The 2014 World Master Championship is still a bit far away, scheduled November 1 -2.
Even so, we have put a list together of ten competitors that we would like to see displaying their technique at the Long Beach Walter Pyramid.
We tried to list names of athletes that are not competing in MMA and also skipped those who have competed recently in other IBJJF events.
Besides being great champions, the members of the list have in common the fact that they are all still active, teaching classes, seminars and camps worldwide.
Here we go.
Marcio Feitosa – Three-time world champion as a black belt (1997, 2001, 2002), Feitosa is the field general for the Gracie Barra team. A devoted pupil of Master Carlos Gracie Jr, he is currently teaching at the headquarters school, in Irvine, California. Known for a highly technical game, Marcinho had his last appearance in the Worlds in 2006, when he was defeated in the final by Rubens Cobrinha, then a rising star in the featherweight division. Feitosa is now 38 years old and would compete in the Master 2 division.
Lana Stefanac – The main name of the 2009 Worlds in the female division, Lana Stefanac became famous when she defeated Kyra Gracie in the open class final still as a brown belt. Now a black belt and owner of Trinity BJJ, in Oakland, CA, Lana has been away from the IBJJF circuit for some time. She also ventured in MMA and has a 6-0 record, with her last fight in 2008. Lana is now 39 years old and would compete in the Master 2 division.
Robert Drysdale – World champion in 2005, Drysdale is one of three USA-born athletes to have ever reached the top of the podium of the event as a black belt (BJ Penn and Rafael Lovato Jr being the other two). A black belt under Leo Vieira, Drysdale is also a ADCC open class champion (2007) and is now venturing into MMA, having recently signed with the UFC. He owns Drysdale BJJ and teaches in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is 33 years old and would compete in the Master 1 division.
Bianca Andrade – Four-time world champion (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010), Bianca is one of the most important names in female Jiu-Jitsu history. From Alagoas, in the northeast of Brazil, she was also a professional bodyboarder before putting on the gi. Famous for her armbars and energetic celebrations, Bianca now teaches at Gracie Barra Maceió, in Brazil, with her husband and also black belt Diojone Farias. She is now 41 years old and would compete in the Master 3 division.
Fernando Pontes “Margarida” – The only one in our list with a adult black belt open class title in the curriculum (2001), Margarida is always a sight to be seen. Considered one of the most talented fighters in the early 2000’s. He had memorable battles with so many great competitors that it’s almost unfair to name just one, but Saulo Ribeiro and Fabio Gurgel come to mind. Margarida is now 34 years old and would compete in the Master 1 division.
Fabio Gurgel – The General is a four-time world champion (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001). Co-founder and co-leader of the nine-time teams world champion Alliance, Gurgel competed for the last time in a IBJJF event in 2010, when he conquered the heavyweight division of the European Championship. An expert in guard passing, Gurgel is known for going head to head with much younger black belts at training. He is now 44 years old and would compete in the Master 3 division.
Leonardo Vieira – Two-time ADCC champion (2003, 2005) and world champion (1999), Leozinho is another of those guys who helped build the history of competition in Jiu-Jitsu. Owner of an exciting game, the founder and leader of Checkmat is known as a skilled strategist and highly technical athlete. In one of his last appearances, Leozinho rose again to the occasion and managed to finish second in the -77kg division of the 2011 ADCC. Leozinho is now 38 years old and would be competing in the Master 2 division.
Vinicius Magalhães – Draculino is a three-time Pan champion (1995, 1996, 1998), but his most important accomplishments came as a Professor, forming new talents. One of the three breeding grounds for the Gracie Barra team (alongside Rio and Recife), his school in Belo Horizonte (or one of his affiliates) revealed such talents as Romulo Barral, Felipe Preguiça, Pablo Silva, Samuel Braga, Cristiano “Titi” Lazarini, among many others. Draculino, now leader of Gracie Barra Texas, is 43 years old and would compete in the Master 3 division.
Roberto “Gordo”Correa – World champion in 1996, Roberto Correa is a black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. He is well known as the first developer of the half-guard and its techniques to attack and defend after a knee injury. Responsible for the developing of many great black belts such as Nino Schembri and Celso Venícius, Correa is for sure one of the most highly regarded Jiu-jitsu Professors in the game. He is 43 years old and would compete in the Masters 3 division.
Royler Gracie – The Gracie on the list, Royler is the leader of Gracie Humaita and for sure one of the protagonists in the history of the gentle art. Four-time world champion (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) and still the lightest athlete to ever reach the black belt open class podium in a world championship, the son of Helio Gracie is known for being the light guy with a heavy pressure. Currently teaching in San Diego, California, Royler is 48 years old and would compete in the Master 4 division.
What about you, dear reader? Which athlete would you like to see back on the mats at the 2014 Worlds Master?