After two long, turbulent years, the most important jiu-jitsu competition in the world, the IBJJF World Championship, is BACK!
Starting on December 9th, the world’s best jiu-jitsu athletes will converge on Anaheim, CA to compete for the most coveted title in the sport. Years of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication will be put to the test for a chance to reach the highest level of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As excited as we are to see all of the competitors put it on the line, we know first hand how important this tournament is to our HYPERFLY competition team. We have followed their journeys through training, coaching, and managing businesses all while keeping their focus through the ups and downs of a pandemic.
And we have nothing but the highest respect for all of our athletes who go out and give their best.
This year we have 18 athletes competing for HYPERFLY, from blue through black belt. And as our motto says, a record is not what defines you...what defines you is your heart. We know all of our athletes will compete this year, win or lose, with courage and heart.
Here is who to look for at the 2021 World Championship.
A world champion, a leader, and the longest standing member of the HYPERFLY competition team, Isaque Bahiense is the name to watch for in the ultra-competitive middleweight division. Isaque is a fierce competitor who is extremely difficult to score on.
Isaque is a physical fighter who is dangerous from all areas, on his feet, on his back, and from top position. He is the number one seed in a vicious division and could likely run into an old rival, Tommy Langaker, or AOJ rookie standout,Tainan Dalpra, in the final.
Regardless of who Isaque goes up against, the 26 year old is just entering his prime, and certainly has what it takes to earn his second world title.
The question remains, will we see Isaque take on the absolute this year? We'd love to see it.
Ana Carloina Vieira
Three-time IBJJF World Champion Ana Carolina Vieira is locked in for another world title. Now a successful gym owner and leader of the female-focused AVIV competition team, Ana has only matured as a competitor and coach.
We know Baby has been putting in a lot of work on her no-gi game in preparation of ADCC in 2022, but we fully expect her to have a dominant performance in the medium-heavy division this year at worlds. With just five women registered in the division we are confident we will see Ana in the final and ultimately, with another gold medal to wrap up 2021.
And if she enters the open weight class it could mean double gold for our girl in 2021.
Nathan is a veteran competitor and skilled martial artist who is registered in quite possibly the toughest division of the event, the medium-heavy weight class. Former world champions like Leandro Lo, Lucas Barbosa, and Otavio Sousa will provide a tough challenge for the Claudio Franca black belt, but if there’s one thing we know about Nathan, it’s that he’s not one to back down from a challenge.
Nathan is a scrappy, yet technical black belt with a dangerous guard, an effective passing game, and a competitor’s mindset. We cant wait to see Nate throw it down again in 2021.
After dominant showings in the world championship at the colored ranks this year will be the first time Ana has had the chance to compete for a world title at black belt. She has won the world championship at each belt, blue, purple, and brown, and has already gained two important titles at black belt, the European and Pan Championship.
We have no doubt Ana has what it takes to complete her world title collection with a gold in the featherweight division this year. She has been working extremely hard over the last two years with the Dream Art team, waiting for her opportunity to show the world what she can do. The two names who will give Ana her toughest matches are AOJ star Jessa Khan and former world champion Tammi Musumeci.
But we know Ana’s hard work and heart will lead her to that black belt title she’s been patiently waiting for.
Lucas Gualberto is another product of the Dream Art Team, and is a young, tough black belt who will be fighting alongside his coach Isaque in the middleweight division. As mentioned, the middleweight class is one of the toughest and most stacked of the event, but that’s exactly what Lucas has been training for.
He’s a purple belt world champion, brown belt European champion, and has been preparing for his black belt worlds debut since he was 10 years old. Lucas is not only a technical fighter but has tremendous heart and always seems to find a way to win.
Lucas’ time preparing with the Dream Art Team will serve him well as he steps onto the biggest stage of his life thus far this week in Anaheim.
Maria has been on a tear since returning to competition in 2021. Just recently she won the 2021 IBJJF Gi and No Gi Pan Championship, and took second at No-Gi Worlds. She also has a few golds and silvers in the absolute divisions.
Due to that, she has received the number 1 seed in the heavyweight division, and is the favorite for gold. We have no doubt "Grumpy Girl" will represent HYPERFLY as she always does, with a winning combination of technique and heart.
The heavyweight division wont be a walk through however, with 11 tough women currently registered, but we know Maria will likely earn her place on the podium. And after a bronze medal in the absolute at Pans, we're excited to see what she can do on the world stage.
One of our favorite athletes to watch is Brandon Walensky, a crafty featherweight with incredible technique and a submission focused style. Brandon is always hunting the finish and has a dangerous guard that can catch anyone.
He's registered in the hyper-competitive featherweight division and could run into former world champion Jamil Hill in the second round. But if there's anything we know about Brandon, it's that he loves a challenge and will do everything he can for the W.
The featherweight class is often thought of as the "most technical" division, with lighting fast attacks, fierce pacing, and extremely tough opponents. Brandon has all of those qualities in his arsenal and we'll know they'll be on full display in Anaheim.
Now maturing into her third year as a black belt, Gabi is slated for her first world title at the elite rank. She is already a two-time black belt Pan Champion and worlds bronze medalist. After a silver at 2021 Pans we know Gabi is as hungry as ever for this world title.
A recent team change to Atos placed her amongst female world champions like Luiza Monteiro and Angelica Galvao. Not bad company to be amongst when you're chasing a world title.
Could that be the spark she needs to take home gold in 2021? With the likes of Bianca Basilio and Amal Amjahid registered it will be no small feat to take first, but it could be just what Gabi needs to boost her to the top of the podium. We cant wait to watch.
In just her first year as a black belt Yara has already accumulated an absolute gold medal at the prestigious Pan Championship. She is registered in the ultra-heavy division and will likely meet up with her rival Gabi Pessanha or juggernaut and multi-time world champ Gabi Garcia.
Regardless, Yara has been training at the esteemed Dream Art facility under the eye of Isaque Bahiense and amongst female superstars like Bia Besquita and Ana Rodrigues. Yara is capable of a total worlds takeover, including a gold in her weight class and absolute.
Will it be a first year black belt world title for the rookie? We're thinking so, but we cant wait to watch what unfolds on Sunday.
At brown belt we are proud to have Terrance Souser, Arthur Mariath, and Samantha Hall representing the brand.
Our purple belts include Pablo Perez and La'Catherine Transleau and our blue belts feature Sophia Rose Magana, Giovanna Jara de Souza, Pedro Henrique, and Thaynara Soares.
Catch all the action live on FloGrappling and check out our Holiday Gi Gift Guide here!