2024 European Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship

The 6 Biggest Questions Coming Out Of IBJJF Euros

The 6 Biggest Questions Coming Out Of IBJJF Euros

After a wild week of action in Paris, France, we have a list of the biggest burning questions coming out of the IBJJF European Championships

Jan 30, 2024 by Joe Gilpin
The 6 Biggest Questions Coming Out Of IBJJF Euros

The gi season is officially off and running after an intense week of action at the IBJJF European Championships. The tournament was packed with great matches, exciting moments, big finishes, and more as athletes began accruing points and getting ready for the World Championships in only a few months.

Related Links

So, now that the IBJJF majors are underway - the next being Pans in Orlando, FL in late march - we have a lot of questions about how this year will unfold. We tried our best to make sense of the chaos.

Is 2024 About To Be 'The Year Of Mica'?

No one brought the crowd to their feet in Paris quite like Mica Galvão, who went 4 for 4 on submissions to what is now technically his first major gi championship. Now that he is at middleweight, he seems intensely focused on dominating the competition and putting himself into the history books.

Mica had a piece of history when he won the IBJJF Worlds in 2022 - only to lose that because of a failed test. Now, after suspension and injury, he is back still looking to make history. Since he now can't be the youngest to ever win Worlds, there is another rare feat he could accomplish.

null

Mica has announced his intention to enter all 4 IBJJF majors - Euros, Pans, Brazilian Nationals, Worlds - and ADCC. Only one man has ever won all five in a single calendar year, Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles in 2017. Can he become the youngest ever to Grand Slam + ADCC?

No easy feat. Standing in his way could be three other IBJJF World Champions who all campaign at middleweight, Tainan Dalpra, Tye Ruotolo, and Jansen Gomes. If Mica is able to accomplish his goal against that field, then we will potentially be talking about his run in 2024 for years to come.

How Long Will The Pessanha Era Last?

Death, taxes, and Gabi Pessanha wins double gold. Another major championship has happened and the Infight Jiu-Jitsu athlete has won super-heavy and the open class again - this time punctuating her victory with an armbar finish in the absolute final. It marks her record tenth straight open class double gold, and she is young, healthy, and determined to keep making history.

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

So how long will she go? Right now, the contenders to defeat her are sparse. She did have a very close match though, in the absolute semifinals against Yara Soares where they went to a judge's decision (that Gabi unanimously won). Still, Yara led for large portions of that match and some mat-side felt she deserved the nod.

Still, Gabrielli only continues to march forward in the record books as she forms a legacy that will be hard for anyone coming after to match. Perhaps young and rising contenders like Giovanna Jara could be the answer - or someone still in the colored belt ranks. Athletes like Sarah Galvao, Lillian Marchand, Luandra Soares, Helena Crevar, and Eliza Nascimento all have the makings of great champions who could one day inherit the crown.

What Does Mayssa Losing Mean?

The then-number 2 pound-for-pound female gi grappler Mayssa Bastos lost by her largest margin ever at an IBJJF major when Jessica Caroline Dantas scored with a lapel sweep and held on for the 2-0 victory. It marked Mayssa's first loss at a major since Pans 2021 - a run of 9 majors in a row where she won gold.

It's got to be said early that Mayssa Bastos is still one of jiu-jitsu's most dominant athletes and here she was competing up at light-feather, while for her biggest events she often drops down to rooster. However, her loss early in the IBJJF calendar is going to bring a new level of intrigue to her matches coming up.

Dantas certainly held on late in the match, trying her best to fight strategically and stall out the fight. But a lot of women have tried that with Mayssa and it hasn't worked. Does this mark a one off event where Bastos didn't fight well with a plan? Or has the field started to catch up some?

It certainly will be something to watch, but we have seen Mayssa lose before and then build back with better results. Don't be surprised to see her back soon - but her going back to roosterweight may mean a collision course with teammate Shelbey Murphy.

What's Gutemberg's New Ceiling With AOJ?

Originally, Gutemberg wasn't even planning to enter the absolute. He said he'd been traveling too much and the plan was to just focus on his weight class. However, plans changed and after a chance to reconsider close to the deadline he did enter the open class - and won double gold.

The new AOJ representative made history for his academy by becoming their first ever double gold medalist at an IBJJF major, and offers a glimpse at the value of bringing in an athlete like Gutemberg who competes much higher than the previously stereotypical AOJ athlete.

The AOJ-Gutemberg partnership is already bearing fruit for both parties, and Pereira has plans to stay very active this year with entries in all 4 majors. After starting off his AOJ run on the best foot possible, he has re-established himself a real contender for Worlds later this year.

Has Wardzinski Ever Looked Better?

Last year, Adam Wardzinski pulled off the comeback of the year when he beat Fellipe Andrew in the Pan finals and entered Worlds as one of the favorites for gold. That was before Italo Lima caught him in a triangle in an early-round match and ended his run early, a big disappointment after so much momentum.

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Adam Wardzinski has responded by coming back and putting on one of the best runs of his career by finishing in first at Euros, beating both World finalists along the way - including rival Fellipe in a dominant 9-0 victory. Adam used his signature butterfly guard and knee cut pressure passing to get up and held mount for nearly the final 4 minutes.

After moments of brilliance and set backs in 2023, 2024 has started out white-hot for the Polish grappling star. Can this be the year he finally gets over the hump and establishes himself as the best heavyweight in the gi?

Another Year of Chaos At Featherweight?

The last time we had a repeat champion at featherweight, 70kg in the gi, it was Rafa Mendes winning back to back to back titles in 2014-2016. Since his retirement, this weight class has had a new champion every single year (something no other weight class can claim). This is the single most chaotic weight in the IBJJF and it showed again at Euros.

In the quarterfinals, Ademir Barreto defeated 2022 champion Isaac Doederlein 2-0, knocking off the pre-tournament favorite in a big upset. The tournament was eventually won by Cobrinha Jr, Kennedy Maciel, who defeated both Sodre brothers in tight contests to earn gold. Whoever wins it all in 2024 will need to navigate a deep field of contenders - and Kennedy just added himself to the pool.

Watch BJJ On FloGrappling

FloGrappling is the streaming home to the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu events and news coverage. FloGrappling is the streaming home of: 

Join The BJJ Conversation By Following FloGrappling On Social