Mundials Motivation #9: See which champions change the black belt rankings

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Buchecha in the final of the black belt adult absolute at the 2013 Pan. Photo: Ivan Trindade

Now halfway through the 18 reasons to support the 2013 World Championship May 29 – June 2, this type of motivation is for the black belts — but watching what happens is intriguing for all.

Reason #9: See how the IBJJF black belt rankings change after all is said and done.

The IBJJF rankings for both male and female black belts is a fairly new concept. With the points structure in place, every IBJJF tournament from the Atlanta Open to the World Championship is important to a black belt’s ranking. They were implemented in 2012 as a way to determine who goes where in the black belt brackets as the top athletes hold precedent, accumulating points as far back as 2010. They are also used in determining who earns an invitation to the annual IBJJF Pro League event.

When the rankings began, Rodolfo Vieira was the leader in the male ranking and Gabrielle Garcia held the top spot on the female ranking with a 500-point lead.

Today, Gabi has yet to move from the No. 1 spot, now leading with a 900-point gap over teammate Luanna Alzuguir and Checkmat’s Michelle Nicolini respectively. The females tend to stay in their spots for the most part, as the point differences are rather large. Interesting, however, that Mackenzie Dern has made it to the tenth spot despite only competing as a black belt for less than six months.

For the males, the rankings today fluctuate as Marcus Buchecha Almeida has made his way to the top once again after Bernardo Faria was injured at the 2013 Pan American Championship in March. His match against Buchecha in the semifinals of the absolute not only caused him a rib injury but also a downgrade in the rankings as his teammate, Leonardo Nogueira, preceded him as well. Now in the third spot, it would take Bernardo at least two visits to the podium at this year’s Worlds to possibly move up.

The intrigue of the rankings is that all weight classes are combined into one point system. Roosterweights like Caio Terra, who is currently in the fifth position, and Bruno Malfacine in spot No. 11, prove that being consistent is key, regardless of competing in the open weight division where points hold much more weight. Featherweights like sixth place Rafael Mendes and his brother Guilherme in the eighth spot have ranked within the top 10 without ever competing in the open weight division at major IBJJF events.

Who do you think will be moving up in the black belt rankings after a trip to the podium this year? Let us know!

To see the full IBJJF black belt rankings for yourself, please click here.

If you have yet to sign up for the World Championship this year or you would simply like more information, you can go to:  www.ibjjf.org

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