A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.
The IBJJF European Championship was held in Paris this year for the first time, and thousands of the continent’s top competitors descended on the French city for the last week of January. Kaynan Duarte ended up walking away with the most prestigious achievement in the men’s divisions by winning gold in both his own weightclass at super-heavyweight and in the absolute division.
Gabrieli Pessanha managed the same achievement in the women’s divisions, winning a pair of gold medals in the same two divisions as Duarte. Other notable names on the podium that weekend include Mason Fowler, who won ultra-heavyweight division, and Tainan Dalpra, who won the middleweight division. One of the most popular talking points came at women’s heavyweight division, where Amanda Magda won gold at 45 years of age.
Full results for the event can be found here.
Initial hearing in Leandro Lo murder trial delayed by seven weeks
Leandro Lo was shot and killed in a Brazilian nightclub back in August, 2022 and the trial surrounding his murder still has yet to officially begin. Despite the fact that the suspect was detained almost immediately, it still took several months for the wheels of justice to start turning. Then, it emerged in January that the date for the initial hearing in the case was scheduled for February 3rd.
Sadly, that date has now come and gone without the trial having begun at all. Shortly before the initial hearing was due to take place, it was delayed by seven weeks reportedly at the request of the defence due to a clash of scheduling. Now the Jiu-Jitsu world will have to wait a little bit longer to see if justice will be served, as the initial hearing has now been set for March 24th instead.
Full lineups confirmed for the first IBJJF Grand Prix of 2023
The IBJJF grand prix is back on March 3rd, 2023, and two new champions will be crowned for the year. The lineup for the men’s lightweight division is looking stacked, with recent IBJJF European Champion Andy Murasaki looking like the potential favourite. It will be far from easy for him though, as he will have to have tough opposition from two veterans in Matheus Gabriel and Johnatha Alves, along with brown belt rising star Carlos Henrique.
The women’s heavyweight division is no less impressive too, with multiple-time IBJJF world champions Nathiely De Jesus and Ana Vieira standing out as the most accomplished. The other two women competing are also former world champions in their own right, as Melissa Stricker Cueto and Andressa Cintra have won gold in the past. The main event superfight will then be an exciting match between Isaque Bahiense and Tainan Dalpra.
Amanda Leve wins contract to appear in 2023 PFL season
Amanda Leve has been a popular figure in professional grappling competition ever since she won ADCC North American trials in impressive fashion back in 2019. That earned her a place at ADCC 2019 and although she didn’t get past the opening round, she’s already accomplished more than most grapplers ever do. Then she hit headlines in 2021 by getting a huge upset victory over one of the most successful female competitors ever, Gabi Garcia.
Shortly before that, Leve actually made her professional MMA debut and submitted her opponent in the first round. This weekend she had her second fight at PFL Challenger Series and won an incredibly tough decision against fellow undefeated fighter, Naranjargal Tsendayush. That win earned her a PFL contract and the invite to compete in the promotion’s 2023 season, with the chance to win a million dollars.
- WWE superstar and former UFC competitor Matt Riddle has just been promoted to BJJ black belt by Daniel Gracie, Rolles Gracie, and David Floridian.
- A retirement ceremony was held for one of the greatest Sumo wrestlers of all time, Hakuho, after twenty years in the sport.
- Tommy Langaker is scheduled to compete against Sambo world champion Uali Kurzhev at ONE Fight Night 7.
- One of the top B-Team Jiu-Jitsu competitors Damien Anderson won his MMA debut in impressive fashion, knocking out his opponent.