Pan: how it was in 2014, how it could be in 2015 (Updated)

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Pan Americans Irvine Venue / Photo by John Cooper

Pan Americans Irvine Venue / Photo by John Cooper

The 2015 Pan is less than a week away and after registration closed we can take a look on what the four days of action at the Bren Events Center have in store for us.

In a fun exercise of foresight, we will try to predict how each division of the black belt will play out based on our own observation of the competition landscape in the recent months.

To make things even more exciting, we’ll also compare with last year’s result and analyze the chances of a repetition in 2015.

Here we go.

Male black belt


Caio terra and Bruno Malfacine in the 2012 Worlds

Cio Terra vs. Bruno Malfacine

After being absent in 2014, the owners of the category are back. Bruno Malfacine and Caio Terra put their names down and should repeat the common sight of the two battling for gold in the final.

2014 final: João Pedro Rodrigues (champion) vs. Milton Bastos

Most probable final in 2015: Bruno Malfacine vs. Caio Terra



One year later, the landscape of the division seems the same. Brothers João and Paulo Miyao are even more experienced and dangerous, so it is hard to imagine another outcome than the two in the final.

2014 final: João Miyao vs. Paulo Miyao (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: João Miyao vs. Paulo Miyao



(UPDATED 3/09) Gianni Grippo is back to try his first gold medal as a black belt at the Pan. Mario Reis, the other finalist of 2014, went up to lightweight. With that, Osvaldo Moizinho, Kim Terra and Vitor Paschoal have the best chances to make to the final too.

2014 final: Mario Reis vs. Gianni Grippo (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: Osvaldo Moizinho vs. Gianni Grippo


JT Torres

JT Torres

Langhi and Lepri, last year’s finalists, are not on the list. With that, the division is wide open to many great names registered. JT Torres, AJ Agazarm, Rodrigo Freitas, Rodrigo Caporal, newcomer Michael Liera top the list of favorites. It will be a sight to see regardless of the outcome.

2014 final: Michael Langhi vs. Lucas Lepri (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: JT Torres vs. AJ Agazarm


Lo vs. Otavio in the 2014 Pan

Lo vs. Otavio

As the roosterweight, in the middleweight two names stand out of the crowd. Leandro Lo and Otavio Sousa were in the final in 2014 and should be again in 2015. Vitor Oliveira and Victor Estima are the two fighters with the most chances to intrude in the final match.

2014 final: Leandro Lo (champion) vs. Otavio Sousa

Most probable final in 2015: Leandro Lo vs. Otavio Sousa


Keenan Cornelius in the 2014 Worlds

Keenan Cornelius

(Updated 3/09) Again, last year’s finalists Guto Campos and Keenan Cornelius are in and should be big contenders for the final. Nevertheless, there are other great talents in the mix, such as Murilo Santana, Renato Cardoso, Inacio Neto and Abmar Barbosa.

2014 final: Guto Campos (champion) vs. Keenan Cornelius

Most probable final in 2015: Keenan Cornelius vs. Guto Campos



Lucas Leite is on the list, but Yuri Simões went up to super-heavy. With that, the final is wide open for any takers and there’s no shortage of candidates. Felipe Bueno, Alexandro Ceconi, Marcelo Mafra, Lucas Rocha, and Tim Spriggs are the most notable.

2014 final: Lucas Leite vs. Yuri Simões (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: Lucas Leite vs. Tim Spriggs


Bernardo Faria

Bernardo Faria

(Updated 3/09) Another tough division to call. Bernardo Faria should always be recognized as one of the top contenders. the other finalist of 2014, Luiz Panza, went up to the ultra-heavy. Yuri Simões has been displaying recently a drive and a technical performance that puts him right up there with the two-time world champion from Alliance. Of course we cannot count out talents like Leonardo Nogueira and Erberth Santos.

2014 final: Bernardo Faria vs. Luiz Panza (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: Yuri Simões vs. Bernardo Faria


Luiz Panza at Pan 2014

Luiz Panza

(Updated 3/09) André Galvão is out, but Alex Trans is in. João Gabriel Rocha is back after over one year. Abraham Marte, Gustavo Dias, James Puopolo and Luiz Panza are all names to be considered. Very tough division to call.

2014 final: André Galvão (champion) vs. Alex Trans

Most probable final in 2015: Abraham Marte vs. Luiz Panza

 Open class

Depends on who signs in to compete.

2014 final: André Galvão (champion) vs. Leandro Lo

Most probable final in 205: ?


Female black belt


Sofia Amarante and Marcela Lawton are the only two registered.

2014 final: none

2015 final: Sofia Amarante vs. Marcela Lawton


Michelle Nicolini subbed Mazzelli to take medium-heavy gold. Photo: Erin Herle.

Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Nicolini is the favorite, but Gezary Bandeira and Ariadne Oliveira should make a run for the gold too.

2014 final: Andrea Encarnacion (champion) vs. Nyjah Easton

Most probable final in 2015: Michelle Nicolini vs. Ariadne Oliveira


Like in 2014, Mackenzie Dern and Tammi Musumeci should be in the final.

2014 final: Mackenzie Dern vs. Tammi Musumeci (champion)

Most probable final in 2015: Mackenzie Dern vs. Tammi Musumeci


Beatriz Mesquita

Beatriz Mesquita

Bia Mesquita and Fabiana Borges are back at it, but Angelica Galvão is a newcomer that should cause a lot of trouble.

2014 final: Bia Mesquita (champion) vs. Fabiana Borges

Most probable final in 2015: Bia Mesquita vs. Angelica Galvão


Luiza Monteiro

Luiza Monteiro

Luiza Monteiro and Megan Nevill registered once again, but Monique Elias has all the tools to be in the final.

2014 final: Luiza Monteiro (champion) vs. Megan Nevill

Most probable final in 2015: Luiza Monteiro vs. Monique Elias


Again, only two athletes registered.

2014 final: Talita Nogueira (champion) vs. Kay Stephenson

2015 final: Andressa Correa vs. Ana Laura Cordeiro


Only two also.

2014 final: Tammy Griego (champion) vs. Andressa Correa

2015 final: Dominika Obelenyte vs. Tammy Griego


Gabi Garcia champion 2013 WPJJC Abu Dhabi

Gabi Garcia

Gabi is alone in the division.

2014 final: none

2015 final: none

Open class

As in the male division, depends on who signs in.

2014 final: Bia Mesquita (champion) vs. Andressa Correa

Most probable final in 2015: ?

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