Worlds 2011 breakdown, by Jon Shotter

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This is the 16th Worlds of the modern era (1996 – ) and despite the absence of a number of elite players due to injury (not least champions Roger Gracie, Tarsis Humphreys, Saulo and Xande Ribiero, and Braulio Estima) and to the vagaries of the US Immigration System (Lucio “Lagarto”) this edition looks to have surpassed even last year’s stellar competitor list.

The Long Beach pyramid / Photo: Regis Chen

Budovideos will once again be running an online stream on the Saturday and Sunday, more details here:

When not commentating on the stream, Caleb will no doubt be running his excellent live blogging service on

Some random Worlds stats to start us off:

*Of the 150 black belt golds won since 1996, Gracie Barra & offshoots have won 51 gold, Alliance & offshoots have won 41 gold, Gracie Humaitá have won 22 golds, Nova União 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 and Robson Moura have both won 5 golds at their weight.

*Royler Gracie, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Magalhães (Roleta), and 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 (10), Saulo (10), Rodrigo Comprido (10) and Roger (13)

*Roger Gracie has been in his weight category final 7 years in a row, winning all 7.

*Roleta and Cobrinha have both won the Pan and the Worlds 3 years in a row.

*Royler, Robson Moura and Cobrinha have won their divisions 4 years in a row.

*Saulo won a different weight division 4 years in a row (1997-2000; middle, heavy, medium heavy, super heavy).

*Marcelo Garcia and Cobrinha are the most decorated champions in Long Beach, with 4 Worlds golds apiece.

*** The Divisions***

*** Black Adult Men – Rooster ***

2010 Worlds: Bruno Malfacine
2011 Pans: Rafael Freitas
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Bruno Malfacine

* Malfacine will be going for his 4th Worlds gold, with Felipe Costa and Terra gunning for their second.
* Felipe has 6 bronze medals in this division, equaling Comprido’s record at black belt.

*** Black Adult Men – Light Feather ***

2010 Worlds: Pablo Silva
2011 Europeans: Ary Farias
2011 Pans: Caio Terra
2011 World Pro Gi: Augusto “Tanquinho”
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Ary Farias

* Samuel Braga will be going for a third Worlds title, he could have made it last year but gave the gold to his teammate Pablo Silva.
*If Guilherme wins this and Rafael wins the featherweight, they will join the Ribeiro brothers and the Correa brothers (aka Gordo & Gordinho) as world champion siblings, but they will be the first to have done it in the same year.

*** Black Adult Men – Feather ***

2010 Worlds: Rafael Mendes
2011 Europeans: Eduardo Ramos
2011 Pans: Bruno Frazatto
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Bruno Frazatto

*If Cobrinha wins this year, he makes it 5 Worlds Golds.
*Two-time champion Mario Reis has medaled at black belt each of the last eight years, but will be
hoping he can add to his golds from 2003 and 2004.
*Mendes is the only reigning ADCC and Worlds champion.

*** Black Adult Men – Lightweight ***

2010 Worlds: Michael Langhi
2011 Europeans: Michael Langhi
2011 Pans: Lucas Lepri
2011 World Pro Gi: Leandro Lo
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Leandro Lo

*Celsinho will be looking to make it 4 Worlds black belt golds.

*** Black Adult Men – Middleweight ***

2010 Worlds: Marcelo Garcia
2011 Europeans: Claudio Calasans
2011 Pans: Claudio Calasans
2011 World Pro Gi: Claudio Calasans
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Daniel Garcia

*Marcelinho Garcia is going for his 5th Worlds black belt gold.
*With the exception of Pe de Chumbo’s victory in 2002, Alliance or an offshoot have won middleweight gold every year since 1999.
*Alexandre Paiva, his student Terere and his student (already as a brown belt) Sergio Moraes have all won middleweight gold, the only chain of 3 instructors/students to have done so at the Worlds.
*Kayron is the only male Gracie other than Roger to have medaled at black belt at the Worlds since Royler in 2000.

*** Black Adult Men – Medium Heavyweight ***

2010 Worlds: Tarsis Humphreys
2011 Europeans: Braulio Estima
2011 Pans: Andre Galvao
2011 World Pro Gi: N/A
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Sergio Moraes

*Romulo will be going for his 3rd gold in this division.
* If Sergio Moraes wins he would be the third man after Saulo Ribiero (1997/1999) and Andre Galvao (2006/2008) to have won gold at middleweight and then go on to medium heavyweight gold.

*** Black Adult Men – Heavyweight ***

2010 Worlds: Bernardo Faria
2011 Europeans: Bernardo Faria
2011 Pans: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 World Pro Gi: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Antonio Carlos Junior

*Alliance and Gracie Humaita have both won this category 5 times each.
*Alexandre and Saulo Ribeiro 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 Worlds division.

*** Black Adult Men – Super Heavy ***

2010 Worlds: Roger Gracie
2011 Europeans: Lucio Rodrigues “Lagarto”
2011 Pans: Marcus Vinicius Almeida “Buchecha”
2011 World Pro Gi: Lucio Rodrigues “Lagarto”
2011 Brazilian Nationals: Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista

*Roger has won this division 5 times but injury will see only the second new super heavyweight champ crowned since 2003.

*** Black Adult Men – Ultraheavyweight ***

2010 Worlds: Rodrigo Cavaca
2011 Europeans: Igor Silva
2011 Pans: Antonio Braga Neto
2011 Brazilian Nationals: “Big Mick” Michael George Wilson

* Pé de Pano will be going for his 4th (& potentially 5th) black belt gold. He is the only ultraheavy fighter to have won the absolute, and 1 (or even 2) more gold at this Worlds would cement his place as the preeminent ultraheavyweight fighter of the last decade.

*** Original article published at

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