The 2013 Pan kicks off tomorrow and goes on until next Sunday.
The next five days will be filled with unforgettable thrills.
The adult black belt division enters the mats on Saturday, but the brackets are in and we can start to draw how things are going to turn out in each division.
The predictions to follow are nothing but predictions by GracieMag’s editor, Ivan Trindade, based on recent results and his information on how the athletes arrive to compete at the 2013 Pan.
His intention is only to raise the debate and draw attention to the competition.
GracieMag or Ivan do not root for any competitor and wish all competitors an equal amount of luck and success.
With that said, here are the picks for each division.
Let’s start the debate!
Time goes by but the scenery among the lightest division does not change. With nine athletes registered, it is hard to think of any outcome different than a Caio Terra vs. Bruno Malfacine match for the gold. As every encounter between the two, there’s no favorite. Caio Terra has been competing more often and that counts in his favor, but Malfa has a clear advantage in their personal record.
Final: Bruno Malfacine vs. Caio Terra
Champion: Caio Terra
With 11 athletes in, one name stands out as favorite. Guilherme Mendes, three-time world champion, is the man to be beat at the light-featherweight. Gui is almost a sure presence in the final on one side of the bracket. On the other side, Laercio Fernandes, Gustavo Carpio, Gabriel Willcox and Paulo Mello will fight for the other spot. With better results lately, Laercio has better chances to fight for the gold with Gui.
Final: Laercio Fernandes vs. Guilherme Mendes
Champion: Guilherme Mendes
Again, the division has the presence of the usual suspects when it comes to being semifinalists. If everything goes accordingly, the final four will be Rubens Cobrinha vs. Augusto Tanquinho and Rafael Mendes vs. Mario Reis. The Tanquinho-Cobrinha duel has a more undefined outcome than the match between Rafa and Mario. Even so, it is still a safe bet to say that the two big rivals of the division will advance to the final.
Final: Rubens Cobrinha vs. Rafael Mendes
Champion: Rafael Mendes
There are two big news bites in the division. The return of multi-champion Michael Langhi and the decision made by Leandro Lo to fight as a middleweight. With Lo’s absence, there’s a big possibility of a closeout between Langhi and Lucas Lepri, as they have done so many times in different championships. The big if, however, is the presence of Jonathan “JT” Torres, always a fierce competitor. He will probably be Langhi’s opponent in one of the semifinals. Brazilian Vinicius Marinho and newcomers Zach Maxwell, Nathan Mendelsohn and Tanner Rice are also in the mix.
Final: Lucas Lepri vs. Michael Langhi
The death group. There’s no way to hide, no way to run. On one side, Otavio Sousa, Clark Gracie, DJ Jackson, Magid Hage IV. On the other side, Leandro Lo, Sean Roberts, Lucas Rocha, Kayron Gracie. Anything can happen, but only as an exercise of prediction, let’s say that Otavio Sousa is favorite for one spot in the final after a war against DJ Jackson and Leandro Lo will battle Kayron for the other spot.
Final: Otavio Sousa vs. Leandro Lo
Champion: Otavio Sousa
Another division that has two clear favorites. Romulo Barral and Andre Galvão are the safe bet for the big final. Guto Campos and Ricardo Bastos will be Barral’s hardest obstacles on the way to the gold medal match. Galvão will have to overcome Felipe Preguiça and Tarsis Humphreys. The only sure thing about the final between Galvão and Rominho, if it happens, is that it will be a full-out war.
Final: Romulo Barral vs. Andre Galvão
Champion: Romulo Barral
Without Xande Ribeiro or Rodolfo Vieira, the division is up for grabs. Gracie Barra’s Roberto Alencar is a heavy contender and almost a sure presence in the final. Tarcisio Jardim also wants that spot. On the other side, Check Mat’s Lucas Leite, last year’s winner, wants to keep his title.
Final: Roberto Alencar vs. Lucas Leite
Champion Roberto Alencar
A division designed for a closeout. It is hard to imagine any outcome different from a final between Bernardo Faria and Leonardo Nogueira. The two friends and teammates from Alliance are the clear favorites. Veteran Gabriel Vella returns and is probably the sole chance of a final match for real here.
Final Bernardo Faria vs. Leonardo Nogueira
A good bet for the two semifinals is Alexander Trans vs. Roberto Cyborg, Marcus Almeida vs. Gustavo Dias. Buchecha is the man to be beat. The current world black belt absolute champion seems to have all the tools to stay on the top. Can somebody dethrone him?
Final: Alex Trans vs. Marcus Buchecha
Champion: Marcus Buchecha
Buchecha is the favorite, but who knows?!