A quick look at the list of athletes shows that almost all of the big stars already signed in.
Nevertheless, some major players are still missing from the list of black belts.
Here’s how things look at this moment.
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Male Black belt
Rooster – João Miyao is already in, as are Koji Shibamoto, Fabio Passos and Ivaniel Cavalcanti. Six-time world champion Bruno Malfacine’s absence is surely temporary. Caio Terra is another huge name still not on the list.
Light-featherweight – Again, the sitting champion is still absent, in the person of Guilherme Mendes. His toughest opponents, on the other hand, are already there. Paulo Miyao, Kim Terra, Vitor Paschoal, Samir Chantre, Carlos Holanda, Bernardo Pitel and Kim Terra are all strong candidates for the quarterfinal stage at least.
Featherweight – In this case, four-time champion Rafael Mendes made sure to register early. So did almost all the other major players of the division, such as Gianni Grippo, Leo Saggioro, Victor Genovesi, Osvaldo Moizinho and Isaque Paiva. The big absences so far are Rubens Cobrinha and Mario Reis.
Lightweight – Michael Langhi just posted that his registration is done. His teammate Lucas Lepri, the reigning champion, is still absent. All the others are already there, like JT Torres, AJ Sousa, Rodrigo Caporal, Marcelo Mafra, Rodrigo Freitas and Samuel Canquerino.
Middleweight – Traditionally one of the toughest divisions at the Worlds, the 2015 edition will be no exception. Reigning champion Leandro Lo is in, as well as two-time champion Otavio Sousa. Other than the two, an impressive list of contestants is also registered, such as Victor Estima, Vitor Oliveira, Claudio Calasans Jr., Marcos Souza, Tanner Rice and others.
Medium-heavy – Romulo Barral is still not on the list, but other major contestants are. This division had no champion in 2014, after Braulio Estima had to forfeit his result when he tested positive in the anti-doping test. Gustavo Campos, Keenan Cornelius, newcomers Matheus Diniz, Inacio Neto and Renato Cardoso will be driving hard for that gold medal.
Heavyweight – Champion Felipe Neto is still not in, as well as runner-up André Galvão. Other than that, a whole bunch of tough guys already signed in. Tim Spriggs, Erberth Santos, Felipe Dias, Eliot Kelly, Roberto Torralbas, Arnaldo Maidana and Antonio Antonioli are some of them.
Super-heavyweight – With the 2014’s champion Rodolfo Vieira out, the division is up for grabs. Bernardo Faria is probably the stronger contestant, followed by Yuri Simões, Igor Silva and James Puopolo. All of them are already registered.
Ultra-heavyweight – Marcus Buchecha’s name still doesn’t show on the list, but it will. Another certainty in this division is that it will be one of the toughest of all times. If Leo Nogueira stays in instead of going to the super-heavy division, he will add incredible value to the presences of Alex Trans, Ricardo Evangelista, Abraham Marte, Rodrigo Cavaca and Thiago Gaia.
Female black belt
Created in 2014, the roosterweight division is still without any athlete. In the light-feather, champion Gezary Matuda is still not on the list. In the featherweight, Michelle Nicolini is already present to try her 9th gold medal at the Worlds. She have to overcome tough opponents like Tammi Musumeci and Mackenzie Dern. In the lightweight division, Bia Mesquita is in to defend her title against challengers Luiza Monteiro, Nadia Melo, Jessica Cristina and Fabiana Borges.
In the middleweight division, a new champion will be crowned after Janni Larsson announced she’s stepping away from competitions. Monique Elias, Luanna Alzuguir, Ida Hansson and Sijara Eubanks want that gold medal. In the medium-heavy division, Ana Laura Cordeiro will fight hard to keep the title against Andressa Correa, Rachel Demara and Leticia Lalli. In the heavyweight division, 2014 champion Andressa Correa is registered as a medium-heavy, which makes the division an open field. Dominyka Obelenyte, Talita Nogueira and Vanessa do Nascimento are the top contenders for the gold medal. In the superheavy division, 2014 champion Venla Luukkonen and Alison Tremblay are waiting for Gabi Garcia to register.