Golds
*Two time champion Mario Reis had medaled at black belt eight years in a row, but will be hoping he can add to his golds from 2003 and 2004.
*Mendes is the only reigning ADCC and Mundials champion.
*Gabriel Willcox is the lightest person to ever win his weight (Pena) and the absolute at the same IBJJF Black Belt competition (2006 Masters & Seniors). Mario Reis has achieved the same feat at the 2009 CBJJE Mundials.
*** Lightweight – Leve ***2011 Mundials: Gilbert Burns
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Leandro Lo
2012 Europeans: Roberto Satoshi
2012 Pan Ams: Leandro Lo
2012 World Pro Gi (-76kg): Roberto Satoshi
2012 Brasilieros: Leandro Lo
The Contenders?
Lucas Lepri;  Roberto Satoshi de Souza; Leandro Lo; Jonathan Torres; Zak Maxwell;  Davi Ramos
What might happen?
The days of the Alliance Hegemony at Leve are well and truly over, with Langhi and Lepri both without any titles and both having to become accustomed to the sight of Leandro Lo or Roberto “Satoshi” taking the gold. Reigning champion Gilbert “Durinho” has retired from BJJ competition to focus on MMA and all the major titles since have fallen to either Lo or Satoshi. Langhi has reportedly been struggling with visa issues and will not be competing, leaving Lepri an uphill task this time. Atos standout Davi Ramos and the two very talented American players JT Torres and Zak Maxwell (who defeated Kron Gracie earlier this year) will also be in contention for medals.

*** Middleweight – Medio ***

2011 Mundials: Marcelo Garcia
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Adriano Silva
2012 Europeans: Victor Estima
2012 Pan Ams: Claudio Calasans
2012 World Pro Gi (-82kg): Claudio Calasans
2012 Brasilieros: Murilo Santana
The Contenders?
Claudio Calasans; Murilo Santana; Abmar Barbosa; Alan “Fin Fou” do Nascimento; Otavio Sousa; Bruno Alves; Victor Estima; Lucas Leite; Clark Gracie; Kron Gracie; Bill Cooper; Vagner Rocha
What might happen?
A host of champions from many major tournaments, but the greatest middleweight of all time is absent. With Marcelinho away, reportedly due to a broken collarbone, a large number of elite players will be looking for a rare change at Mundials Medio Gold. Heavy favourite is likely to be Claudio Calasans, who, despite modest success as a lightweight has racked up many world level titles since moving to the higher weight class. Others who have tried and failed to best Marcelo such as Victor Estima, Murilo Santana and Lucas Leite are all in contention to make the finals, but the staggering array of talent that has entered (Fin Fou, Clark and Kron Gracie, Bill Cooper, Abmar Barbosa to mention a few more) means that all bets are off and this division promises 8 enthralling quarter-finals, to say nothing of the potential confrontations in the semis and final.
Random facts
*With the exception of Pe de Chumbo’s victory in 2002, Alliance or an offshoot have won the Medio Gold every year since 1999.
*Alexandre Paiva, his student Terere and his student Sergio Moraes have all won Medio Gold, the only chain of 3 instructors/students to have done so at the Mundials.
*** Middle Heavy – Meio Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Sergio Moraes
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Vitor Toledo
2012 Europeans: Rodrigo Fajardo
2012 Pan Ams: Kayron Gracie
2012 World Pro Gi (-88kg): Andre Galvao
2012 Brasilieros: Nivaldo Oliveira
The Contenders?
Andre Galvão; Vitor Toledo; Nivaldo Oliveira; Eduardo Santoro; Rômulo Barral; Rafael Lovato Jr.; Eduardo Telles
What might happen?
Sergio Moraes will not be defending his title given his focus on the TUF Brazil competition.
Absent too is Pans Champion Kayron Gracie. With Romulo Barral seemingly a shadow of his
former self, Checkmat’s rising star Nivaldo Oliviera, who took double gold at the recent Brasilieros
will be strongly favoured. Multiple time world champion Andre Galvao will also be looking to add
to his World Pro Gi title and even the presence of former champion Lovato and the ever tricky
Eduardo Telles will probably not prevent Nivaldo and Andre meeting in the final.
Random facts
*Romulo will be going for his 3rd gold in this division.
*Galvao will be trying for his 3rd Mundials title.
*** Heavy – Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Fabiano Leite Souza
2012 Europeans: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Pan Ams: Lucas Leite
2012 World Pro Gi (-94kg): Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: Alexandro Ceconi
The Contenders?
Alexandre Ribiero; Tarsis Humphreys; Alexandro Ceconi; Yuri Simões; Rodolfo Vieira; Paulo Tarcisio; Neiman Gracie; Roberto “Tussa” Alencar
What might happen?
Someone other than Rodolfo might win. Well, that might happen I suppose and with Xande, Tarsis, Ceconi, Yuri and Paulo registered, this will be a well contested division. The possible final between Xande and Rodolfo will be intriguing and after a bit of a lull, Xande seems to be back on form but what will probably happen is Rodolfo demonstrates once again, “to be the man, you gotta beat the man and he is the man!” All bets are off if Ric Flair turns up however.
Random facts
*Alliance and Gracie Humaita have both won this category 5 times each.
*Alexandre and Saulo Ribiero have both won this category, Xande 4 times in 2004/6/7/8 and Saulo in 1996. They are the only brothers to have both won gold in the same Mundials division.
*** Super Heavy – Super-Pesado ***
2011 Mundials: Leonardo Noguiera
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Augusto Ferrari
2012 Europeans: Bernardo Faria
2012 Pan Ams: Bernardo Faria
2012 World Pro Gi (-100kg): Alexandre Ribiero
2012 Brasilieros: Leonardo Nogueira
The Contenders?
Antônio Carlos Júnior; Bernardo Faria; Leonardo Nogueira; Antonio Peinado
What might happen?
Another year, another collective sigh of relief as Roger Grace has elected to focus on MMA, training with the BlackHouse team and eschewing gi and nogi competition again this year. Alliance has entered 3 elite players with Checkmat in contrast represented only by Antonio Carlos Jr. Antonio may be reigning Pan Ams Absolute champion, but he lost at super Pesado to Faria in the same event. He then went onto to lose in the semis at the recent Brasilieros to reigning World Champion Leo Nogueira. With no Joao Assis or other Checkmat teamate acting as wingman, Antonio may struggle to get his first Mundials title. Xande Ribiero beat Faria in the World Pro Gi this year and clearly still has what it takes to win major titles, but he has gone back to Pesado, leaving this an almost guaranteed Gold for Alliance team.
Random facts
*Roger has won this division 6 times.
*** Ultra Heavy- Pesadissimo ***
2011 Mundials: Antonio Braga Neto
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Nivaldo Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Alexander Trans
2012 Pan Ams: Marcus Vinicius O. Almeida “Buchecha”
2012 World Pro Gi (+100kg): Marcus Vinicius O. Almeida “Buchecha”
2012 Brasilieros:  Alexander Trans
The Contenders?
Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros; Márcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz; Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista; Marcus Vinícius “Buchecha”; Alexander Trans; Michael “Big Mick” Wilson; Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu
What might happen?
With reigning champ Antonio Braga Neto absent, this division will probably be a question of “which Checkmat superstar will get the gold?”, given all 4 “majors” this year were taken out by Nivaldo, “Buchecha” and the newcomer Alexander Trans. Trans has had a fantastic start to his first year at black belt, following up double gold as a brown belt last year with wins at the Europeans and Brasilieros and a silver behind his teammate “Buchecha” at the Pans.
Legends of the game “Pe de Pano” and “Comprido” will be in the mix, but I wouldn’t expect either to be able to take out Trans or ‘Buchecha”. Stalwart Roberto “Cyborg” will be dangerous as always, but I think this will be an all Checkmat final with “Buchecha” taking the title.
Random facts
*Pe De Pano will be going for his 4th (& potentially 5th) Black Belt Gold.
Comprido makes a return to competition and is one of only 4 men to have 10 black belt medals at the Mundials. He is also one of only 6 to have double absolute golds (a distinction he shares with fellow Ultra-Heavyweight Pe de Pano and no doubt may soon shares with current stand out Rodolfo Vieira, who will be looking for back to back titles).
*** Absolute ***
2011 Mundials: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 CBJJE Mundials: Nivaldo Oliveira
2012 Europeans: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Pan Ams: Antonio Carlos Junior
2012 World Pro Gi: Rodolfo Vieira
2012 Brasilieros: Nivaldo Oliveira
The Contenders?
Too many to list… this could be interesting!
What might happen?
All 6 Major Absolute title holders are present, not so remarkable perhaps given Rodolfo holds three and Nivaldo holds two. Roger and Xande are absent and although all eyes will be on the man of the moment, Rodolfo will face some stiff competition, with Alliance and Checkmat in particular fully laden with talent at this edition of the Mundials.
Bracketing, as always, will be key (this writer’s get out of jail card), but one might expect the semi-finals to comprise Vieira, Galvao, Xande & “Buchecha”. No-one yet seems to have an answer to Rodolfo’s game and I’d expect him to get his second absolute title.
Random facts
*Xande Ribeiro, Amauri Bitetti, Marcio Cruz (Pe de Pano), Rodrigo Medeiros (Comprido) Ronaldo Souza (Jacare) have all won the Absolute division twice.
*Roger Gracie has won the Absolute three times.
*Margarida (2001), Pe de Pano (2002) & Jacare (2005) have won their weight division and the absolute in the same year (Jacare couldn’t contest the Meio Pesado final in 2004).
*Xande (2006, 2008) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year twice.
Roger (2007, 2009, 2010) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year three times.
*Roger Gracie made the absolute final 8 years in a row, winning 3.
The Absolute winners to date
1996   Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1997   Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1998   Jose Mario Sperry (Super Pesado)
1999   Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2000   Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2001   Fernando Pontes (Pesado)
2002   Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2003   Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2004   Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2005   Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2006   Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2007   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2008   Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2009   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2010   Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2011   Rodolfo Vieira (Pesado)
Click HERE to listen to our podcast with JSho where he discusses his Mundial picks and much more!