Taking on the BJJ Worlds is no beginner’s task. And I don’t mean only for athletes, but for spectators as well, both on the stands and in the chair at home.
With so many fights, styles and techniques, the aficionado tends to get lost, not knowing what to look at. And so they miss some remarkable moments and lessons, not to mention the bouts.
To try to help both the long-time fan and the newcomer, GRACIEMAG has made a guide so that you don’t miss out on anything important about the 18th BJJ Worlds.
1. Get connected
The event starts on Thursday, May 30, at 9 a.m. Pacific. If you’re in the States, there’s time to have lunch and get the pay-per-view from IBJJFTV.com and await the first bouts, starting with the adult blue-belts. Connect also with GRACIEMAG’s Google+, where the main photos will be published daily, as well as some surprises. Follow the event play-by-play on gplus.to/graciemagazine.
2. Magrinho tries to make blue-belt history
Right in the first couple of hours of the competition, look out for light featherweight Hiago Gama, who has won every major IBJJF competition he has entered this year. Watch out for how he takes the back of his foes at only 21 years of age.
3. Reading time
Around 2:30 p.m., look for the fight between promising lightweight blue-belts Horlando Monteiro (Kimura/ Nova União) and Dante Leon (Ribeiro JJ). Just look for the badges on their gis and their efficient play. Will you be in the Pyramid? Climb the stands and get to the GRACIEMAG kiosk and buy your brand new book with the illustrated history of the BJJ Worlds.
4. Lessons on the bleachers
When your eyes get sore from so much strong blue-belt BJJ, turn around and chat with your idols, preferably those not busy yelling at their students. The acai line all the way up is a great place to find some of the greatest champions, as well as MMA stars and experienced masters laughing and chatting. If you’re a blue-belt, remember to enroll in the open before 9:30 p.m. There will be no registration on Friday.
5. Purple Friday
Friday the 31st brings the purple-belts with it, and at 11:45 a.m. in California there will already be a famous one on the mat. It’s Marcio André, a Nova União featherweight who got to the final at the ADCC Brazil qualifier, where he was beaten by João Miyao in the judges’ decision. Marcio also won the European, the Pan-American and the Brazilian, just like Hiago. He’s shown he’s got what it takes to get to the podium and maybe move up in belt.
6. Browns and blacks in the house
The lighter brown-belts begin fighting at 1:15 p.m. Friday, and the feared Paulo and João Miyao brothers start appearing on the mats trying to nab light featherweight gold. As a reader has said, they look like they come from a videogame – you take one down and another pops up to bust you – so you’d better watch out for them and their attacks from the back and the X-guard. The black-belts make their entrance from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., but wait: for now they’re only signing up. Don’t be late if you’re one of them!
7. Big Saturday
Saturday all hell breaks loose. Brown-belts start fighting at 9 a.m. and at 10:45 it’s already time for the black-belt open, featuring sitting champ Marcus Vinicius “Buchecha,” 2011 winner Rodolfo Vieira, 2006/08 king Xande Ribeiro and the ever-dangerous André Galvão, among other ferocious challengers wishing to etch their name in history. Open-class bouts go on until after noon, and by 1:50 the black-belts are back to fight in their weight classes. Not enough? Wait, at 2:50 there’s the purple-belt open, and at 5 p.m. it’s time for the brown-belt open. Can anyone upset Keenan Cornelius, the phenomenon pictured in the latest GRACIEMAG cover? Don’t forget to bring your magazine to get his autograph.
8. Huge Sunday
Starting 10 a.m. on the last day of the BJJ Worlds in Long Beach, the black-belts return for the quarterfinals. By now there’s a lot of great fighters who have been knocked out and have to watch from the stands. It will be a whopping nearly seven hours dedicated only to the greatest fighters in the world – and current champions Bruno Malfacine (rooster), Gui Mendes (light feather), Rafa Mendes (feather), Leandro Lo (light), Otávio Sousa (middle), Romulo Barral (medium-heavy), Rodolfo (heavy) and Buchecha (ultra-heavy) will be defending their titles. Super-heavyweight champ Léo Nogueira is injured, but his mate and last year’s runner-up Bê Faria will be seeking to take his place atop the podium.
The GRACIEMAG team will be bringing you the best interviews, lessons and backstage action, so stick with us here on the site and in the social networks.
To re-check the schedule, click here.
To see the brackets of each category, go here.