The 2013 Worlds came and went and so we go back to the 10 questions we asked on May 15. This year’s event featured some long awaited moments that answered numerous questions that have been on everybody’s minds. Here are they.
1. Who’s the new king of Jiu-Jitsu? Buchecha or Rodolfo?
Buchecha is the undisputed reigning king of Jiu-Jitsu. He had a brillant 2013 Worlds, giving no chances to any of his opponents. The 9-0 score in the open class absolute final over the also incredible Rodolfo Vieira was the perfect cap for an amazing weekend. Buchecha is at least one step ahead of all other competitors. Very skilled, unpredictable, fast and with infinite pressure, Buchecha is for sure the man of the moment.
2. Can anyone prevent an absolute final between Rodolfo and Buchecha?
No. Buchecha and Rodolfo are the two best competitors of their generation by far. Fabio Gurgel tried to put them on the same side of the absolute bracket but when that didn’t work the final between the two became an almost certainty. Rodolfo submitted all his opponents until the final and Buchecha had a bit more trouble only with Bernardo Faria in the other semifinal, but managed to advance. The overall scenario of Jiu-Jitsu black belts is one where no one is currently able to threaten the supremacy of Buchecha and Rodolfo.
3- Will Clark Gracie be able to put the family back on the top of an adult male black belt podium?
No. Clark was not able to repeat his 2013 Pan performance in Long Beach. He did well and went as far the middleweight quarterfinals, where he faced Victor Estima and lost the spot in the semifinal by 2-0. Clark is young and will have other opportunities to put the family back on the top of the podium, as will other talents like Kayron, Kron and Kyra.
4- Will Atos JJ’s black belt squad plus Keenan be able to debunk Alliance from the top of the teams’ competition?
No. It was not a good weekend for Atos JJ. Despite placing third in the adult male competition, the team was not able to make even one black belt champion (male or female). Light-featherweight Ary Farias was the one who came closest, but two steps outside the mat during celebration cost him a penalty and the title. Other than that, Atos had some bitter outcomes to the run of competitors regarded as favorites. Gui Mendes lost to Daniel Beleza in the light-featherweight and came short of the podium. Rafael Mendes suffered a last-second defeat to Tanquinho. Andre Galvão lost a tough match to Braulio Estima and had to settle for a third place in the medium-heavy. In the open class, Galvão was stopped by Leo Leite in the quarterfinals, also earlier than expected. Claudio Calasans Jr. could not give back the 2012 defeat to Otávio Sousa and had to settle for the silver medal again. Even Keenan Cornelius came short of the 18 points he was expected to score, with double gold at the brown belt medium-heavy and open class division. The defeat to Paulo Miyao in the absolute final on Saturday was maybe a sign that Atos was not in its weekend.
5- Is Gabi Garcia really unbeatable among women?
Yes, for the moment. Bia Mesquita once again was unable to present an actual threat to Gabi’s supremacy. The Alliance star cruised through the absolute and the heavyweight division to keep her title of queen of female Jiu-Jitsu. It’s going to be a while until someone is able to dethrone Gabi. First, someone will have to come up with a way to annul her size advantage and ever growing technique.
6- Will Caio Terra really stay in light-feather and if so can he pose a real threat to Gui Mendes?
No. As expected, Caio went back to his natural roosterweight. More than that, he was able to conquer his second world title when he defeated Bruno Malfacine 4-2 in the final. It was their fifth Worlds final in a row and for the first time Caio came out of it as the winner.
7- Can Cobrinha prevent Rafael Mendes from becoming a four-time world champion, like himself and Royler?
No, but Tanquinho could. Just like 2011, Augusto Tanquinho stole a spot in the featherweigjht final when he beat Rubens Cobrinha 2-0 in the semifinal. Unlike 2011, this time Tanquinho was able to put his game plan to work. A takedown in the first seconds put the Soul Fighters athlete in a comfortable position and a last-second effort for a back-taking and a takedown was all he needed to go ahead in the advantages count and claim the gold medal. Rafael Mendes will have to wait another year for a second try for the membership of the four-time featherweight champions club.
8- Are we going to see a new non-Brazilian win an adult male black belt division?
No. The Brazilian domination of the black belt division stays unchallenged. Nyjah Easton, Ida Hansson, Tracey Goodell, Mackenzie Dern, Kanako Inaba, Alex Trans, Abraham Messina, Rafael Lovato Jr. and Yukinori Sasa were the non-Brazilians able to make to the podium. Only Nyjah was able to make to a final match. Jiu-Jitsu is stronger around the world every day, but it will take a while until the dominance of the country who created the gentle art as we know is seriously threatened.
9- Will the Miyao Bros finally defeat Keenan?
Yes. Looks like all the training with the Mendes Bros before the Pan and before the Worlds paid off, despite creating some tension within the Atos JJ team (the Miyaos were not allowed to train at Atos San Diego with the rest of the team, Keenan included). For the first time after 10 battles (six against Paulo and four against João), Keenan’s arm was not raised at the end of the match. After the fight and after breaking into tears on the mat, Paulo had the following to say about the war with Keenan: “This time, it worked out. Maybe it was a random thing, I don’t know.”
10- Will anyone be disqualified for using the double guard pull?
No. As expected, the IBJJF referees were very patient with the double guard pull and the 50/50 guard, despite the protests of the crowd. At least in the main dvisions, no one got disqualified for that kind of game.