The 2016 World Jiu-Jitsu championship kicks off this Thursday at the Walter Pyramid. In the next four days, the best grapplers in the world will fight for the ultimate glory in the gentle art community.
After all champions are crowned, the Jiu-Jitsu environment will be reshaped. We have lined up 10 questions the action at the Worlds could answer until Sunday.
1. Who’s the king of the hill?
Bernardo Faria wants to join the select group of two-time open class champions. Buchecha wants to make history with an unprecedented fourth open class gold medal. Felipe Pena wants to consolidate his name as one of the greatest with his first absolute triumph. Trans wants to become the first non-Brazilian to win the open class. And there’s also Erberth Santos, Mahamed Aly, Keenan Cornelius, Leandro Lo…. The 2016 Worlds open class division could be one for the history books.
2. Who’s the queen of the land?
Dominyka is healthy once again and ready to defend her crown. Andresa Correa wants to keep her perfect record and win the unprecedented grand slam in the black belt. Mackenzie Dern already said she’ll never stop trying to win the absolute. Bia Mesquita wants her third gold medal to reign over the division in history. And there’s also Michelle Nicolini in her goodbye run, Monique Elias, Fernanda Mazzelli and many others.
3. Who is currently the best black belt roosterweight competitor?
For the first time. the lightest division will gather the three most important names of the weight class in recent years. Bruno Malfacine, Caio Terra and João Miyao will battle for the gold medal in what is expected to be a thrilling series of matches. Terra, absent in 2014 and 2015, is back to try to win his third gold medal at the Worlds in the gi as a black belt. João is still after his first title after two silver medals in the last two years. Malfa wants his 8th title to consolidate his name as the greatest name in the division of all times.
4. Can the new generation of American black belts finally make a dent in the Brazilian domination?
Keenan Cornelius is the senior member of this very tough group of black belts. Edwin Najmi, JT Torres, AJ Agazarm, Michael Liera, Jon Satava, Gianni Grippo, Dillon Danis, Mansher Khera, Michael Musumeci, Isaac Doederlein, Brian Mahecha and a few others have all the tools they need to write their names in history. The sheer number of high level black belts make it more probable than ever to have a non-Brazilian at the top of one of the black belt divisions.
5. Will the new generation steal the spotlight in Long Beach?
2016 could be a year marked by the changing of the guard. Mahamed Aly, Erberth Santos, Isaac Doederlein, Mikey Musumeci, Mansher Khera, Dillon Danis, Jon Satava, Edwin Najmi, Luan Carvalho, Jhonny Souza, among others, will be in the mix to represent the newest generation of black belts and possibly steal the show from the household names.
6. Could anybody bud in and prevent a Rafael Mendes vs. Rubens Cobrinha final for the third time in a row in the featherweight division?
Rafa and Cobra already met in 4 finals since 2010 and were the finalists in the past two years. This time, Marcio Andre is a strong contender to be in the mix and have a go at the final. Samir Chantre and Osvaldo Moizinho also would love to be in the spotlight. Could anyone else do it?
7. Will Alliance once again reign supreme in the teams podiums?
The eagle has been soaring untouched in the past 10 years in Long Beach. Fabio Gurgel, Jacaré, Gigi and their crew have stacked up 8 adult male titles in 9 events in the USA. Will Atos Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Barra, Checkmat, Cicero Costha or any other be able to put a dent in Alliance’s almost perfect record?
Coverage brought to you by GAMENESS.