Some of them are sort of camouflaged on the competitor list, but the MMA stars are there, hoping to come up big at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship about to kick off this Thursday in Long Beach.
Nathan Diaz – or Nate Diaz, a UFC welterweight – is set to mix things up in the middleweight division. His brother Nick, the Strikeforce welterweight numero uno, had been announced to make it, but his name didn’t show up on the roster released on the IBJJF website. Or is he using an alias to throw everyone off his track?
Also at brown belt – but in the lightweight division –, Ben Henderson is in. The former WEC champ now in the UFC – who opted to use the name he’s best known by – is a fixture at Gi Jiu-Jitsu competitions in Arizona, where he regularly adds medals to his collection. Will he make it to the podium at the Worlds, too?
Now Cris Cyborg – who’ll be testing the heavyweight and absolute waters as a purple belt – opted to use a lesser known name when signing up, passing under the radar of the uninformed. Cristiane Justino, as her name reads among the Atos representatives at the competition, has experience at such events as the ADCC. Could she have what it takes in the gi, as well?
All these questions and many more will begin to be answered starting this Thursday. So stay tuned to GRACIEMAG.com and the GRACIEMAG at the Worlds Blog for the full scoop.