Xande or Roger, who will be the first three-time champ?

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Xande Ribeiro against Roger Gracie. Photo: Alicia Anthony

Amaury Bitetti, Rodrigo Comprido, Márcio Pé de Pano, Ronaldo Jacaré, Alexandre Ribeiro and Roger Gracie are all two-time absolute world champions. However, at the 2010 installment of the most important event on the Jiu-Jitsu calendar has all the makings of being the tournament to produce the first-ever three-time winner of the most prestigious black belt division.

Roger Gracie, who won in 2009, has stated several times in the past that he is in pursuit of a third. Another two-time champion who has been dedicating himself more to MMA is also in the running: Xande Ribeiro.

“I can’t resist. I thought I’d be able to keep out of it, but I can’t. I’m in the 2010 Worlds!” says Xande over Twitter, guaranteeing his place in the dispute.

There’s still time for Ronaldo Jacaré and Pé de Pano to enter the race, but those two are currently neck deep in MMA. Rodrigo Comprido, too, may stick his neck out in the quest for a third, while Amaury Bitetti is fully retired.

Nevertheless, don’t go thinking the title can only go to one of those three. Beasts like Ricardo Demente, Rômulo Barral, Bráulio Estima and even the much lighter Claudio Calasans, among a bunch of others, are ready to rain on their parade.

So one question remains: will we have a three-time absolute champion in 2010? Place your bets!

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