2023 The IBJJF Crown Presented by FloGrappling

IBJJF's The Crown Recap: Tainan, Fellipe, Luiza Impress In Debut Event

IBJJF's The Crown Recap: Tainan, Fellipe, Luiza Impress In Debut Event

The IBJJF held their first ever Crown, and six new champions emerged from the action

Nov 21, 2023 by Joe Gilpin
IBJJF's The Crown Recap: Tainan, Fellipe, Luiza Impress In Debut Event

In a night of firsts, six champions emerged to win the inaugural IBJJF Crown over the weekend in Long Beach, CA. After navigating two matches against some of the most highly regarded gi athletes on Earth, Sam Nagai, Tainan Dalpra, Fellipe Andrew, Erich Munis, Luiza Monteiro, and Gabrieli Pessanha won the grand prizes of the event.

The event aimed to put on a spectacular night of gi grappling action for the fans, and will continue into the future with bigger divisions and more opportunity planned. These first six divisions all were made up of athletes who had excelled on the IBJJF circuit and the winners walked away with $15,000 in prize money.

The theme for many of the matches was a strategically defensive approach, with athletes unwilling to give up any openings that their opponent could exploit. This also made for a lot of close bouts that came down to a single winning sequence of action.

Sam "The Samurai" Nagai has had the best year of his career to date and defeated two world champions on his way to being crowned champion. In back to back matches, he beat Diego Oliveira and Isaac Doederlein by very close margins. Regardless, all four men in the division continue to look to be very evenly matched, so if you ran the bracket again you could very well end up with another champion. Oliveira claimed third place.

At middleweight, Tainan Dalpra scored the only submission of the medals matches (and one of the only of the entire event) when he triangled Andy Murasaki. In his first bout, Tainan fought Pedro Maia to a 2x0 points victory and said afterwards he found his performance uninspired and wanted to push harder for the finish. He did just that when he countered a long step into a triangle from guard. Maia did end up taking third.

Since dropping down to heavyweight this year, Fellipe Andrew has had the best success of his career and continued that Sunday when he beat Francisco Lo by submission and Gustavo Batista 11x0 to win The Crown. Overall, Fellipe may have been the most aggressive athlete at the event and took home his rightful Crown. Lo claimed third place.

After the first semifinal of JG Rocha and Victor Honorio ended in a double disqualification for stalling, Erich Munis vs Roosevelt Sousa was elevated to the finals match and Erich won with his open guard prowess. There was no third place finisher.

Luiza Monteiro won the Crown and admitted that she nearly retired at the event, though the champion decided to continue her competitive career. Luiza was one of the most aggressive athletes in the event, especially in the finals when she mounted and took the back of the very tough Nathalie Ribeiro. Brianna Ste-Marie and Janaina Lebre helped add fun matches in the first round, though BSM was unable to finish the bracket due to injury so Lebre wins third.

Gabrieli Pessanha won two matches over very impressive opponents, defeating Amy Campo and Tayane Porfirio back-to-back for her Crown. The open weight empress used a timely near sweep for her match winning advantage against Campo and a timely collar drag against Tayane for a points win. Melissa Cueto won third place.