On December 9th, 2021 the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation held the 25th edition of the IBJJF World Championship in Anaheim California. The most prestigious gi tournament returned after being canceled for more than a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
IBJJF World Championships Results – Day 1
In a classic fashion the IBJJF World Championship 2021 kicked off with the blue belts. Showcasing what the future holds for Jiu Jitsu, the young prospects showed a very high level of skills, providing spectators with a super energetic atmosphere and a lot of submissions.
Alliance’s young talent Danylo Ferreira Wruck managed to double gold, submitting 7 of his 9 opponents and earning his purple belt at the podium. In the female blue belt division Dream Art shined with the result of Thaynara Soares, winning her division and the absolute.
For the second half of the day we had the women’s brown belt divisions, they showcased very good competitive skills, and surely some of them will be shaking things up soon at the black belt scene. Zenith competitor Amy Campo dominated the female brown belt scene and took home gold both in her division and in absolute.
IBJJF World Championships Results – Day 2
On day 2 we witnessed some stacked purple and brown belt divisions with some of the fastest rising stars in Jiu Jitsu. For sure the story of the day was about the Ruotolo brothers. Over the last two year the twins have mainly focused in no-gi. They haven’t competed in the gi for two years and a half.
Kade and Tye ran through the lightweight brown belt division submitting everyone in their way. In the final they decided to not close out but instead to compete against each other. In a very scrappy match Tye won against his brother with an armbar finish.
The other star of the day was definitely Pedro Machado who won the Medium Heavy division and the final of the absolute submitting the very high rated Mason Fowler, who himself won the Super Heavyweight division and recently the ADCC North America Trials.
IBJJF World Championships Results – Day 3
On day 3 it was finally time for the bread and butter of the event, the Black Belts Absolute division and the elimination matches all the way to the quarter finals. Like always the IBJJF World Championship provided some dream match ups in the absolute as well as in the weight divisions.
In the male absolute, Nicholas Meragali and Felipe Pena qualified for the finals winning against some big names. In the semifinal Meragali took a very tough ref decision against Atos super star Kaynan Duarte, on the other side of the semifinal bracket Pena outscored the absolute IBJJF Pan American and European Champion Felipe Andrew.
In the women’s absolute division we witnessed a major upset in the semifinals. Young generation black belts Gabriela Pessanha and Yara Solares took down two of the biggest legends in female Jiu Jitsu, Beatriz Mesquita and Gabi Garcia. Solares made history by submitting Garcia for the first time in her black belt career.
IBJJF World Championships Results – Day 4
The most awaited day of the championship was the black belt finals held on Sunday. We saw some of the new generation black belts dominating their divisions and some well known names making history.
At the rooster weight division Mikey Musameci conquered the podium once again, winning his 4th World title in a row by beating former ten time world champion Bruno Malfacine by points. Musameci is now the only American to hold four world titles in the black belt division.
In the featherweight division Fight Sports’ freshly promoted black belt Fabricio Andrey won the gold. He put on a big show like always, with his entertaining and offensive style. In the final Andrey submitted current IBJJF Pan American Black Belt Featherweight and former IBJJF World Champion Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor with a triangle from elevator sweep, one of the most beautiful submissions of the tournament.
The long awaited debut in the black belt World Championship of AOJ prodigy Tinan Dalpra was a blast. No one in the middle weight division had an answer for Dalpra’s tactical game. On his road to win the division, Tinan outclassed some big names like former World Champion Isaque Bahiense, Atos superstar Ronaldo Junior, and top European black belt Tommy Langaker.
The Atos phenomenon Kaynan Duarte was able to win his first world title in the heavyweight division with a spectacular performance. Duarte won the World Championship in 2019 but was stripped of his title when he tested positive for PED use.
Dream Arts’ talented first year black belt Eric Munis put one of the most dominant performances of the tournament by taking the crown and beating some of the biggest names in the super heavyweight division. He triumphed over absolute finalist Felipe Pena and IBJJF Absolute Black Belt Pan American and European Champion Felipe Andrew.
The biggest upset of the tournament was definitely the match between Victor Hugo and Nicholas Meragali in the ultra heavy division semifinal. After winning the match Meragali was disqualified from the tournament by disciplinary decision. The decision came after Meragali raised his middle finger to a heckler in the crowd, giving the win to Hugo.
Hugo went on to beat Max Gimenes in the final of the division. After this disqualification Felipe Pena was crowned with his long sought after Absolute IBJJF Black Belt world title, and afterwards left his belt on the mat signifying his retirement from IBJJF Adult competition.
In the female Black Belt division Bia Mesquita was able to win her 7th IBJJF black belt world title by outscoring Atos black belt Luiza Monteiro. The young talented Gabrieli Pessanha won double gold for the first time in the Black Belt division; in the final Pessanha outscored her long time rival Yara Solares in the 14th match between them.
I am black belt under Bruno Bastos and I am very passionate about Jiu Jitsu. I do the sport for 13 years. Now I am an owner and head coach at one of the biggest Jiu Jitsu academies in Bulgaria and still an active competitor.