Guest Post from Breakinggrips.com
If you want to know who are the next stars of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you should look no further than the brown belt divisions. Many of these athletes are taking the first steps in a career of professional Jiu Jitsu that will hopefully see them crowned as a black belt world champion
Here are 5 Brown Belts you have to keep an eye on
The top competitions in the world are notoriously difficult to win at Brown belt and anyone who has the skills to win at brown has a good chance of winning the top prizes at black belt. Here are some of the top brown belts to keep an eye out for in 2020.
Erich Munis Dos Santos
Erich Munis and his two brothers Anderson and Alex have been dominating the color belt divisions since they were kids. Out of the three brothers Erich is perhaps the most talented. In 2019 Erich won the IBJJF grand slam. This means he won double gold at all four of the major IBJJF competitions in the Adult division. This is an amazing achievement considering the level of competition that he faced. Erich had the honor of closing out the absolute division with his brother Anderson at the 2019 world championships.
Erich and his brothers hail from Parana in Brazil and previously trained at Nova União under famed coach Feijao but have since made the move to Alliance. Erich has an excellent all-round game and is particularly adept at using his spider guard to sweep opponents.
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Erich’s older brother Anderson is the heaviest of the three Munis brothers and typically competes in the Super Heavy or Ultra heavyweight division. In 2019 he won double gold at Purple in the World Championships and also got gold at the Europeans and UAE World Pro. In 2018 Anderson received an invite to the Spyder Invitational to compete in the under 100kg division. Despite being the only purple belt in the division he managed to defeat Roberto Jimenez and 2019 ADCC champion Mattheus Diniz before losing a close match to Kaynan Duarte.
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Roberto Jimenez caught everyone’s attention when he won double gold as a purple belt in the 2018 IBJJF World Championships. He won the double gold in spectacular fashion too, submitting all 10 of his opponents on the day to claim gold in heavyweight and the Absolute divisions. Andre Galvao was the last athlete to do the same thing at purple belt in 2003. Since then Roberto has been competing non-stop. He has already won numerous tournaments as a brown belt with his quadruple gold at the 2019 American Nationals being one of the highlights.
Roberto trains out of Alliance and is coached by his father Raul “Gacho” Jimenez along with BJJ legend Lucas Lepri. He has a high action style of attacking Jiu Jitsu and also has the ability to wrestle if needed.
Conner Deangelis is BJJ brown belt under Andre Galvao at ATOS HQ in San Diego. Conner has won multiple titles at blue and purple belt including IBJJF world titles in both Gi and Nogi. He received his brown belt in June 2019 and will be hoping to win gold at the 2020 World Championships as a brown belt. Conner is known for having an extremely difficult guard to pass. He favors the SLX position and regularly wins matches using his own “come up” sweep. On top, he prefers a combination of pressure and knee slice passing. Last year he was featured on Flograppling after he decided to convert his van into a mobile home in order to allow him the freedom to train full time as a Jiu Jitsu athlete.
Tainan Dalpra is perhaps the number one prospect at the talent factory that is the Mendes brothers AOJ gym in California. Tainan is an extremely technical grappler and has rarely looked under pressure while winning a vast array of titles that have included World, Pan, and European championships. Tainan caught the Jiu Jitsu community’s attention in 2018 when he submitted BJJ black belt and veteran Bill Cooper despite still being an 18-year-old purple belt. Over the course of the last year, Tainan has bulked up his physique and has confirmed that his ultimate goal is to win a black belt world title in the middleweight division.