JSho’s Amazing World’s Analysis

This is a repost of JSho’s very detailed World’s 2011 analysis.

The original threads can be found here.

Sherdog

MMA.TV

This is the 16th Mundials of the modern era (1996 – ) and despite the absence of a number of Elite players due to injury (not least champions Roger Gracie, Tarsis Humphreys, Saulo and Xande Ribiero and Braulio Estima) and to the vagaries of the US Immigration System (Lucio “Lagarto”) this edition looks to have surpassed even last year’s stellar competitor list.

Budovideos will once again be running an online stream on the Saturday and Sunday, more details here:http://www.budovideos.com/online/

When not commentating on the stream, Caleb will no doubt be running his excellent live blogging service on http://thefightworkspodcast.com/

Some random Mundial stats to start us off:

*Of the 150 black belt golds won since 1996, Gracie Barra & offshoots have won 51 gold, Alliance & offshoots have won 41 gold, Gracie Humaita have won 22 golds, Nova Uniao have won 13 golds and Carlson Gracie Team & offshoots have won 11 golds
*Roger has won 10 golds (7 weight and 3 absolute)
*Xande has won 6 golds (4 weight & 2 absolute).
*Saulo Ribeiro and Robson Moura have both won 5 golds at their weight.
*Royler Gracie, Fabio Gurgel, Roberto Magalhães (Roleta) & Rubens Charles (Cobrinha) won 4 golds at their weight.
*Robson Moura won his first black belt gold in 1997 and his most recent in 2007, the longest span in terms of first and last golds. If he wins this year, that will break the record.
*Only 4 men have won 10 or more medals at Black Belt: Xande Ribeiro (10), Saulo Ribeiro (10), Comprido (10) and Roger (13)
*Roleta and Cobrinha have both won the Pan Ams and the Mundials 3 years in a row.
*Royler, Robson and Cobrinha have won their divisions 4 years in a row.
*Saulo won a different weight division 4 years in a row (1997 – 2000 Medio, Pesado, Meio Pesado, Super Pesado).
*Roger Gracie has been in his weight category final 7 years in a row, winning all 7.
*Marcelo Garcia and Cobrinha are the most decorated champions here, with 4 Mundial Gold apiece, but in terms of black belt titles at all the various Mundials (CBJJE and CBJJ/IBJJF) and the older CBJJO Copa Do Mundo, Mario Reis leaves them for dust with 8 gold.

*** The Divisions***
Competitors to date: http://www.ibjjf.org/checagemmundial2011.pdf

*** Black Adult Masculino – Galo ***
2010 Mundials: Bruno Malfacine
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Jussier S. Vieira
2011 Europeans: N/A
2011 Pan Ams: Rafael Freitas
2011 World Pro Gi: N/A
2011 Brasilieros: Bruno Malfacine

The Contenders?
A bigger field than most years with 18 competitors pre-registered. Malfacine is the reigning champ and has picked up the most recent Galo title at the Brasilieros. Of course the major talking point this year occurred when Bruno and one of his major rivals contested the Pan Ams at a higher weight category. Caio Terra, Mundial champ in 2008 but twice runner up to Malfacine in 2009 and 2010 bested Bruno in the Pan Ams final and then made some potentially ill judged statements about technique beating steroids and regardless of whether he intended to imply Bruno in particular was using the latter, most people inferred Terra was suggesting Alliance in general and Bruno in particular were his targets. Caio made some definitely ill judged/foolhardy/brave/suicidal/un-gentlemanly (delete as appropriate) comments about Gabi Garcia, he would do well to be less vocal in any victory speech this time. To be fair to him, he did not name names and did ask for something that on the face of it is pretty reasonable, drug testing for medalists at the Mundials. Make no mistake, performance enhancement drugs are undoubtedly being used by elite BJJ athletes, but whilst there is no formal position against them from the IBJJF and other federations, questions of legality are restricted to moral or ethical discussion or a perusal of a given countries laws. Given the much stated aspiration of the IBJJF and others such as USJJF to “get BJJ into the Olympics” the lack of any framework and non-affiliation to WADA seems a gaping hole in their plan. Given most other major Martial Arts such as Sambo, Judo, Savate, Muay Thai, traditional Jiu Jitsu, karate and even Wu Shu are WADA accredited, there seems no good reason for BJJ not to be, unless it is the fear that a testing framework may drive away some athletes.

In terms of other contenders, Felipe Costa must be reeling after the 23-0 defeat to Malfacine at the Brasilieros, I can’t see him going past Bruno or Caio but he may yet get another medal for his collection, with a gold in 2003 and then 6 bronze in the next 7 years. Expect Rafael Freitas and (as a shout out to non-Brazilians) Yusuke Honma to make a showing in the medals as well but this will probably be another final for Bruno and Caio.

Random facts
*Malfacine will be going for his Fourth Mundials gold, with Costa and Terra gunning for their second.
*Felipe Costa has six bronze medals in this division, equaling Comprido’s record at Black Belt.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Pluma ***
2010 mundials: Pablo Silva
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Bernardo Pitel
2011 Europeans: Ary de Melo Farias
2011 Pan Ams: Caio Terra
2011 World Pro Gi (-65kg): Augusto Lopes Mendes “Tanquinho”
2011 Brasilieros: Ary de Melo Farias

A strong field of 33 players this year, with some reigning title holders will be contesting this Mundials, Tanquinho is absent, due in part to there being no provision to weigh in the day before and drop a purported 10 kg as he did for the World Pro Gi; Terra too is absent, back down to Rooster-weight and winning friends and influencing people.
Mendes, Braga and Silva are each looking for that second Mundials Gold, but this division could well end up in an Atos close out courtesy of Mendes and Ary Farias, who seems to have grown, physically and in terms of performance since becoming a black belt. Some assured resultsat the Europeans and Brasilieros mean he will figure in the medals in my estimation.

In addition to those players, there is a strong supporting cast including Beleza, Yoshioka, Pitel, Holanda and also Wellington “Megaton” (who is the only person to have competed in every Mundials as a black belt). Atos do not enjoy the same depth of talent at Pluma as at Pena, but between Mendes and Farias, one of them is likely to make the Final. I think Laercio Fernandes is also likely to make the medals.

Random facts
*Braga will be going for a third mundials title, he could have made it last year but gave the gold to his teammate Pablo Silva.
*If Guilherme wins this and Rafael wins Pena, they will join the Ribeiro brothers and the Correa brothers (aka Gordo & Gordinho) as world champion siblings, but they will be the first to have done it in the same year.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Pena ***
2010 mundials: Rafael Mendes
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Mário Reis
2011 Europeans: Eduardo Ramos
2011 Pan Ams: Bruno Frazzatto
2011 World Pro Gi: n/a
2011 Brasilieros: Bruno Frazzatto

The Contenders?
Perhaps Cobrinha literally doesn’t know the meaning of the word “retire”. For someone whose last hurrah was the 2010 Mundials, he still put on an impressive showing at a higher weight in the World Pro Gi this year (beating a number of heavy players including Claudio Calasans before losing to Rodolfo Vieira in the Absolute Final). Now he has moved to LA, perhaps the proximity to the Pyramid has lured him back, more likely, he doesn’t want to have retired from the Mundials on a loss against his (some might say only real) rival Rafael Mendes. Anyone making the final will not have an easy time of it, Mendes and Cobrinha aside, this 32 strong field also has former World Champion Mario Reis, as well as other highly decorated players such as Eduardo Ramos, Jonatas Gurgel, Bruno Frazatto, Gabriel Wilcox, Denilson Pimenta and Theodoro Canal. With four elite players registered, it is almost inconceivable that Atos will walk away with any less than 2 medals here, if not close out the entire division as they have done at the Europeans and Pan Ams this year.

So then, another Cobrinha/Mendes final? Even with his semi-retirement, in his prime, Cobrinha has proven too much for most of this field time and again. Frazatto and Reis will be looking to take back a win, but I think we will see Rafael and Rubens compete once again with Rafael likely to win for a second year in a row.

Ryan Hall and Justin Rader will be keeping Gringo hopes alive but it is too much to expect either to figure in the medals.

Random facts
*If Cobrinha wins this year, he makes it 5 Mundial Golds
*Two time champion Mario Reis has medaled at black belt each of the last eight years, but will be hoping he can add to his golds from 2003 and 2004.
*Mendes is the only reigning ADCC and Mundials champion.
*Gabriel Willcox is the lightest person to ever win his weight (Pena) and the absolute at the same IBJJF Black Belt competition (2006 Masters & Seniors). Mario Reis has achieved the same feat at the 2009 CBJJE Mundials..

*** Black Adult Masculino – Leve ***
2010 mundials: Michael Langhi
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Moacir Mendes Jr.
2011 Europeans: Michael Langhi
2011 Pan Ams: Lucas Lepri
2011 World Pro Gi (-74kg): Leandro Lo Nascimento
2011 Brasilieros: Leandro Lo Nascimento Pereira

The Contenders?

A huge field of 47 this year in a division that is one of easiest to pick. If Lepri doesn’t win, then Langhi will, oh, except this year Leandro Lo Nascimento has become the fly in Alliance’s ointment (well, joint fly along with Caio perhaps) and has beaten Langhi at their last two meetings. This division is probably the deepest in this Mundials, with former world champions Celso Vinicius (who has won 3 of the last six Mundials albeit none of the last 3 and he also came off second best to Leandro Lo at the World Pro Gi), Gilbert “Durinho”, Davi Ramos, Jonatas Eliaquim and Christian “Xaropinho” as well as Augusto “Tanquinho” at his more natural weight are sure to make some compelling fights. This is also the deepest pool in terms of non-Brazilian talent, with JT Torres, Zak Maxwell, Steven Rosenberg and the veteran Baret Yoshida entering. JT probably stands the best chance of those 4 but i think even he will struggle to make the semi finals. I would expect to see Celsinho, Durinho, Leandro and one of the Alliance duo in the Semis.

Random facts
*Celsinho will be looking to make it four mundial black belt golds.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Medio ***
2010 mundials: Marcelo Garcia
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Adriano Silva
2011 Europeans: Claudio Calasans
2011 Pan Ams: Claudio Calasans
2011 World Pro Gi (-83kg): Claudio Calasans
2011 Brasilieros: Daniel Garcia Dias

The Contenders?
You come at the king, you best not miss. Marcelo Garcia is undoubtedly the finest middleweight since Terere and has not lost in his weight category in these championships since 2003 (only Roger has beaten him since then). Contenders have not been in short supply since 2004, but no one has had an answer for Marcelinho’s game to date, Galvao moving to Meio Pesado after consecutive finals losses in 2006 & 7, and Murilo Santana and Calasans unable to best him either. Even Sergio Moraes saw the deficiencies in his rock/paper/scissors technique ruthlessly exposed in 2008 and he, like Galvao has moved to Meio Pesdao where he is a medal favourite this year.
Calasans came closest last year and again I’m going to go for the upset and say that this is finally the year someone beats Marcelo. Terere was rumoured to be entering the Mundials this year but this has not come to pass and it is questionable whether Terere could ever recapture his past form in any case.

But anyway, enough of Calasans and Garcia and Terere, let’s also remember some other players (and not one but two Gracies) are also in the contest, with Gabriel Goulart, Rodrigo Caporal, Clark Gracie, Lucas Leite, Alan “Fin-Fou”, Victor Estima, Bruno Alves, Kron Gracie and Guto Campos. Shawn Williams and Ryan Beauregard are worth name checking as notable non-Brazilians in the field, but even putting Garcia to one side, there are too many other contenders for either to get anywhere near the medals.

Random facts
*Garcia is going for his fifth Mundials Black Belt Gold.
*With the exception of Pe de Chumbo’s victory in 2002, Alliance or an offshoot have won the Medio Gold every year since 1999.
*Alexandre Paiva, his student Terere and his student Sergio Moraes have all won Medio Gold, the only chain of 3 instructors/students to have done so at the Mundials.
*Kayron is the only male Gracie other than Roger to have medaled at Black Belt at the Mundials since Royler in 2000.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Meio-Pesado ***
2010 mundials: Tarsis Humphreys
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Diogo Almeida
2011 Europeans: Braulio Estima
2011 Pan Ams: Andre Galvao
2011 World Pro Gi: N/A
2011 Brasilieros: Sergio Moraes

The Contenders?
Last year’s final was memorable only for the rather muted ending it caused to an otherwise fascinating Absolute category, with Barral being submitted relatively quickly by Tarsis Humphreys for his first title, suffering a knee injury that saw him out of the Absolute final that year and has seen him out of form since. Although a large field at more than 40 strong, this division seems to lack some of the depth and star power of recent years, but even without Tarsis, Braulio or Galvao, the presence of Sergio Moraes as well as Eduardo Telles & Eduardo Santoro means the path to gold won’t be easy for Romulo albeit he will have support from fellow Barra teammates such as Otavio Souza. On current form I would expect Moraes to face and beat Barral in the final. One can’t help but wonder how many subsequent Meio-Pesado titles Jacare would have picked up had he not quit Gi competition in 2005

Random facts
*Romulo will be going for his 3rd gold in this division.
* If Moraes wins he would be the third man after Saulo Ribiero (1997/1999) and Andre Galvao (2006/2008) to have won gold at Medio and then go on to Meio-Pesado Gold.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Pesado ***
2010 mundials: Bernardo Faria
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Evandro Pena
2011 Europeans: Bernardo Faria
2011 Pan Ams: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 World Pro Gi (-92kg): Rodolfo Vieira
2011 Brasilieros: Antonio Carlos Barbosa Junior

The Contenders?
Even with former champion Braulio out with injury and Xande Ribiero’s future in Gi competition unconfirmed, this looks like a compelling division. Reigning champ Faria’s may not be particularly confident of a repeat title with the presence of the form Gi player in the world, Rodolfo Vieira. Notable also is Checkmat’s resurgence as a genuine threat in multiple categories (in contrast to last year where Cavaca was the only genuine title hope. 2010 Brown Belt Mundial champion Antônio Carlos appears without the teammate Paulo Tarcisio he closed out the recent Brasilieros with, but already looks like a medal contender here. Other highly rated players Alexandre Ceconi, Rafael Lovato Jr (who beat Rodolfo, albeit at NoGi in the recent World Pro Gi) and Roberto “Tussa” are also likely to figure in the semi-finals. Again, bracketing will be a big factor on the final, but I would expect Vieira to face and beat Ceconi or Carlos in the finals.

Random facts
*Alliance and Gracie Hiumaoita have both won this category 5 times each.
*Alexandre and Saulo Ribiero have both won this category, Xande 4 times in 2004/6/7/8 and Saulo in 1996. They are the only brothers to have both won gold in the same Mundials division.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Super-Pesado ***
2010 mundials: Roger Gracie
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Daniel Azevedo
2011 Europeans: Lucio Rodrigues “Lagarto”
2011 Pan Ams: Marcus Vinicius O. Almeida “Buchecha”
2011 World Pro Gi (+82kg): Lucio Rodrigues “Lagarto”
2011 Brasilieros: Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista

The Contenders?
Although sad to see Roger sidelined with injury and current European and World Pro Gi Champ Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues denied a visa (why someone living in the UK long term is likely to overstay their visa in LA is beyond me), this category has at least 6 viable contenders for the title with Alliance (Antonio Peinado & Leonardo Nogueira), Checkmat (Joao Assis & Marcus “Buchecha”) and Nova Uniao (Bruno Bastos & Ricardo “Demente”) all putting forward talented pairings. Assis and “Buchecha” in particular must be ruing this missed shot at Roger whereas Demente is probably happy to avoid the chance of a third mauling in a row. The bracketing will be key here but I would anticipate 2 Alliance/Checkmat semi-finals with “Buchecha” to take the gold if not close out with Assis.

Random facts
*Roger has won this division 5 times but injury will see only the second new Super-Pesado champ crowned since 2003.

*** Black Adult Masculino – Pesadissimo ***
2010 Mundials: Rodrigo Cavaca
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Adrian Naliato
2011 Europeans: Igor Silva
2011 Pan Ams: Antonio Braga Neto
2011 World Pro Gi: N/A
2011 Brasilieros: “Big Mick” Michael George Wilson

The Contenders?
As last year, one suspects at least a couple of entrants would have been more comfortable at Super Pesado, but fancied their chances at the higher weight rather than becoming an addition to Roger’s highlight reel. With Roger now confirmed as not competing, one wonders if any frantic emails correcting categories have gone to the IBJJF.
Australian “Big Mick” Wilson became only the second gringo (Lovato Jr being the first) to win a Brasilieros title when a double DQ in the one Semi Final saw his victory in the other Semi-Final enough to secure gold. He is joined by the former NFL Running Back Jarrod Bunch and the always game Stephen Hall but stacked against them are former champions Antonio Braga Neto and Marcio “Pe de Pano” as well as current champ Rodrigo Cavaca and the tough Roberto “Cyborg”. With Pe de Pano’s poor showing at the Brasilieros it seems unlikely he will be a contender for the title here and I would expect Cavaca to face either Braga Neto or “Cyborg” in the final.

Random facts
Pe De Pano will be going for his 4th (& potentially 5th) Black Belt Gold. He is the only Ultra Heavy fighter to have won the Absolute and 1 (or even 2) more gold at this mundials would cement his place as the pre-eminent Pesadissimo fighter of the last decade.

*** Absolute ***
2010 Mundials: Roger Gracie
2010 CBJJE Mundials: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 Europeans: Sergio Morais
2011 Pan Ams: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 World Pro Gi: Rodolfo Vieira
2011 Brasilieros: Leonardo Nogueira

The Contenders?
Discussing the chances of players in an Absolute that Roger is contesting is generally as worthwhile as debating the outcome of an encounter between Godzilla and Tokyo. Roger has made the finals of all 7 weight category and all 8 Absolute categories he has entered, taking 10 gold and 5 silver. Granted Roger laboured with Jacare and Xande as Godzilla has King Ghidora and Mothra, but with his 3rd double gold last year, Jacare now away from Gi competition for 6 years and waning Xande succumbing once again to Romulo in the semi finals, the field has looked relatively light of serious competition for him.
In an unfortunate twist, now comes Rodolfo Vieira, a player who has seen much success this year and whom the internet believe could (along with Marcus “Buchecha”) give Roger a real challenge. Unfortunate inasmuch as Roger has only recently returned from a leg injury and now did not have sufficient time to prepare for this Mundials.
With Roger out, the trite saying “the field is wide open” can be trotted out and indeed there are many who will feel this is their time, perhaps even to take a double gold. Many current and former champions such as Cavaca, Barral, “Buchecha”, Morais, Faria and Nogueira will all in with a shot but Vieira, with double golds at the World Pro Gi and Pan Ams would be favourite for the win.

Random facts
*Xande Ribeiro, Amauri Bitetti, Marcio Cruz (Pe de Pano), Rodrigo Medeiros (Comprido) Ronaldo Souza (Jacare) have all won the Absolute division twice.
*Roger Gracie has won the Absolute three times.
*Margarida (2001), Pe de Pano (2002) & Jacare (2005) have won their weight division and the absolute in the same year (Jacare couldn’t contest the Meio Pesado final in 2004).
*Xande (2006, 2008) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year twice.
Roger (2007, 2009, 2010) has won his weight and the absolute in the same year three times.
*Roger Gracie has been in the absolute final 8 years in a row, winning 3.
*Pe de Pano is the only possible entrant in the field to have won the Absolute before.

The Absolute winners to date
1996 Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1997 Amauri Bitetti (Meio Pesado)
1998 Jose Mario Sperry (Super Pesado)
1999 Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2000 Rodrigo Medeiros (Pesado)
2001 Fernando Pontes (Pesado)
2002 Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2003 Marcio Cruz (Pesadissimo)
2004 Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2005 Ronaldo Souza (Meio Pesado)
2006 Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2007 Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2008 Xande Ribeiro (Pesado)
2009 Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2010 Roger Gracie (Super Pesado)
2011 ?

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