At the 2018 Worlds, which ended June 3rd in California, we saw every type of champion. Athletes who won gold for the first time on BJJ’s biggest stage, as well as those who successfully defended their title from last year. We also had Bia Mesquita, who bagged the medal that had slipped through her fingers last time.
In 2017, even as she led on the scoreboard, Bia launched a foot attack and moved in a way the judges deemed illegal. She was disqualified in the final, and Luiza Monteiro took gold. In 2018, they met again in the lightweight final. Bia proceeded to secure her spot atop the division as she beat Luiza 3-1 on advantages.
“The final was an all-out war,” Bia told Graciemag. “I really wanted to regain my queendom. Last year I was disqualified as I tried to finish while leading 4-2 on points, which broke a sequence of five consecutive gold medals in the lightweight category. However, I knew I belonged on top, and I really wanted to be back there. Thank God I managed to win my 6th world title as a black-belt, becoming an eight-time champion of the biggest BJJ championship and proving that all is possible when we believe.”